What Is Unnatural Links

Search Engines despise unnatural links. And using unnatural links can get you penalized. As a small business owner, a drop in search rank deprives you of much visibility. This simply means that you cannot get your services across to the right audience, hence costing you time and money. Also, SEO enthusiasts and digital marketers would not want to see their efforts flushed down the drain by getting penalized. For this reason, it is best to know how to handle unnatural links. But handling unnatural links can prove to be tricky and even a big challenge. This is especially so if you do not know how to identify such links.

Here, you will find out all there is to know about unnatural links, how to find such unnatural links on your website, and what to do with such links. But first, let us see what unnatural links are.

What is an unnatural link?

Unnatural Links

The result of a typical digital marketing and SEO effort is the building of links – natural links. If you can engage your audience and convert them after creating great content, it is majorly because of a natural link. An editorial link is any link found in your blog post that directs your audience to another page that further informs the reader on the subject. And this describes a natural link.

However, unnatural links are loosely defined. They are bad links. The arrival of Google’s Penguin update in 2012 saw the introduction of unnatural links to the Google family. Such links are artificial links on a website. Users insert such links to manipulate their rank on a SERP (Search Engine Result Page). Typically, unnatural links include spammy links and purchased links. In fact, there are more examples of unnatural links. Let us consider some of them and how to handle them.

5 Unnatural links and how to fix them

What are unnatural links

In recent times, some links that were once thought to be good have been categorized as unnatural links. It all stems from Google’s description of what constitutes an unnatural link. The search engine giant – Google – considers any URL aimed at manipulating the ranking of a website as part of a link scheme. Such schemes violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

From the guideline given, Google's interest lies in the creation of great content that will engage audiences across the board. Yes, creating good content that audiences will want to share with others. So, all these rules simply check webmasters who attempt to play the system. Well, here are some of the links considered to be unnatural and their suitable fixes.

1.) Low-quality bookmarking sites and directories

Although the relevance of some directories and bookmarking sites maintain their relevance, not all offer value to users. Alltop, Reddit, Google My Business, Yelp, Manta, etc. are outstanding examples of user-focused sites that also perform well on search engines. If the directories are not good for users- that is, they offer less value, then you should skip using it. However, directories and bookmarking sites remain great sources of quality backlinks.

Fix – Withdraw your profile and delist.

2.) Syndicated links and Press Releases

The issues with Press Releases arise when you write for the search engine and not the user. Stuffing Keywords in a Press Release is a common practice that Google frowns at.

Fix – Clean up your Press releases and utilize Keywords properly. Do not disavow but optimize your Press Releases for users and not the search engine.

3.) Link Schemes