First off, let me start by clearly stating that this article is NOT an attack on Link Detox, LinkDelete, Remove’Em and similar tools and SAAS offerings. These tools are all well developed and supported, and have their place in the market – that is not the intention.

What this post is about is the misconception that many webmasters have about them – that they provide a hands-off way to analyse and remove links. Easy as pie…

Easy As Pie - Not Really
Easy As Pie… Not Really…

At Penalty Pros we constantly assess new services which may improve our processes and allow us to develop a higher quality service to our clients, as well as a faster turnaround. We’ve tried pretty much every product and service on the block (and continue to do so as more pop up every month).

The Common Thread – Algorithmic Classification

Each these services offer a unique angle, and they can add value to the penalty removal process in different ways, but one common thread that unites them all is algorithmic backlink assessment.  In other words, they are using an algorithm to classify which links are good and which are problematic. There is no human review involved – this is how they manage to offer these services at such low prices.

Now don’t get me wrong – the algorithmic intelligence in some of these tools is absolutely brilliant considering that it’s a machine that’s classifying links. The best of the batch in my opinion is Link Detox, which has some very sophisticated classifiers – but even they have a very clear disclaimer that every link should be manually reviewed before removal or disavow.

LRT Link Detox
Above: An Extract from Link Detox’s “What You Need to Know About Risky Links to Disavow”

“Always double check the links you’d like to disavow” – this is the most important bit, and it’s the bit that most people miss, assuming that the algorithm does the work for them. It does not and cannot – false positives are inevitable.

Even the most sophisticated algorithms developed by Google clearly still have problems understanding which links are good and which are manipulative.

The Bottom Line

I must re-iterate – this article is NOT an attack on link analysis tools – they all have their place – it’s a reminder to webmasters of the importance of manual link review. Yes, it’s a terribly time-consuming job, but one that has to be done nonetheless. Simply trusting an algorithm is a dangerous bet, and will most likely result in you removing or disavowing good links in the process. Don’t take the chance – you worked hard for those good links.

Have Your Say

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