Removing Backlinks That Lead to Negative SEO: Interview with Jacob Bohall

As part of our SEJ interview series, Jacob Bohall of Virante discusses removing harmful backlinks that can lead to negative SEO.

Jacob begins with an observation that the SEO industry is currently grappling with a combination of forces where sites are trying to recover from bad backlinking practices they have done in the past, while at the same time, companies maliciously build bad links to sites that try to get over it.

When companies come to Jacob’s Virante company to recover from an SEO penalty, most of the time it’s not the company’s fault for continuing to build bad links. Jacob sees that negative SEO is more the result of opportunistic website owners building bad links in the hope that companies will pay to have them removed.

How do you remove these bad links? Jacob explains in the video below:

Here are some key points from the video:

  • One of the ways Jacob’s company deals with removing malicious links is to identify where they come from and then harass website owners to remove the links.
  • If website owners refuse to remove the links, Jacob suggests documenting that an attempt was made to remove the links, then adding the website to a disavow file.
  • Ultimately, it’s in the website owner’s best interest to remove the link rather than being added to Google’s registry of sites with disavowed links.
  • Jacob sees no difference between no-follow and do-follow backlinks when it comes to negative SEO. Google can detect the spammy backlink pattern whether the links pass Page Rank or not. The key to avoiding spam penalties is to ensure that the majority of your links are from trusted sources.

If you have any questions after watching the video, ask them in the comment section and I’ll do my best to answer everyone! Please visit SEJ Youtube for more video interviews.

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