Can Low Quality but Organic Links Hurt Your SEO?

Our Support Angels were asked an interesting question recently: can low quality but absolutely organic links ruin SEO and decrease rankings.

To answer the question we should first understand what is the difference between “low quality” and “low authority” backlinks.

Low quality links are the links that can ruin rankings. These links are usually created to manipulate search engine results and can’t be called organic. These links are usually created for search engines, not human searchers and are placed on sites no real people visit. These links can and probably will hurt your rankings if the majority of your backlinks are low quality.
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SEO in Brief: Is Ranking Still Important?

Q: After the Google Panda and Penguin updates my rankings decreased. I am afraid that this Hummingbird algorithm will bring nothing good too. Isn’t it better to forget about rankings and concentrate on social media?

First of all, remember that rankings don’t matter so much as conversions. You get conversions when your site receives targeted traffic. Below you can see the main sources that can bring traffic to a website.

traffic sources
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SEO in Brief: Be Where Your Prospects Search For You

Google Keyword Tool is no longer available for public use; you can use Google Keyword Planner Instead. The new feature that all local businesses like about this new Google Planner is the ability to target by city, region or country. That is why we’ve decided to talk about local optimization more.

Local optimization is all about being where your prospects are. This means you should remember that a large portion of your potential clients search for products and companies in local directories. Modern local directories grew from old-school yellow pages and now have rather solid brands and budgets to get targeted traffic. They also do well in organic search. If you tried to get high rankings for a specific local term, you should understand why your business needs to be in as many local directories as possible.
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SEO in Brief: How to Remove URLs from Search Engine Indices

Q: I think my website was hit by the Google Panda update because of low quality articles we had. How can I remove the URLs from a search engine index?

First of all you can use the Noindex Metatag, which is understood by most search engines. To implement it, place the following code on the page you want to remove:

<META NAME=”ROBOTS” CONTENT=”NOINDEX, NOFOLLOW”>

The Noindex Metatag prevents the page from being indexed. The page itself will still be crawled, though the search engines may visit it less often over time.

The following method of removing a web page may be better from the SEO point of view:
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SEO in Brief: How to Use Rel=Canonical Properly

We hope you use the rel=canonical tag to tell search engines what version of duplicate pages (eg. http://yoursite.com, www.yoursite.com) you prefer to be indexed. This tag is supported by all major search engines: Google, Bing and Yahoo. However it’s sometimes rather tricky to configure this in a proper way. In this article we put together some good questions about rel=canonical, that have been asked by Web CEO users.

Should I use rel=canonical, if I have several product pages that differ only by a sentence or two (different colors and sizes)?

Yes, we think it’s appropriate to use a rel=canonical tag on very-near duplicate pages. For example, do this if you have several URLs with very similar products on them. However, you shouldn’t abuse this tag, because search engines may just ignore your tags.

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