We’ve discussed backlinking and how it can affect your website in the past. But did you also know that it can also affect how people perceive your overall brand?
Whether good or bad, inbound links will guide traffic to your site. According to Google, “a link from a site is regarded as a vote for the quality of your site.” If your site has quality links that add to the conversation and are reliable, your brand itself will be seen as an authority. Therefore, the trick to maintaining your brand’s integrity is to create a link building strategy that promotes good links and removes bad links.
Where Do Bad Links Come From?
There are multiple reasons why bad links could be coming into your site:
- They’re using your site’s authority
- Bots or spam sites are linking to you
- Someone is adding those links because they think they’re helping you
Many of these links are unnatural and are only set up for (bad) SEO reasons, which aren’t looked favorably upon by Google.
They’re Using Your Site’s Authority
We’ve all heard that the higher the authority of a site, the more valuable the backlink. If your site has a high domain authority (how well your site will rank on search engines), bad links may try to ride your tailcoats in order to get seen.
If you find that your inbound links do have a low authority, don’t worry—not all of them are bad. Industry specific links with low authority can be very beneficial, as it signals to search engines what you’re relevant in. It’s just a matter of finding out which links are good and which are bad, which can be done by running a backlinks analysis.
Bots or Spam Sites Are Linking to You
Bots and spam sites may be linking to you for the purpose of redirecting affiliate traffic in an attempt to generate leads or indexing site data without bothering to disable analytics tracking. When this happens, your site will see a jump in traffic—which is great until you realize that none of that traffic is natural and is throwing off your analytics.
Someone is Trying to Help by Adding Those Links
Not all of the bad links you receive is from bots or shady sites. Sometimes it’s an honest mistake from an employee who is trying to help your site succeed. This person generally has little knowledge of the ins and outs of SEO and believes that simply adding links will give the page a boost. To prevent this misunderstanding, it’s a good idea to educate your employees about the dos and don’ts of SEO and have a reliable link building strategy to follow.
How Do Bad Links Harm My Brand?
Bad Links Makes Your Brand Look Untrustworthy
Your brand’s online persona is just as important as your offline one, as it helps build trust. If your inbound links are spammy or obtained through black hat methods it suggests that your site doesn’t have what it takes to generate good inbound links on its own. Anyone can call themselves an expert, so it’s important that your site’s inbound links are coming from reliable sources.
You Don’t Want the Wrong Person to Endorse You
Another reason you generally want to avoid bad links is so you don’t get endorsed by the wrong person. For example, if you’re a politician you don’t want to be endorsed by a hate group. By being endorsed by the wrong person, group, or company via linking, your credibility and trustworthiness will take a nose dive, leading people away from you.
SEO Agencies Can Manage Bad Links
Good links aren’t easy to get and companies often don’t want to spend time developing a link building strategy. Managing backlinks can be difficult because you have to weigh the risks of a link against its strengths. While you can’t avoid bad links 100% of the time, a good SEO agency can help you manage them and even recover from them. Hiring a reliable SEO agency can also help you find and fix broken links, which can cause users to navigate away and crawlers to report errors that can prevent your page from appearing in search results.
How Do Good Links Improve the Way People See My Brand?
Good Links Build Your Trustworthy Reputation
Imagine again that you’re a politician. Instead of receiving endorsements, you got endorsed by the Dali Lama. Since the Dali Lama is generally seen as a positive force, your credibility and trustworthiness would go up. The same applies to your inbound links. Applying white hat tactics to obtain good, trustworthy links will help you maintain your credibility as a brand.
Other Sites Will Support Your Brand
Having good links is especially important if you’re creating original content for influential sites. By publishing on other sites, you are building a relationship with them. They need to know that the content you are offering them is reliable and trustworthy.
Agencies Can Keep Links Fresh
Again, many companies don’t have the time or know-how to maintain their links. Hiring a reliable SEO agency to help develop a link building strategy will help you avoid bad links and maintain your brand’s good reputation. Link building can be very time consuming and simply adding a quality link doesn’t mean the job is finished.
Like fresh content, links need to be fresh—meaning that if they date back to the early 2000s, the information may no longer be accurate. If that’s the case, you will need to find a good link that has updated information and update your site accordingly. An agency will help you find and maintain fresh links by finding and fixing broken or outdated links.