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Not All Backlinks are Created Equal: How and Why to Avoid Bad Backlinks

As we discussed in our previous post, high quality backlinks to your website drive visibility, referral traffic and authority.  Poor quality backlinks can have the opposite effect. Evaluate the websites where your URL appears. Do they look sketchy or not authoritative?  Are they providing a value or service to the web or does it just appear to be a collection of links. Make sure to only put your link on websites that seem trustworthy and will provide real, valuable traffic to your firm’s site.

Backlinks also should be added naturally to your site. By this we mean that adding links too quickly may set off a warning for Google. Did your website go from having five backlinks to over 500 in a few days? This isn’t natural behavior online and could signal suspicious activity.  Services may offer to sell you links, but don’t be tempted. These links are often poor quality and the volume looks unnatural to Google. You are better off hand-curating your backlink profile to make sure you only have relevant, authoritative links from quality sites.

Google offers a tool through its search console to help firms monitor their site’s backlinks. You can view all of the backlinks to your site and determine whether or not they are the type of links you want. If you find links that are poor quality, Google allows you to “disavow” them by using this Disavow Tool. It will ask you to submit a .csv of the backlinks you no longer want and will remove them from your backlink profile.

Retain this handy checklist for creating quality backlinks:

  • Seek Natural, Permanent Links:  It’s important to acquire permanent links that will not only help your SEO, but will also drive potential clients to your site.
  • Put Your Firm on the Best Directories – Make sure you sign your law firm up for the best legal directories and that your firm information is accurate.
  • Get Social Media Links – Your firm’s social profiles should link to your site. It is also handy if the attorneys and support staff in your firm add your business to their profiles.
  • Be Consistent with Your NAP –  Your Name, Address and Phone (NAP) should be the same on all online firm profiles. You should also make sure your firm is the proper category in each directory. Your NAP information, verified citations, and reviews affect how you appear in searches.
  • Check for Backlink Quality – Do not purchase links, rent links, or obtain low-quality links. Sites that link to your firm should always be high quality, and they should have a reason to link back to your website.
  • Disavow Bad Links –  It is crucial to send disavow requests for bad backlinks. The disavow tool lets you ask Google to discount low-quality backlinks that direct back to your site.

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