What is link profile management?
When it comes to keeping your online presence up to scratch, there are a plethora of things that you need to maintain – quality, regular content; social media accounts; a good on-page user experience – the list goes on. However, there is something else; something rather important, that if you don’t keep in line, you’re going to notice the impact. This is your link profile.
Unless you have a dedicated team, link profile management might not be at the top of your list, due to it not being under your immediate control. It can actually go unnoticed by those who aren’t privy to the more technical aspects of running a website.
It isn’t you that is populating your link profile – it’s everyone else. If you are producing regular quality content (which I’m sure you are) then you’re going to be getting links back to your website, and this is great. Google rewards you for these kinds of links, and the better the website they are coming from, the better it is going to be for you. However, while we would love to control who is linking to our websites, boy would we love that, we obviously can’t. And with most things, there is a clear downside to this.
As easy as it is for healthy, credible websites to link to you, it’s just as easy for unwanted, sometimes toxic websites to do the same thing. A lot of the time it is part of a scam website, trying to mask their suspicious links with actual links, and it happens a lot more than you’d think. It’s something we’ve seen quite often across our finance clients, for example, with scammers building replica websites in order to try and essentially con people out of money, and these scam websites nearly always include links to the actual banks in order to try and ‘neutralise’ their malicious websites and intentions.
And it’s not just about who is linking to you, not by a long shot. It’s how they link to you, what anchor text they use, the link type, where the link sits on their sites – again, the list goes on.
Now, if you’re turning a blind eye to your link profile management, then as I said before, you’re going to notice the impacts. Google don’t take too kindly to what they deem as ‘unnatural’ link profiles (a profile that has a large percentage of suspicious links coming in that have shady anchor texts etc) and they don’t hang around in handing out punishment. While you may not be taking part in a link scheme, these spammy links that are out there, if they tick the right boxes, could make Google think you are – particularly if there are a large number of similar toxic links pointing at your site. This can harm your site’s ranking in search results, and this is certainly something we don’t want to see.
All of the above are just some of the reasons why, at Equator, we hold link profile management in such high regard. No, we can’t directly stop these dubious links from appearing, but what we can do is deal with them once we are aware of them – but only then. If we’re not actively looking for them, then we certainly aren’t going to find them.
We undertake regular link health checks to make sure everything is in order, and if we find something amiss, we deal with it accordingly. Conducting these not only helps us rid our client sites from these nasty links, but it also lets us see the good links – the credible sites that are linking to them naturally, and what content they are linking to or sourcing. So, this gives us another insight into site performance and helps us identify what kind of content we should be producing in order to catch the eye of the right websites.
There are definitely many advantages to keeping on top of your link profile management as well as it being the first line of defence when it comes to unwanted links. If it’s not something you are doing regularly, or at all, then I implore that you do.
by Chris Smith, SEO Executive