How Unnatural Links Affect Rankings


Welcome, fellow website owners and digital enthusiasts! Today, we delve into the intricate world of SEO and tackle a topic that holds immense significance for your online presence – “How Unnatural Links Affect Rankings.

I’ve been dealing with how websites show up on search engines for more than ten years. I want to share tips, plans, and stories to help you grasp, fix, and secure the future of your website.

Please note that some links on this article are affiliate links. This means that, at no additional cost to you, we may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. We only recommend products or services that we have personally used and trust.

Your support helps us keep the content free for everyone.

The Basics of Organic Search Ranking

Making your website show up higher on search engines is crucial for being noticed online. Organic search ranking involves tweaking your site to appear near the top of search results. The higher it shows, the better chance people will find and interact with your content.

Search engines, like Google, use complex algorithms to evaluate websites and assign rankings. These algorithms consider various factors, and one crucial element is your website’s link profile. 

Now, let’s dive into the often misunderstood world of unnatural links.

organic traffic increase

Unnatural Links Explained

Unnatural links are like unwelcome visitors at a party – they don’t fit in, and they can cause problems. These are links that violate search engine guidelines, often obtained through manipulative practices. Their presence can harm your website’s credibility and ranking.

Understanding the sources is key to prevention. Unnatural links often stem from link farms, paid link schemes, or low-quality directories. Be cautious when participating in link exchanges, and ensure your links come from reputable sources.

Note: Natural links are earned organically, a result of quality content that others find valuable. Unnatural links, on the other hand, are forced, usually for the sole purpose of influencing search engine rankings. Recognizing this difference is vital for maintaining a healthy link profile.

Unraveling the Impact on Rankings

Search engines are getting smarter every day. They recognize and penalize websites with unnatural links. The penalties range from a drop in rankings to being removed from search results altogether. It’s crucial to understand that shortcuts can lead to long-term damage.

The impact is not only on rankings but on user trust. Visitors may question the authenticity of your content, leading to a decline in user engagement. Moreover, algorithmic penalties can be challenging to overcome.

Search engines regularly update their algorithms to provide users with the best possible results. Recent updates have placed a heightened focus on link quality, making it imperative to keep your link profile in check.

Detecting Unnatural Links Early

Vigilance is key. Regularly monitor your backlink profile using tools like Google Search Console or any seo tools you have like SE Ranking, and Ahrefs. Look for sudden spikes or unusual patterns that may indicate unnatural activity.

Dig deeper into your backlinks. Assess the relevance and authority of linking domains. Remove or disavow links that seem suspicious or low-quality.

Prevention is better than cure. Conduct regular link audits to identify and address potential issues before they escalate. This proactive approach can save you from the headaches of penalties.

sample client backlink profile with unnatural links spike

Recovery Strategies from Unnatural Link Penalties

If you’ve fallen victim to penalties, fear not. Start by identifying and removing problematic links. Submit a reconsideration request to inform search engines of your corrective actions.

In SEO, resilience pays off. I’ve witnessed websites recover from severe penalties by adopting ethical practices and rebuilding their link profiles. It’s a testament to the power of strategic recovery efforts.

Learn from past mistakes and focus on quality over quantity. Cultivate relationships with reputable websites, create shareable content, and let natural links evolve organically.

Future-Proofing Your SEO Strategy

SEO is a dynamic field. Stay informed about emerging trends, algorithm updates, and industry best practices. Adaptability is the key to long-term success.

Anticipate potential challenges. Adopt white-hat SEO techniques, prioritize user experience, and diversify your digital marketing efforts to reduce dependency on any single strategy.

Knowledge is power. Follow our SEO blogs, attend webinars, and engage with the seo community. Staying informed positions you to make informed decisions for your website’s success.


In summary, unnatural links can have severe consequences on your website’s rankings and user trust. Recognize the signs, take proactive measures, and maintain a clean link profile.

Prevention and early detection are your best allies. Regularly assess your backlink profile, remove toxic links, and build a sustainable link-building strategy.

The rewards of ethical SEO practices are enduring. Trust, credibility, and long-term visibility outweigh the short-lived gains of manipulative tactics. Invest in your website’s future by embracing an organic and sustainable SEO approach.

As we finish talking about unnatural links and their impact on rankings, remember to stay updated on SEO. Learning is key, and if you need help boosting your online presence, explore good resources, join the SEO community, and keep learning.

This is vital for small businesses looking for effective local SEO services. Your dedication to staying informed will help your online success, especially with local SEO services for small businesses.

Frequently Asked Questions

Unnatural links are links obtained through manipulative practices, violating search engine guidelines.

Natural links are earned organically due to the quality and relevance of your content.

Regularly monitor your backlink profile using tools like Google Search Console, SEMRush, or Ahrefs. Look for unusual patterns or spikes that may indicate unnatural activity.

Unnatural links can lead to penalties, impacting rankings and user trust. To recover, identify and remove problematic links, and submit a reconsideration request to inform search engines of corrective actions.

Perform link audits at least quarterly, and proactively prevent unnatural links by focusing on quality over quantity, utilizing monitoring tools, and establishing clear link-building guidelines.

Recover by identifying and removing harmful links, submitting a reconsideration request, and adopting ethical link-building practices. The recovery time varies but can take weeks to months.

Ethical link-building strategies involve creating high-quality content, cultivating relationships with reputable websites, and focusing on relevance. Not all link-building strategies are manipulative if done ethically.

Yes, you can disavow harmful links through Google’s Disavow Tool. The process involves creating a disavow file and submitting it through Google Search Console to disassociate from problematic links.

Diversify by seeking links from reputable websites, industry influencers, and relevant directories. Diversification is crucial for a natural and balanced link profile, reducing the risk of relying on a single source.

Monthly SEO Services

1 month seo plan

1 Month SEO Plan

Starts from $350 per month.

3 month seo plan

3 Month SEO Plan

Starts from $450 per month

6 month seo plan

6 Month SEO Plan

Starts from $550 per month

Want A Custom Plan?

Contact us today to have a preferred custom plan for your needs.