Detecting Low-Quality Backlinks That Negatively Affect Lawyer SEO
Backlinks are one of the most crucial Lawyer SEO ranking factors for any website. Checking for backlinks is one of Google's (and other search engines') ways of determining trust and quality. By looking at the websites and pages associated with yours, crawlers get an idea of how high-quality, relevant, or trustworthy your law firm website, pages, and legal content are.
Not to mention, backlinks can be challenging to acquire, especially for laws who just built their websites or are new to the Law Firm SEO game. Hence, there are certain ways to get backlinks and speed up the process of link building.
However, not all backlinks are beneficial to your Attorney SEO. In fact, some of them can directly affect your rankings negatively. Therefore, these low-quality backlinks need to be removed ASAP if you want to recover rankings and traffic.
Let's talk about the good and bad of law firm backlinks, how to assess them, and what you should do with them.
What Are Law Firm Backlinks?
Backlinks are essentially external links pointing from one website to yours. So, for example, if your get mentioned and linked to on a news site, that link should count towards your law firm website's backlink profile.
Remember: The role backlinks play in Lawyer SEO is that they work as "votes". Any link between two pages implies as an association, which is how "crawlers" and "spiders" register links when they go through your website.
So, if another website links to your pages, they're confident enough to associate their website with yours. For example, if a trusted website like the New York Times links to your domain, this tells search engines that your law firm website and content is on the same level as where your backlinks are coming from.
This is why getting more backlinks is vital to all websites, especially if you're just starting out. There are several ways to implement link building, which allows you to strategically increase your backlinks instead of waiting for another website to find your content.
What Qualifies As A "Bad" Backlink?
Since backlinks are counted as "associations" between two pages, getting links from low-quality websites is equally harmful. So, the "vote of confidence" works in this way too: getting links from low-quality, shady websites will also make it seem like your law firm website is untrustworthy too.
That said, there are ways to assess backlink quality that will help you determine whether a link is low-quality or not. Here is a list of potential red flags:
1. Websites Riddled With Spam
Check the source of the backlink and see if it's riddled with spam ads, links, and stuffed keywords. Unfortunately, these websites already don't have great SEO track records, so your law firm website shouldn't be associated with any of them.
2. Link And Content Farms
Link and content farms usually post low-quality content in considerable numbers to spam search engines. However, Google and other search engines' algorithms have developed better algorithms to detect these types of content. Hence, search engines can quickly identify these websites and won't benefit any site that links or gets links from them.
3. Recently-Hacked Websites
Websites that have been recently hacked will be flagged by Google with warning tags on them. This is because hacked sites can be a huge security issue, and you don't want Google to associate that with your law firm.
4. Irrelevant Sites
No matter how high the domain authority a site has, it still won't benefit your Lawyer SEO. For example, your law firm website shouldn't have backlinks from completely irrelevant websites about gardening, baking, etc.
You can still get backlinks from pages discussing the law or your law firm. For example, if a business blog references your content on lawsuits and business law, it'll still be relevant. However, if you're just randomly getting links from otherwise irrelevant content, it will not help your Attorney SEO at all.
5. Irrelevant Or Spammy Anchor Links
Speaking of irrelevant content, you also need to be wary of irrelevant or spammy anchor texts. These anchor texts play a considerable role in Law Firm SEO, as it provides descriptions and navigational hints to whoever clicks on or crawls the links. However, random and irrelevant anchor text can be a sign of spam and won't help your Law Firm SEO.
What Should You Do About Bad Law Firm Backlinks?
Fortunately, there are easy ways to deal with bad backlinks. You can do any of the two:
1. Have The Links Manually Removed
Ask the web host to remove the links. In addition, you can email the people running the website and request that the external links pointing to your law firm website be removed.
2. Disavowing Links
If asking to remove the link doesn't work, you can disavow them yourself. This can be done through Google's Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools, allowing you to remove the association from unwanted backlinks.
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