Blind Panic Over Links

One of the most common questions I have received since the Google Penguin and Panda updates is from website owners concerned about ways to have links to their site removed from websites, blogs, and directories.

In some sort of blind panic over links, people are positive that the answer to their site issues is to get rid of their incoming links as quickly as possible.

Unless you have been practicing shady link building techniques, in my humble opinion, this is absolutely nuts!

These updates have never been about getting rid of quality links to your site.

They are about providing a quality user experience for your visitors and not participating in SEO methods that violate search engine guidelines. How difficult is that?

Yes, if you went with one of those automated submission services that adds your link to every free directory on the planet regardless of the quality of the directory, you may have a problem. High quality directories such as DMOZ, BOTW, Aviva and the V7N are not going to hurt you.

Yes, if you use some sort of software that automatically dumps your link on blogs and spams forums, yeah, you may have a problem. Actively participating in forum communities and blogs with quality comments is not going to hurt you.

Yes, if your site is nothing but advertising above the fold and provides little or no quality content, you may have an issue. It is not tough to spot a site that exists solely for the purpose of AdSense. C’mon, you know you hate sites like this too!

So what do you do about it is you have been hit hard in recent updates?

Take a long hard look at your site and go back to the basics of creating quality content for your visitors.

Google has told us all along what they mean by quality…..

Still not sure about links? Why not listen to what Matt Cutts says about links?

J. Cricket Walker of CricketWalker.com


  1. KevinKevin07-17-2012

    Good article. Seems like there is a slight freakout session going on with SEOs about negative SEO, disavowing bad links, and getting rid of all bad links. The call for chillaxing on it if you haven’t been spamming horribly is well said. Even if you have been slightly spammy, like some clients history prior to coming to work with us, I still haven’t seen it be a big harry deal.

  2. Tari HannTari Hann07-18-2012

    THANK YOU Cricket! This was exactly what I was hoping to hear. I went over every bit of what class had taught me and the logic of it all still came back to quality links and good quality content. Thank you for this article. You are the only one I trust when it comes to SEO!

  3. DerekDerek07-18-2012

    Great Blog post once again Cricket.

    To many blog owners (I’m one of them) create blogs to make money and don’t care to much about there visitors and keep getting those visitors to come back daily or every few days when new content is up. These blog owners slap up ads all over the place, use adbrite ads with that full page ad that’s annoying and wondering why there traffic and bounce rate is bad. Good ad placements along with a good theme with good content can go a long way’s.

    Remember people visit your site because they are either seeking answers, buy something or just want to stalk you because you are just that awesome. (Ok, i’m getting carried away)

    Simple, stop using link building methods from 2000. Follow Matt Cutt’s blog and his twitter account and stay current with any algorithm updates. Also visit v7n forum for any SEO questions or to read the latest news in the SEO/Marketing field.

    Ok, I need to get back to work, just visiting the old blog here for a little bit. (Looks over shoulder for boss)

  4. Mike MMike M07-21-2012

    Interesting article, has anyone noticed since penguin that too much activity on a web site seems to cause a drop in rankings?

  5. DanDan07-24-2012

    The blind panic that has been created over links post Penguin, has been perpetrated by SEOs.

    They have created this panic in order to soft-sell their clients “link pruning” or “link removal” services. One of the main reasons that SEOs want the disavow tool that Kevin refers to, is so that they can charge their clients a motza to go in and spend 5 minutes removing links at the lower end of the spectrum.

    Link pruning/removal is an SEO SCAM! The worst offenders are the guys at the top. They are the one’s writing the “authoritative” articles, pushing people to remove links.

    Removing links is just a ridiculously stupid idea. If Google sent you a message via WMT saying you spammed, then you probably did. If you didn’t then you should be telling them that. Cutting all the limbs off the tree regardless of whether they are alive or dead, will almost certainly kill the tree. So to with links and websites.

    Remove links at your peril. Any SEO that pushes link pruning on their clients, I would be giving a very wide berth, as they are more than likely a scammer, and they are usually at the higher end of the SEO tree.

    • CricketCricket07-27-2012

      I couldn’t agree more. It is truly sad to see how many are profiting by this.

  6. AtyqAtyq08-22-2012

    Hi,
    I think that Panda doesn’t penalize Search Engine Optimizer who cares about the quality of their backlinks and don’t spam blogs or forum to get unrelated links. I think that this panic comes from links sellers communities…
    It becomes more and more difficult to be a good SEO, this is why I just wanted to thank you for this article. It helps me to discover this world…
    Best regards, Atyq

  7. MariaMaria09-27-2012

    Removing all links from your website is probably not going to have a very positive effect on your site if some of these links are built naturally and to reputable sites. If you happen to notice that your website has dropped in traffic sharply after any of those updates, it might really be because of bad links, and therefore it pays to look through all of them to see which points to a shady website.

  8. sms lånsms lån02-06-2013

    They have created this panic in order to soft-sell their clients “link pruning” or “link removal” services. One of the main reasons that SEOs want the disavow tool that Kevin refers to

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