Google suggests that it might be worth your effort to request to have links removed that are pointing from low grade sites to yours. The easiest way this can be done is by searching the site for a “Contact Us” page, email address, or a phone number. If none can not be found then a Whois search can be performed. A Whois search will typically return the contact information of the site owner. Sometimes site owners block their contact information with a private registration. If that’s the case, then it may be possible to pass a message to the owner through the hosting company.
Of course if it’s not easy to contact the owners of the sites linking to yours, then it might not be worth the time invested. On the Google Webmaster Central blog, they suggests that efforts be made towards having links removed; however, if there are sites less than desirable linking to yours, Google does offer some reassurance by stating that they have 200 factors when it comes to determining relevancy in the search results. I don’t recommend investing time towards contacting site owners requesting the removal of links. Instead, I suggest investing time towards increasing the number of higher quality links pointing to your site.
Controllable things are another thing that should be taken into consideration. Once again, Google points focus on their design, content, technical, and quality guidelines. Google implies that they understand that certain things fall outside your control. With that, explain that emphasis is given things that webmasters can control such as having a well maintained site with high quality and original content with an excellent linking structure. And I agree. I can’t think of a single popular site that I would consider to be a terrible site. I am sure they exist, and I am sure you can leave a comment pointing me to a few; but all in all, in my opinion, all popular sites I have seen, fall within these guidelines.
My advice to site owners is to maintain a clean, high quality, and organized site that genuinely interests people. Don’t invest time into removing low quality backlinks and only invest some time into high quality backlink molding. I think it’s more important to spread awareness about your site, instead. If people like what they see, then they’ll come back many times over, and also they’ll link to it as well. Additionally, encouraging people to share information is very helpful too.
So what do you think? Do you think that it’s worth your time to remove low quality backlinks? What about spending time towards backlink molding? And what about time spent marketing and promoting your site? Share your thoughts in the comments below.