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Cleaning your backlink profile can prove to be arduous, however, a smart and quick way to do this is by removing the pages from your website to which all such bad links point. This smart tactic can be used for your homepage and also for inner pages that have large amounts of backlinks affecting you negatively on Google. A word of caution, you need to be careful when doing this exercise.

Why remove the page with unnatural links pointing to it?

When you remove the page the page returns 404 the message. Google then drops those links so they no longer count. This practice is usually helpful when you can’t remove the links and you are in double mind to use the disavow backlink tool. This practice is ideal for pages that are linked like a spammy forum thread. Once the page begins returning the 404/410 HTTP response Google begins to ignore the page.

How to go about it?

The key is removing the page so that the backlinks no longer count. Avoid the following common mistakes:

Nofollowing or noindexing the page. Please remember noindexing and nofollowing does not solve the problem as the page continues to get a page rank from the links pointing to it. Both the actions are no substitute for physical removal of the links.

Using robots.txt to block the page. This practice is also not advised as the blocked page continues to get a page rank. What the robots.txt does is it tells Google not to crawl the page. However, if there are links that point to the page then it is still considered to be pointing to your website.

Redirecting to another page on your website still passes about 95% of the page rank. This practice does not remove the bad links. Therefore avoid this too.

Some errors you can avoid:

If you have a website with large number of articles on it and you are paying other sites to link to those articles then removing the unnatural links is the best option you have. however, make sure that 404 does not direct to the homepage. Ensure that the redirects are also removed so that 404 does not direct to anywhere else, but error page.

Just disavowing unnatural links will not work

Some people in the SEO community believe that disavowing will do the trick. But there are contradicting views on this issue. The smart thing to do when all the links on a page are bad is to just remove and junk the page. Removing the page gets rid of all the bad links.

Do post your comments and thoughts on your experience about this issue. Removing bad links is our combined goal and if you have great ideas about it we would like to hear them.

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