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Don’t Let “Bad” Links Drive You Crazy


SEO was very different pre-Panda. Quantity mattered a lot more than quality. Of course, quality has always been important, but pre-Panda, there was serious gain to be had by focusing on quantity. This led, rather predictably, to large numbers of WebMasters taking the easy road, and after all, it was easy to use automated link building tools to spam out thousands of links to low-value blogs in a single afternoon. Hire a few VA’s and you could get millions of links over the course of a long weekend.

That worked in the short run, but then Google introduced Panda. The moment that happened, the game changed, and Google announced that low quality links were very bad for your rankings. As a follow up to that announcement, they released the “Disavow Tool.” A funny thing happened when they did that. WebMasters all across the internet began to collectively lose their minds and started spending a huge amount of time trying to kill off links to low-value (and often no-value) scraper sites. It made sense, in a way. Google said the quality of the links mattered, they provided a tool for weeding out the bad ones, what was a good WebMaster to think?

The problem is, the penalty for those bad links is all but nonexistent, and your time and energy are much better spent by continuing to focus on good, high quality links. There are a couple of different reasons why this is true. In the first place, Google has gotten a lot better at finding and stamping out scraper sites. They’ll never go extinct, but the do tend to have shelf lives, which solves your problem without you having to do anything but wait. Hand in hand with this, because Google is getting better at finding and neutering them, relatively fewer of them are being created.

On the flip side of the coin, there’s the fact that the more time you spend in the hunt to extinguish low value links pointing to your site, the less time you have to build good, high value, high quality links. High value, high quality links are orders of magnitude more important to you than chasing down essentially meaningless ones. This is a crucial point, and it provides an important lesson. Do the things that make you money. You only have so many hours in each day, and you need to spend those working hours doing the things that will see the biggest impact for your business. Always gravitate toward high impact activities in preference for low impact ones. When viewed from that perspective, it’s easy to see why looking forward rather than backward is the right call.

Never take your foot off the gas. If you do, it only gives your competitors a chance to catch up. Focus on quality, focus on building and burnishing your brand. Get the fundamentals of SEO right then build links relentlessly. You have no better promoter or booster than yourself. Make sure you’re spending your time doing the things that matter the most, and let the rest go.

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