Bad Links: What Are Unnatural Links From a Site?

Is Your Website User Friendly or Unnatural?

No matter how you spin it, unnatural links are traffic counterfeiters – they’re deceitful, fake, and fail to meet the standards of quality and performance users expect.

As a result, stewards of the Internet are taking massive action against poor quality, unnatural links.

We’ve covered unnatural links pointing to* a website, but what about unnatural links pointing from a website?

It’s important to note that unnatural links don’t necessarily refer to your entire website; rather, unnatural links are pages on your website. Examples of unnatural links pointing from a website include the following:

  • Links in blog spam comments
  • Thin, placeholder, or copied content
  • Cookie cutter websites and doorway pages

Ensure your website is working for you and not against you with these 7 unnatural link prevention methods!

Top 7 Unnatural Link Prevention Tips for Links Pointing From Your Website

  1. Monitor and Block Spam: User-generated content in forums, blogs, guestbook pages, etc. can be a blessing and a curse. High-quality interactions, comments, and reviews are always rewarded; however, user-generated content is prone to spam. Eradicate spam using prevention tools (e.g., spam blocking plugins) as well as actively monitor your platform (e.g., review links from guest comments and remove their links if you’ve found poor quality).
     
  2. Avoid Creating Parked Pages: Parked pages or parked domains lack quality content. Typically, these pages don’t have user-oriented content because the parked pages either reserve a domain name, redirect the user, or the registrant’s ownership of the page has expired. Superficial use of parked pages to force unnatural page rank by creating several parked pages and then redirecting users to a main website is abhorred. Ensure quality content is on your website, regularly renew your domain registration, or create a plan of action to close out your registration and properly redirect users from former websites.
     
  3. Own Your Website: Free Hosts and Dynamic DNS Providers are prone to spammy content. Even if your pages on these free hosting websites are of the highest caliber, the sheer amount of spam that shares your free host will pull down your rank (and your ability to be searched by users). Users, publishers, and even search engines are more inclined to trust (and reward) website owners who have a vested interest in their website.
     
  4. Consider a User-Oriented Design: From navigation layout to aesthetic appeal, each page on your website (and any links from your website) should target user experience. Invest in the design of your website. Avoid affiliate pages, doorway pages**, and cookie cutter websites that may negatively impact user experience and therefore your page rank.
     
  5. Perpetuate Quality: Content that’s thin, derivative, spun, copied and/or even plagiarized offers little to no added value for users. We can’t say this enough: Always provide engaging, quality content for the user.
     
  6. Don’t Sit on a Hack: If any or all of your pages have been hacked to display spammy content or links by a third party, then take action to fix it right away! Clean up and secure your website to protect your users and your brand.
     
  7. Cease Spamming and Black Hat SEO: If you practice spinning, cloaking, scraping, hiding text, keyword stuffing, egregious redirecting, and other unnatural, deceptive, or manipulative outbound linking, then you’re contributing to the creation of pure spam. Stop these toxic methods immediately and begin building a website and platform based on quality measures that target user experience.

What does targeting a great user experience do for you? Better engagement, higher conversions, more exposure, and increased traffic. Use these tips to start building a better quality website. What methods have you found work for you? What toxic website practices have you stumbled into that you’d like to warn fellow Expert Authors about? Let us know in the comments section below – we’d love to hear from you!

*For more information on unnatural links pointing to a website, click here.
**To discover why doorway pages don’t work, click here.

29 Comments »


1

VERY NICE SUGGESTION

Comment provided March 20, 2013 at 9:49 AM

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KevinKoll writes:

This is just beyond nice, it is a great article to help website and blog owners do it right. Get around killing those spam links on your sites, they harm.

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2

Good suggestion to check bad links. Thanks for sharing.

Comment provided March 20, 2013 at 10:01 AM

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3
Sabrina writes:

Great post

Comment provided March 20, 2013 at 11:22 AM

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4
jeff kane writes:

Every body should no not to buy links from some farm.

Comment provided March 20, 2013 at 12:02 PM

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5
Jim writes:

Thanks Vanessa! Your information is very helpful in my efforts to increase more opt in traffic. I have value for my customers who are looking to save money when accepting credit cards as well as ways to make their business organized or to ways to increase revenues. They should be calling me!

Comment provided March 20, 2013 at 12:18 PM

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6

I spent so much time worrying about spammy sites that I’m researching as potential back links that I didn’t even consider whether my site had spammy content on it which would affect other sites linking to me.

Comment provided March 20, 2013 at 1:15 PM

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7
Steve writes:

Thanks for the good advice. The web is full of spam. I’ve had great results just by writing good content. Sometimes people get so caught up in trying to beat Google that they forget to just keep it simple with quality text. How do you build high quality links without using black hat techniques?

