Backlinks are important for SEO. A backlink is created when another site links to your site. For example, if a brand finds one of his blog posts useful for a customer, the brand may link to it. As Moz puts it, that backlink is a “vote of confidence” for your content.
Backlinks are important for SEO. Because search engines see all these trust votes as proof that your content is valuable. When many sites link to your site, search engines are more likely to show your content in search results, which improves the ranking of the topic you link to.
Getting backlinks is an important part of offsite SEO and getting more backlinks is called link building. But like many aspects of SEO optimization, link building is not easy. Most backlinks are good, some are good, some are toxic. Too many toxic backlinks can negatively impact your rankings.
This post explains what toxic backlinks are, how they negatively impact your SEO efforts, and how to get rid of them to protect your rankings.
Backlinks – good, bad, ugly
In theory, each backlink may be a vote of trust for your site, but links from trusted sites are the best. Tell search engines that. Even no-follow links from powerful sites can boost your rank.
Conversely, links from low-authority or “spam” sites can affect your ranking.
Toxic backlinks not only lower your rank, but can also lead to penalties from search engines.
What are toxic backlinks? Google says:
HARefs have a short description of link quality.
What Makes Backlinks Toxic?
Things that can make a backlink more harmful from a search engine perspective include:
Effects of bad links
Penalties lower your page rank and make it less likely that your content will be found. Or, if the penalties are severe, they may be removed from the search index entirely.
Penalties are assigned in two ways. Google introduced his Penguin algorithm in 2012 to target low quality links. Sites using link building schemes saw their rankings plummet. Since then, Google has improved its algorithm to better find and penalize malicious links.
When Penguin finds a harmful link, it applies a penalty based on the link profile. No human reviews.
In addition to Penguin, Google has added more people to its spam team that can manually penalize sites with toxic backlinks.
According to Search Engine Watch, Google initiates over 400,000 manual actions per month.
Manual link reviews and penalties can be triggered when:
- Spam reports from competitors
- Algorithmic activity from Penguin triggers manual review
- You are in a niche market monitored by Google’s spam team activity
You can request reconsideration of manual penalties, but more on that later.
How to determine if you have toxic backlinks
There’s not much you can do about algorithmic link penalties, just improve your site’s overall link profile.
Manually applied penalties can be viewed in Google Search Console at[セキュリティと手動による対策]>[手動による対策]is displayed below.
If it’s a manual action, it will appear here with a general description of the issue, a link to more details, and a button that allows you to request a reconsideration.
It’s often easier to use an SEO site audit tool to find harmful backlinks. This is especially true if you haven’t checked the harmful link for a while (or at all). Tools such as SEMRush and ahrefs can provide this information.
How to fix toxic backlinks
There are many ways to deal with toxic backlinks. For example, you can contact the administrator of the linking site and ask them to remove the link.
If the link is valid and the penalty has been manually activated, you can request a review. According to Search Engine Watch, Google processes about 20,000 reconsideration requests per month, of which 400,000 have manual penalties applied. It may take approximately 30 days to receive a response.
If the backlink is not important to you and you don’t want to manually run outreach to remove the link, you can use the disavow link tool.
Follow the instructions in Google Search Console Help.
Create a list of disavowed links following the format provided in the help article.
Tip: You can easily create this file by exporting and using the Google Search Console Links Report or a Links Report from a tool like SEMRush or ahrefs.
Then launch the Disavow tool.
Ensuring that the backlinks to your site are of high quality and comply with Google’s rules is an important aspect of website management for SEO.
Have you recently audited your backlinks? If you haven’t yet, hurry up. Did you receive a manual action notification related to a link to your site in Google Search Console? If so, follow the tips in this article to resolve the issue or disavow the link.