One of the biggest mistakes made with regards to SEO is to assume that if something is currently working well, that it will continue to do so forever.
There are several reasons for this, not least of which is Google continually changing and updating their algorithms. Entire business models have ground to a halt overnight, never to be resurrected, due to Google deciding that something which previously helped a website rank well, was in fact a negative.
One area which always seems to be in flux is backlinking or internal linking, and there are countless theories, rumours, myths, and outright misinformation as to how and where backlinks should be acquired. This creates a problem for those who have already gone out, sought backlinks legitimately, and then linked to their website.
They now might be questioning whether they should keep those backlinks or go out and look for more. The problem is exacerbated as Google continues to move from a position of simply counting the number of backlinks a website has, to a model where the power and authority of those backlinks become increasingly important ranking factors.
Google has made it clear that the so-called E-A-T measure is what they are now looking at, so Expertise, Authority and Trustworthiness is what they want to find when crawling a website. This applies not only to the website being crawled, but they are also going to take E-A-T into account when looking at what websites its backlinks are coming from.
The problem many website owners now have to cope with is that many of the backlinks they have coming to their website from other websites with scant authority, little expertise in terms of content, and no trustworthiness, are no longer benefitting them. In fact, these backlinks are likely to damage them, or more specifically, be damaging their website’s ranking.
The scary thing for some website owners is that is just the thin edge of the wedge. Those that have taken risks with their backlinking campaigns and simply linked from anywhere that would allow them, have to consider if any of those link sources were in fact link farms or spam websites.
If either applies, not only is Google’s crusade to eradicate these websites going to impact their ranking, but Google might just decide that their website is not worthy of being listed due to the number of links it has from them. When that happens, the result is their website is delisted and literally disappears from the search engines.
For all the reasons we have outlined, it is essential that you carry out regular audits of your backlinks to ensure that you have none that Google might have in its sights with regards to being from an undesirable website.
If there are any, do not panic, but simply remove them if you can, or disavow them. By doing so you are effectively saying you longer wish to be associated with the website they come from. Think about it as a cleansing of your website in the same way that you get rid of the weeds from your garden.