Comment provided March 20, 2013 at 2:08 PM

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8
PBScott writes:

All good advice,

Although the search engines and the users both want all of the things said above, the robots don’t really seem to know what they are doing most of the time, very often the scrapers, and hot linkers outrank me on my own images and posts.

I have given up on SEO it seems to be as many spammers have been saying for a decade now, dead. Nothing seems to matter much these days for a new website, except the size of your advertising budget.

Comment provided March 20, 2013 at 2:39 PM

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9
steven guy writes:

Thanks for your information its just nice to be reminded of the problems on our sites we tend to forget about and it’s great news also to be able to correct my faults that Ive forgotten about. Steven Guy

Comment provided March 20, 2013 at 2:44 PM

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10
Allan Nielsen writes:

I used to use link networks, where we could place articles on all kinds of sites (usually, non relevant) to build links…

I now focus on publishing amazing content on other people’s blogs via guest posting… it works great, although it’s more time consuming than anything else I tried before, plus it requires daily practice and niche audience insights

You cannot really get up one morning and say from the top of your head… “I want to get published on this blog, so let me create an article on article writing”

You have to check out each site guidelines and write according their terms…

Hope it helps.

Comment provided March 20, 2013 at 3:32 PM

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11
Sydney Williams writes:

Great advise, thank you.

Comment provided March 20, 2013 at 4:58 PM

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12
Alex S writes:

Hi Vanessa,

I’m relatively new to EzineArticles.com and mad I didn’t sign-up earlier.

I just read your email blast regarding natural linking and to put it mildly, I loved it! Great job! Keep the great articles coming!

Comment provided March 20, 2013 at 5:04 PM

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Hi Alex,

Welcome to EzineArticles! We’re happy to have you, and look forward to assisting you on your article writing journey. :D

~Vanessa

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13
Randall Magwood writes:

I hate parked pages. Also everytime i get an influx of adware to my computer. People think they can make alot of money with Adsense with parked domains… but they need to take a more active approach with their marketing.

Comment provided March 20, 2013 at 7:39 PM

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14

Useful piece.

Comment provided March 21, 2013 at 4:38 AM

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15
Lance Winslow writes:

Very Important stuff.

Comment provided March 21, 2013 at 5:10 AM

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16
Arnel Colar writes:

Very useful. Blackhat SEO indeed doesn’t have any value nor does not provide useful results. It will only bring your site down so, whatever you do, don’t attempt any blackhat SEO. You cannot outsmart search engines.

Comment provided March 21, 2013 at 6:10 AM

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17
James writes:

People always want to be on the top without knowing what’s good and bad links. Thanks for sharing.

Comment provided March 21, 2013 at 6:33 AM

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18
John Eden writes:

thanks for sharing important info

Comment provided March 21, 2013 at 6:42 AM

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19

A word is enough for the wise..

Comment provided March 21, 2013 at 1:21 PM

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20
Al King writes:

I Really got a lot out of this article you wrote. Thanks for taking the time to put all of this together in a very helpful way.

Comment provided March 22, 2013 at 7:18 AM

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21
Jonas Smith writes:

Nice info about links… thanks..

Comment provided March 22, 2013 at 11:56 PM

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22
Gracious Store writes:

Good post!

Comment provided March 23, 2013 at 10:39 PM

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23
Michael Wiener writes:

Hi Chris,

Really valuable information shared here. On the other hand, these are blackhatter’s nightmare.

I think Tip#1 is very important. That is why I do activate Akistmet all the time in conjunction with recaptcha and anti-spam question. Or, replacing the default comment section with third party comment like Disqus is good one, provided it is configured to moderate all messages.

On Tip#3, do you suggest going for private name servers based on domain name? I always use what my hosting provider provided me. I’m not sure if I understand it correctly that going for name servers based on domain name is a better idea.

Hope you can give more light on this for me and for others who wants to know the same.

Comment provided March 27, 2013 at 7:00 PM

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Hi Michael,

The recommendation in Tip #3 is to own your own website instead of using a free hosting website. When you own the TLD you demonstrate a vested interest in the content on the site, and others are more inclined to trust you.

~Vanessa

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Michael Wiener writes:

@Vanessa Thanks for taking the time to clarify. My first impressions about Tip#3 are;

1. Own a domain (this is OK and every serious blogger must consider this)
2. Register a DNS based on the domain name.

So, I’m assuming it is OK to use the DNS my hosting provided… say for example;

ns1.godaddy.com
ns2.godaddy.com

instead of registering my own as;

ns1.mydomain.com
ns2.mydomain.com

I think this needs additional costs as it may require a dedicated IP address. I’m not sure, though.

Thanks again @Vanessa

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24
Kumar Ashish writes:

Very helpful post

Comment provided August 13, 2013 at 4:21 AM

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25

Thank you for this useful post about backlinks… very helpful

Comment provided December 12, 2013 at 6:08 PM

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