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What are unnatural links and how do you know about unnatural links to your site?

Unnatural links are mainly purchased links that are intended to manipulate a page’s rankings.  They can also be links that spammers have attached to your site under the radar that link to bad links or unrelated sites.  Both Google and Bing have a program called Webmaster Tools that allows you, as the webmaster, to monitor your site. 

Signing up for Webmaster Tools is free and offers a wealth of resources.  Not only can you discover internal and external links to your site, but you can also see your site from the search engine’s point of view and diagnose problems.  If any problems are found with your site, including unnatural links, you will be notified through Webmaster Tools and given steps to take to correct the problem.  Without Webmaster Tools, you may never be notified about these issues.  Webmaster Tools is the best tool out there to determine if there are unnatural links to your site and the proper steps to take to remove these links. 

Also, Google just released its “disavow links tool” on 10/16/2012 which will allow sites to separate themselves from questionable links.  There are other backlink checker programs out there, but most are not free or as effective as a search engine’s Webmaster Tools program.

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