What to Do if You Get a Bad Link Pointing to Your Site

Submitted by emm on Fri, 11/02/2018 - 14:23

Linkbuilding is at the heart of any successful search engine optimization strategy. If your firm is doing SEO, you should always make sure that you’re getting backlinks from relevant and high quality websites.

Due to the Google Penguin update, which penalizes websites for trying to boost the number of links directed to their site through shady link schemes, you can’t just post links wherever you want.

You need to make sure your links published to other sites are relevant and beneficial to both parties.

Occasionally, you could get a bad link to your site. While it’s unfortunate, don’t worry; it’s not the end of the world. There are a couple of things you do to get that link removed. Here is what to do if you get a bad link pointing to your site.

What Exactly is a Bad Link?

Not all sites are created equal. If you surfed the internet at least once in the past 25 years, you know that there are a lot of unsavory websites out there.

If you see a link directed to your website from one of these sources, you need to make sure that you get that link removed so Google doesn’t penalize your site. Here are a few examples of domains you wouldn’t want pointing to your law firm:

  • Link Farms (sites that point to thousands of domains)
  • Links in irrelevant forum comments
  • Low-quality websites, such as a new site or a site with poor content
  • Links on non-relevant sites, like a golf manufacturing company linking to a PI firm

If you see a link on one of these sources, there are ways that you can remove it yourself. Like for example, if you posted links to your sites on various forum comments before the Penguin update, you can remove the comments yourself or just flag them as spam.

If that doesn’t work, here are the next steps to take.

Contact the Webmaster


The first step to take to get a bad link removed is to contact the webmaster of the site where it was posted. More times than not, a webmaster’s email will be available on the site.

You can simply send the webmaster an email outlining that you would like the link to your site removed from the page. If you cannot find any contact information, or if the webmaster does not respond to your initial email and follow ups, there is one last step you can take.

Use the Google Disavow Tool

Sometimes you just have to take matters into your own hands. If removing it yourself and contacting the webmaster doesn’t work, then you can use the Google Disavow tool. This tool allows you tell Google to ignore specific links when it calculates your site’s backlink profile.

It’s actually a really easy process to do: Simply open the disavow tool in your Google Search Counsel, create a file that contains the websites that you want to disavow and upload it to Google. When Google reconfigures its rankings, it won’t count those bad links against your site.

A word of caution: be very careful when using the Disavow tool. It should truly be a last resort when you cannot get ahold of a webmaster. You need to be positive a new link is negatively impacting your firm’s online rankings when you use the Disavow tool, or you may accidentally remove a beneficial link and lose a lot of visitors to your site.

Things to Consider

If you’re worried about bad sites linking back to you, the most important thing you can do is ethical and white-hat linkbuilding efforts. That means that you shouldn’t post your links on comment forums, you shouldn’t pay for links and you shouldn’t participate in link exchanges.

If your firm doesn’t have its own dedicated marketing department or if you are a solo practitioner you may want to consider working with a lead generation company.

At eGenerationMarketing, we generate online legal case leads for Social Security, personal injury, workers’ comp and employment law. While the majority of our leads come from PPC, the tactics we use to generate organic leads only follow SEO best practices.

If you want help supplementing your caseload with legal leads, give us a call today at (617) 800-0089. We’d be happy to discuss our lead pricing and availability in your area with your firm today.