Audit your links or risk facing Google's wrath.
What is a link audit and why should online business owners take the time to do it? For those who are not yet familiar with it, a link audit refers to the process of checking the quality of both inbound and outbound links on your site and removing those that can potentially put you on Google's dreaded watch list.
Exploring the Many Benefits of Doing a Link Audit
Why should you run a link audit? Here are several good reasons.
Protect the integrity of your link portfolio. By conducting a link audit, you can identify any harmful links and remove them before they can do any significant damage. Links from gambling, pornography, and payday loans sites, as well as those coming from link farms, can affect the integrity of your link portfolio, so you need to remove them as soon as you see them. The same goes for paid links, links that are not indexed in Google and those that have a malware  or virus warning.
Diversify your link building strategy. By having a clearer picture of your link portfolio, you can also identify which link building activities  are missing from your overall strategy and which ones have been bringing you the most results. Remember, the more diverse your link sources are, the higher your search engine ranking will be.
Uncover promising link building opportunities. In addition to performing a link audit on your own site, you should also consider conducting a link audit on your competitors' sites. This can give you a better idea of how your website stacks up against the competition and helps you uncover other link building opportunities.
You can see which forums and message boards are being used by your competitors, the blogs where they usually submit their guest posts and the industry associations they are a part of. Take note of this information and use it to your advantage.
With all the changes made in search engines’ algorithms, one thing remains the same. Backlinks are still one of the most important factors that can help determine your ranking in the search engines. If that is not the case, why would Google take the effort to create the Penguin algorithm and impose unnatural link penalties?
However, don't wait until you receive an "unnatural links" warning in your inbox or risk having your website removed from the Google index before taking the first step. Do it now or you may wake up one morning and see all your efforts down the drain.