Unnatural links are those links created artificially. They are usually used to manipulate websites' ranking in search engines and, when detected by search engines, can cause penalties. An example of unnatural links would be links created by spammers or purchased links.
There are several types of unnatural links that, when used, can result in penalties. Among the most well known are:
A quick and easy way to find out if there are unnatural links in a website is by following these steps:
To detect unnatural links, different tools facilitate the task. Most of them offer the function of performing a link profile analysis that can be exported in a spreadsheet. Some of the best tools are:
Once you have created the spreadsheet with the data of the link profiles found on the website, you must analyze and decide which ones to keep and which ones to disavow.
There are several ways to do this. For example, in the case of the SEMrush tool, you can order them from the highest toxicity score to the lowest. Everything will depend on the type of analysis you want to carry out.
Once the backlinks are sorted, a manual review is performed, which consists of opening each link to detect if there are unnatural links. This search can help to detect patterns that otherwise cannot be seen.
With this information, a file with the list of links to be disavowed is created, and the moment when it will be done is planned.
Once the file with the unnatural links to be disavowed has been created, it is uploaded to Google Search Console. To follow up, you can place a note in Google Analytics to observe the website traffic's organic variants.
The search engine Google wants to offer users quality and useful content to satisfy their information needs.
That is why Google, the most used search engine in the world, closely monitors all activities performed through it to discover if there is manipulation or alteration of search rankings. If it detects that this happens, it takes action against the website by penalizing it.
As Unnatural Links are a way to manipulate rankings for keywords in the SERPs, they can be subject to Google's penalties for being against the Webmaster Guidelines. Their use can result in manual restrictions such as causing a website to have little or no organic web visibility.