As discussed above, backlinks are the backbone of SEO.
Though their relative significance has (comparatively) diminished in recent years, they are and have been counted in all iterations of the Search algorithm since search engines gained prominence in the 1990s.
These days, the links of a website come under more scrutiny than ever before.
Your domain’s profile might be full of links, but are they trustworthy?
If they are deemed to be spam, irrelevant, or certain types of advertising, for example, these links will negatively affect your domain authority. More examples of bad links are:
- Comment spam: When the comments section of a page is filled with links to your domain, or when a link is posted in an unnatural manner alongside keyword-stuffed anchor text
- Discussion forums: Having keyword-optimized posts with links in any kind of forum will adversely affect your domain authority
- Press release links: Due to the nature of a press release- compiled and put out by the same business it promotes- links found in these are not ranking signals. In fact, if too many links are found in multiple press releases across the web, Google may penalize your site.
- Low-quality directories and private blog networks (PBNs): Like massive compilations of bad links, these kinds of pages attempt to briefly fool the algorithm by sheer quantity alone.
However, association with pages such as these will lower your domain authority, as these types of site are not deemed reputable or authoritative (and in fact, are regarded as manipulative in their nature).
There are many more varieties of bad links. A good rule of thumb is: If it is inauthentic in any manner, the algorithm may eventually find out and mete out penalties in response!
Regulate the links leading to your site, and foster organic results rather than using short-term, result-manipulation strategies.