Google’s Penguin updates have made auditing your website’s link profile more important than ever. In addition to your link acquisition process, you should include an analysis of your link profile that will prevent your website from receiving penalties from Google now and in the future. Here’s how to conduct a link audit:
Collection of Links
The tools you’ll need for your link audit include:
Google’s Webmaster Tools
Back-link checker tool
Organize your data in Excel by filtering by domain using a backlink checker. To do this, use “text to columns.” Filter only for the domain of the URL and put it in another column on your spreadsheet. Then use “remove duplicates” to get one link per domain. Interfacing Majestic SEO to Excel will help filter out all of your dead links.
Determining Link Quality
To determine link quality, you have numerous options, but you need to manually review the links. When you manually review links, bad sites will:
Have no structure, no contact page, and tons of outbound links.
Have content that doesn’t fit with your link and anchor text.
Have links to gambling, Viagra, and porn sites.
Have sidebars loaded with anchor text and site-wide links.
Link Removal Plan
Remember that your objective is to compile your bad links and eliminate them, so after you’ve identified your bad links, delete all of your good links so that you have a single list of bad links. Create a polite email to send to each bad link explaining that you’d like your link removed from their site because you’re cleaning up your link profile to comply with Google’s Penguin update.
You’ll need to submit a disavow list to Google asking them not to count these links in your favor or against you. Prior to submitting your list, do all you can to manually remove the bad links. Document all of your attempts to remove the links.