SEMRush, and handling bad back links (12/2/2020)

In our Office Hours, this week, we talked a lot about third-party tools like SEMRush- and whether they’re worth it, or not.

SEMRush (whether you pronounce it S-E-M-rush or sem-rush) is a very popular tool. Unfortunately I have a hard time seeing the value. Not only do people miss-use it (to judge visits to their site) while not understanding that SEMRush is only offering traffic estimates based on sampling. Others use it for rank tracking (which is baloney, anyway, but that’s another article I promise to write another time). Still others use it for tracking backlinks to a website.

Whether you use SEMRush or another third-party tool to track back links (I prefer Majestic but am considering a move to Ahrefs), these are an important SEO tool. However, I’m building Curious Ants in a way to avoid having to purchase expensive tools, like these. I think most people can get away without these tools. But, if you’re doing advanced link building (like the skyscraper or broken backlinks, these tools are very helpful. It can also make branded and competitor back link efforts easier.

Sometimes people think that bad backlinks can hurt your website and use back link checking tools to evaluate which links they want to disavow. Be careful when doing this. You might end up hurting yourself more than helping yourself. The fact is, Google ignores most bad backlinks to your website already. You might not need to file a disavow file with Google unless you’ve received a penalty (which you’ll be told in Google Search Console).

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