What Are Unnatural Backlinks?

There may be a variety of criteria that major search engines like Google use to rank your website, but some of those criteria hold more weight than others, like your website’s backlink portfolio. Your website’s backlink portfolio is the collection of websites and pages that link over to your website and its respective pages. The more high-quality, natural links you have in your backlink portfolio, the more likely your site will rank well. The key phrase in that last statement is “high-quality, natural links.”

Not all backlinks are created equally, and some types of links like unnatural backlinks are more likely to harm your rankings than help them. Let’s learn more about unnatural backlinks and what to do if your portfolio is full of them.

So, What are Unnatural Backlinks?

Natural backlinks are backlinks that are placed naturally or organically, the webmaster who placed that link was not told, coerced, or paid to put that link up. Unnatural links are the opposite of this. Unnatural links are links that are requested or paid for to build a website’s backlink portfolio. Have you ever accidentally misspelled a site name by one letter and found yourself on a strange looking page full of links? That is known as a link farm and is a good example of unnatural backlinks.

So why does it matter where the links are coming from or if they were requested? Because unnatural backlinks are in direct violation of Webmaster Guidelines. Unnatural backlinks may provide a temporary boost in your rankings but when the search engine finds out you are utilizing unnatural backlinks (and it’s always when, not if) your site may be hit with a penalty that can take months and even years to recover from.

Unnatural links is a tactic that’s employed by scammy or ignorant SEO and web development companies to build a backlink’s portfolio so they can get paid while you see the temporary results. Often the owner of the webpage doesn’t even know something is wrong until their site is hit with a penalty. To avoid unnatural links, only employ an SEO or web development company with years of reliable SEO experience. A reliable SEO can also work with you to remove as many unnatural backlinks as possible through best SEO practices.

If you have unnatural backlinks you need to remove or are curious what type of backlinks are pointing to your site you need the help of an SEO service or link building expert. Don’t sit on your hands while your rankings suffer from unnatural backlinks, make the call to an SEO company or link building service today.