What Is the Effect on Google if Backlinks Get Deleted?

By Micah McDunnigan

Losing backlinks to your company's website isn't always a bad thing. Backlinks are a major part of any SEO strategy to increase your Google ranking, but only good links actually help you. Bad backlinks can actually lead Google to punish your website in its rankings. Losing good backlinks can hurt your rankings, but losing bad backlinks can actually help your rankings.

Backlink Value

Anyone can stuff keywords into a Web page's content and description tags. Google consequently relies not only on information a website provides about itself, but looks to the broader Internet for cues about which pages it should include and prioritize in search results. When one website includes a link back to another Web page, the author is saying that visitors should follow the link to see the content it leads to. Google takes the links leading back to a website as an indication that the site has quality content.

Quality Backlinks

Google doesn't give every backlink on the Internet equal weight in assessing a website's relevance and quality. Links that Google determines to be a Web page's author genuinely recommending a website with a backlink will help that site's priority in search rankings. When these high value backlinks get deleted, the website to which they led will lose some of their priority in Google's search engine results.

Low Quality Backlinks

Google's algorithm engineers realize that if backlinks help a website, it creates an incentive for website owners to create bogus Web pages that have no real value but contain backlinks to their site. Google has methods for detecting these sorts of scams. Not only does Google not use such links to give a website priority, but they actually penalize the website for engaging in such schemes. When spam links to a website, which its webmaster have not disavowed through Google's administrative tools, get deleted, it helps the website by removing the penalties.

Backlink Strategy

If you focus on building up your company's website through an organic and sustainable strategy then you probably won't have to worry about backlinks being deleted. When you build links through genuine outreach to bloggers and other website operators about quality content, they usually won't have any reason to remove their backlinks to your site. Unless, of course, your company does something to make those content creators want to distance themselves from your brand. Backlinks unscrupulous SEO specialists build through scams are much more likely to be deleted.