Backlinks are incoming links. When two sites are linked, the first website will create a backlink for the second site. Backlinks play a vital role in your website. How? You might ask. Well, if your site has reputable backlinks, it will have higher rankings in Serpbook, bringing significant traffic to your site. The problem, however, is that backlinks are created differently.
Good backlinks have favorable rankings, while bad backlinks or rather toxic backlinks have a negative impact on your site’s page ranking. If you find that your site has toxic backlinks, there is a high probability that the SEO Company you are working with has something to do with it. Toxic backlinks can severely damage your website’s reputation. And this is something that you want to avoid at all costs. Links that are regarded as toxic include links from porn paid links, gaming sites, link wheels and blog networks and links got from link schemes among others.
Removing toxic backlinks is of paramount value because once Google realizes that your site has a large toxic backlinks profile, your website’s page rank will reduce. That notwithstanding, Google might remove your website from its database. If your site has toxic backlinks, you might get a Google Penguin penalty.
How to find toxic backlinks
- Links that have over-optimized anchor texts
One of the ways that you can identify toxic backlinks is when you have a large number of sites linking to your site using exact keywords. A lot of backlinks are connected to your site using its name or as the anchor text. If your site has links that use exact keywords, they tend to look a bit suspicious, and they may end up harming your website’s page rank.
- You may receive a warning notification from Google
If you are working with or had previously hired an SEO company, your website may have the toxic backlinks courtesy of their doing, and you might not be aware of it. SEO companies do this to give your website a rank boost, but these benefits are often short-lived. If you are in such a scenario, you will get a warning message from Google informing you of the toxic backlinks.
- Find a list of your backlinks
Another way to identify toxic backlinks in your website is by pulling a list of all your backlinks. You can do this by logging into your Google Webmaster Tools account, click on traffic, then links to your site, and then more. By doing this, you can see all the backlinks to your website. Alternatively, you can get the full list by using backlink checking tools like Majestic SEO.
- Assess where your links are coming from
If you don’t want to be at risk of a Google Penguin penalty, you need to check suspicious backlinks to your site. Toxic backlinks could be from sites that have a malware warning, link networks, sites without Page Rank, irrelevant sites, and sites that have new domain names among others. Ensure to get rid of such backlinks.
How to remove toxic backlinks
- Contact the websites’ owners
The highest probability is that toxic backlinks emanate from sites that you do not own. This being the case, you should reach out to the site owners and request them to remove the links that you don’t want. Although you may have to contact them severally, it is imperative to be polite. Furthermore, ensure to specify the links you want to be taken down.
- Delete the toxic backlinks by yourself
If you happen to be the owner of the websites that are the source of the toxic backlinks, you can delete them by yourself.
- Get rid of your domain
If you have a new website whose traffic is not as massive, but it has a vast number of toxic backlinks, you can go ahead and delete it and start afresh. This move will immediately remove the toxic backlinks.
- You can disavow the toxic backlinks
When you disavow toxic backlinks, you tell Google that you would not like these links to be considered when Google is establishing Page Rank for your website. It is advisable to let advanced webmasters use this tool. This is after the webmasters have made significant efforts to have the toxic backlinks eliminated. You should, however, know that this is a lengthy process.