Link Audits Why are Link Audits important for your organization? To answer the above question, it is worth noting that there are often cases where the risk of penalties is not brought on by the pernicious virtual attacks of competitors who are attempting to induce Google penalties by backlinking a website with toxic links, but rather the risk of penalties is most often the result of outdated or misguided in-house or agency link building work. This is why link audits are vital both to the removal of bad backlinks and maintaining healthy and organic Search Engine Result Page (SERP) Rankings. This requires ongoing SEO link audits, and the removing or disavowing of risky links via Google Disavow Tool. Failure to keep vigilant and proactive in the disavowal of risky links can certainly lead to visibility problems. Whether you are a small business, or a large and widely recognized brand (Expedia, Halifax, or RapGenius), the fact is that having backlinks that do not conform to the latest Google Guidelines presents the risk of a sudden and substantial drop in your Web visibility. Examples of lost rankings: Expedia Halifax RapGenius Do Link Audits to avoid Google Penalties In short, it is wise to implement ongoing Link Risk Management (LRM) before a costly penalty loss occurs. Pro-actively disavowing high-risk links that Google could otherwise count as giving an unfair advantage to your Google search ranking is the object of backlink audits. They keep your link profile clean and ensure the protection of your digital assets. On the other hand, if link audits have been neglected and unnatural backlinks have accumulated, they represent a risk, and Google may apply a penalty. If a manual penalty has already been applied by Google to your website, then a three step solution can be implemented to resolve the problem through Google Penalty Recovery procedures. Unpacking the Link Audit Procedure Step 1: Our link audits find and rate all the website’s backlinks This step is often neglected, even by professionals who may well import backlinks from, for example, Ahrefs or Majestic, but this is only one of many steps required to gather all of a website’s backlinks. In order to list all the backlinks in this step, we also look for duplicated links, dead links, links pointing to 404 pages, and so on. Our goal is to have an organized and full list of backlinks to your domain with as many URLs as possible. Step 2: Detailed backlinks analysis After finding and listing all the backlinks, we analyze how all the backlinks interact. We gather more than 36 metrics for each backlink. Not only URLs and Anchor Text. Our link audits are 100% manual, this means that each link has been opened by our team and analysed by one of our certified professionals. To optimize this process and make sure our ratings are as precise as possible, we analyze and gather all the metrics possible in backlinks reports, thanks to which, the next step, our rating process, is data-driven and precise. We don’t believe in full automation and we manually check both dofollow and nofollow backlinks. Step 3: Our link audit experts rate each backlink in a Backlink Report On top of the 36 metrics we gather for each backlink, we also check whether or not the content under the URL is unique. If not, we decide if the page itself is the source, or if the page content was posted there by a Web scraper. If the page linking to your website has high-quality backlinks, we must also ask if the link placement can be counted as natural. To decide this, we look at the content of the other pages of the website linking to your organization. These are metrics that can only be checked and rated by humans, and this is why our data-driven service is of such premium quality. Finally, all the metrics for each backlink are then used to derive a risk rating for each backlink. These are all compiled into a Link Audit Backlink Rating Report. Step 4: Disavow unnatural links The disavowal process ensures that the Google Search Engine will no longer count the riskier, unnatural backlinks to the client’s website. In other words, the risk related to an unnatural link is removed, and despite the unnatural link, the client is no longer at risk of receiving Google penalties. Elephate link audit guarantee: Our approach and Backlink rating service is unique. The procedure we follow in doing Link Audits is one you will not find anywhere else. We have developed our own, unique process that is based on years of experience and our widely respected LinkResearchTools (LRT) Certified status. Our policy of transparency gives the client the advantage. In addition, by preparing a client Backlink Rating Report, you the client are able to keep a close check on the ratings for each domain linking to your website. This is consistent with our policy of transparency, and ensures that the client is also able to clearly see that we have done our job in a professional and effective way.