The first talk of the day here in Auditorium 1 was Chris Cemper, a regular speaker at Brighton SEO. He began with an introduction; Penguin still affects websites today and simply abiding by Google’s best practice is not enough to rank at the top.
Often, says Chris, when we are reviewing our website performance and we fear poor links, we only audit a small portion of our total backlink profile.
His tip of the session is to review every single link in a link audit. Keep the good ones, disavow the bad ones.
Based on his experience, Chris suggests that having poor quality links from virus or malware infected sites or redirected sites is even worse that ‘poor quality’, so removing these is essential. He recommends the Link Redirect Trace tool from Link Research Tools to help fix this (but he did found the company… 😉 )
A link audit is therefore not about statistics. Good vs bad. It’s about identifying a number of domains to look at in detail; you can’t find a sample and expect to extrapolate. Hertz did this with Chris; a full link audit, fixing broken links and fixing broken pages helped them recover traffic that had been dwindling, and drove high conversion rates too.