How To Find And Remove Bad Backlinks
The rapid changes in the industry makes him stay up to date on all the latest SEO trends, strategies, and ranking factors. He enjoys writing about the industry he loves and sharing knowledge with other SEO experts.
When you get unwanted backlinks from irrelevant sources, it hurts your ranking because google sees the sites linking back to yours as untrustworthy.
Removing bad backlinks doesn't have to be a daunting task. With the right template and tools, you can easily get rid of the backlinks that are holding your website back and improve your SEO ranking.
Below are some of the best ways to get rid of troublesome backlinks and boost your websites ranking. So, grab a cup of coffee and get ready to improve your site.
Finding your backlinks
You can also quickly see new backlinks and get specific insights, which is helpful for identifying bad backlinks and keeping your Google trust flow in the green. This is a crucial step that needs to be continuously monitored to avoid any penalties from non relevant spam sites who create bad backlinks on google.
One of the easiest ways of removing bad backlinks is by using the Serpstat Backlink Analysis tool.
The first step in removing bad backlinks is to understand where our backlinks are coming from. To start off, we will be using the Google Search Console to locate our backlinks.
Now I know what you're thinking, there are hundreds of links in here, how will I ever go through them all?
Don't worry, you will not have to review every link from that domain, most of the time if one backlink is bad, all the links from that domain are bad as well.
Determining bad backlinks
Outreach to websites for removal of backlinks
If you want to attempt to reach out to the site owner, you can usually find the owners email using hunter.io.
Create a new account if you don't have one already, install the extension and when you browse to the target website click the fox on your toolbar and it will display a list of emails you can use to potentially contact the owner.
How to build your Google disavow file
To get started open a text editor on your computer, create a new file and save as disavow.txt. I like to start off by adding to comments to keep my disavow file organized.
When you are adding a domain to the list, you need to include domain:website.com and if the site uses "www." Make sure to include "www." for domains that use it and make sure to leave it out on domains that do not.
If you are only looking to disavow a couple particular backlinks and not the whole domain, just include the whole URL.
But we're not done yet. Navigate to Google's Disavow Tool
If you have any questions about bad backlinks or how to boost your SEO ranking, feel to ask in the comments section below, I will try to respond to each and every one of you.
For more information about how to boost your websites ranking, be sure to check out SEO Ranking Factors of 2018.
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I use a free plan from one of your competitors that has a section for backlink analysis, which included potentially toxic links and the anchor text that is used to link back to a site. I have used this to create and maintain a disavow file for my own website https://www.stevesims.com. I also use http://seoprofiler.com/ to check backlinks, but for postive rankings. eg. What are the strongest links to my site (and competitors sites) and can I obtain links from those sites as well?
I think the addition of a toxic link checker to Serpstat would be great. As a current paying user of your website, I would find this a great addition to your already excellent services.
Thanks for your feedback Steve. I'll pass along your request to our team.
Nice article, but I think the steps for determining bad backlinks are misleading or in any case incomplete, and may send readers on the wrong path. For example "Is the content relevant to your site?" is a good question to ask, but by any means not a decisive indicator for wanting to remove a backlink. There may be a lot of very good, solid backlinks in a site's profile that are not directly related to the content of the site (like comments the site owner left at unrelated websites, for example).
The question "Does this site have a spam score?" is not further specified in this article: it is not mentioned how high this score needs to be in order to be able to speak of a bad backlink. What's more, I've found that the spam score in the Open Site Explorer is far from accurate. I've frequently come across websites with a high spam score in OSE that are actually reputable, long-existing sites with high Domain Authority. I don't know why in that case the spam scores are relatively high, but I think OSE on this point is not that reliable.
All in all, the article lacks some information and can send readers on the wrong path: there is a lot more to discovering bad backlinks and you also should not disavow links lightly.
Hello Michiel, I apologize you feel the article is misleading or incomplete. There are many paid tools out their that can give an estimated trust flow of a backlink and overall quality, and other metrics that could prove useful. My explanation for classifying bad backlinks are based on quality, relevance and spam score using best judgement without any paid tools.
In my experience any backlink that is not relevant to your niche brings little to no value. as for the spam score I usually stay within 3 and lower but I have actually seen some good backlinks that have a spam score of 4 or higher still passing trust.
However trusting to many toxic links could land you a penalty in the long run, so I generally stay away from these.
I hope this helps address your concerns, I am also going to see if I can add another section to this article on how to classify using Serpstat and SEMrush.
I'm already waiting for my rankings to go up a little, thanks to you, your guidance and your easy way to make us understand. Thanks for that.
I just wanted to point something out.
I have followed the instructions when creating my disavow.txt file exactly as you say in your post. HOWEVER, when I uploaded the file, Search Console returned an error saying that I could not upload a file with "/"... I realised that what was wrong is that you have led us to write
I realised that it's true. Following the image intructions you give us above, I was indicating "domain:" prior to a URL.
So I deleted the "domain:" part and it works fine. I was able to upload it no problem. I think it would be good for you guys to upload a new image with the correct format of the disavow.txt file.
Thanks a lot!!
Thank you, Esther! We'll take it into account and fix everything soon :)