Culling out the bad links?

Hey guys… lets share little knowledge on how to cull out bad links from the link base. Since Google has become more strict about bad link building, one has to remove all the bad links to improve the link profile. Now, the larger question is, how do we identify the bad links and then comes the “removing them” part. Share your expertise please.

There was a recent discussion on a very similar topic here.

Remember that bad inbound links are unlikely to do you much damage. Sure, they won’t help you at all, but nor will they actively harm you. If they did, it would be far too easy to get a competitor’s site penalised!

If a webmaster receives an unnatural links warning, and if the offending links are not removed, “manual action” will be taken by Google, that must be considered harmful from the webmaster’s point of view mustn’t it?
Isn’t Google’s proposed disavow links tool and the rewording of the guidelines a reaction to their realization that it is indeed possible to get a competitor’s site penalized?
How about anyone who was participating in link schemes, aren’t they a target for Penguin?

But sometimes the the spammy links are damaging, lets say for instance, you get hit by penguin update because of your bad inbound links. How do you identify the bad ones amongst the good ones and then what technique would you use to remove them? There could be cases where the number of inbound links is large.

The only way I found to do it was to download all my links from GWT then go through them line by line. I separated out any I wasn’t sure of then looked at those sites and made the decision as to whether I wanted them or not. In some cases, if you are registered at the site, you can easily remove them. In others it means sending an email requesting removal. I have run up against a few brick walls but have been able to get some removed.

How would you handle a situation where the links are huge in number? For instance, you have targeted huge number of sites, instead of fewer sites and heavy number of links from each site. I guess going by a manual request process would not be an easy task.?

It is never an easy task. But you can begin by deleting (from the list you have downloaded) all the links that you don’t feel there is a problem with, and those which you know have already been removed but are still showing in GWT. In my case, from an initial list of around 4000 I was left with about 80 I wanted to look at individually (further investigation showed that many of them were no longer present, even though still reported by GWT).
If you have multiple links from the same domain, you can attach a list of the all urls where they are located (copied from your GWT download) and attach them to one email request.
It follows that the more links you have and the greater the number of linking domains, the greater will be the work load in doing this.