When you have links pointing to your law firm’s website, you may automatically assume that it’s a good thing. But this isn’t always the case. In fact, some links end up harming your website and can diminish your rankings. In this type of situation, you’ll want to disavow those unwanted backlinks, which you can learn more about here.
So this begs the question. What’s the difference between good and bad links? Let’s find out.
Characteristics of Good Links
- They Come from Trustworthy Sites – Just think New York Times, Bloomberg, CNN and major legal publications. Whenever you have a link from a high authority source like this, it’s almost always a good thing. Even a handful of links like this can give your rankings a surge.
- They Come from Relevant Sites – It’ll probably be a red flag to Google if your site receives several links from totally unrelated sites. If they in no way fit into the context of your site, it’s typically a sign of manipulation and can lead to penalties.
- They Flow Naturally with Your Content – A good link should flow with the rest of the text and look natural. It should simply serve as a means of finding more information or elaborating on a topic.
- They Have Natural, Diverse Anchor Text – Anchor text is the text that’s used directly in a hyperlink. Google tends to prefer a variety of anchor text and that you refrain from using “money keywords,” which are keywords you’re specifically trying to rank for. Stay away from these at all costs. You can learn more on this topic from this post from SEMrush.
Characteristics of Bad Links
- They Come from Spammy Sites – Most people know a spammy site when they see one, and there’s a simple way to identify one. Just ask yourself, “Would I trust this site or buy something off of it?” If it looks untrustworthy or nefarious, it isn’t a site that you want linking to your law firm.
- They Come from Irrelevant Sites – There’s probably no reason why a cosmetics site would link to you unless there were underhanded motives involved. You’ll want to avoid these types of links.
- They Don’t Flow Smoothly – If a link sticks out like a sore thumb and is disruptive to the rest of the text, it’s usually spammy.
- The Anchor Text is Suspect – If the anchor text uses the exact same keywords you’re targeting, this is a red flag to Google.
At the end of the day, there are a myriad of factors that determine the quality (or lack thereof) of a link. It’s also important to note that Google’s algorithm is constantly evolving, so their criteria is continually changing as well.
Although it’s not always this black and white, the characteristics mentioned above are a pretty good way to tell the difference between good and bad links. This should ensure that you’re not damaging your link profile or getting unnecessary penalties from Google. To learn about links in more depth, check out this post from Neil Patel for comprehensive information.