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6 Steps to Removing Bad Backlinks from Your Website

Maria Shelaieva

Maria Shelaieva

Marketing Expert

4 min

Backlinks remain one of the most important ranking factors for SEO. However, not all backlinks are created equal.

Harmful links from low-quality sites can actually hurt your search engine rankings.

Eliminating toxic backlinks can boost your rankings. Whether you want to do a website clean-up before a redesign or just improve SEO, auditing and disavowing bad links is worth your time.

In this post, we’ll explore what backlinks are considered “bad” and provide a step-by-step guide to finding and removing these risky inbound links.

Let’s get started with the first step – understanding what kinds of links you need to watch out for and why Google sees them as “bad.”

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What Links are Dangerous?

There are several aspects that determine that a link is placed on a bad site, namely:

  1. Links from sites with low-quality scores – Domain Authority (Moz metric);
  2. The link was received from a page that links to other spam pages, or from a site with undiluted and inorganic link mass.
  3. Sites that sell links in bulk, which does not apply to white SEO.
  4. A site that links to yours has a lot of non-topic links.
  5. More than 50% of traffic from the no-relevant country for you

Search engines can track almost all of these factors and apply filters to sites that lead to low-quality links.

In both cases, the consequences cause great damage – a sharp deterioration in the ranking.

Even website owners who use white SEO techniques are not immune to search engine fines, so I advise you to regularly check the relevants of backlinks.

“A healthy backlink profile is crucial to avoid getting penalised by Google. Now, there are ways to mitigate the penalties, although they can be very harsh and hard to dig yourself out of. Disavowing bad links is a great way of keeping your profile on par with Google’s guidelines.” says Milosz Krasinski, MD at Chilli Fruit Web Consulting.

Dmytro Sokhach, CEO of Editorial. Link, a leading link-building agency according to Clutch, disagrees with Google’s John Mueller, who advises ignoring bad links.

Dmytro recommends using the disavow tool, particularly for new sites with limited good links, as Google’s algorithms are not flawless.

How to Find Toxic Backlinks?

The process of searching and collecting backlinks I will show on the example of the free service Ubersuggest:

1. Complete a simple registration on the site

2. Enter your site in search

This screenshot shows the main page of Neil Patel with spdload.com domain on it

3. Move forward to Tab – Backlinks

The screenshot shows the backlink tab on Neil Patel with spdload.com backlinks on it

4. Export to CSV

This screenshot shows backlinks exporting button

5. Open using the table editor

The screenshot shows the table of source URLs with their metrics

From UberSuggest you immediately export the filtered file.

After finding bad links, you need to get rid of them as quickly as possible.

For SaaS companies, blogger outreach is a fantastic way to enhance online visibility. By connecting with site owners, there’s a great opportunity to expand reach and foster collaborations.

However, you need to understand: there are no exact guarantees that they will respond to your request. Plus it will take you a lot of time.

“I’m always on the lookout about my backlink profile. I take a look at it at least a few times a week to see if I’ve acquired any bad, spammy backlinks inadvertently. Figures show that bad backlinks can hurt your rankings quite a bit. I’ve even implemented a disavow rules function into my original tool to make the process more hassle-free.” says Francois Mommens, CEO and Founder of Linkody

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I recommend using another free tool – Disavow Links Tool.

The procedure is as follows:

1. Create a document in the google drive.

2. Insert there all external links, each of which will begin on a new line.

This image shows the code example

P.s. if you see that from one domain you have 10 or more substandard links, use the – domain: option.

Just put it in front of the domain, and Google will completely close all links from this domain.

3. Save the file in .txt resolution.

4. Open the Disavow Links Tool, click the “Disavow Links” button.

The screenshot shows the "disavow links" button on Google Search Console

5. In the page that opens, click again – Disavow

The screenshot shows the "disavow links" button on Google Search Console

Do not be afraid of this warning.

6. Select a previously created file and click send

The screenshot shows the "disavow links" button on Google Search Console

It is need to clarify that after adding links to Disavow they will not be deleted, but simply will be ignored by the search engines when ranking. But it’s a fine solution.

Ready to Take Your Website to the Next Level?

Following these steps will give you a system to help improve your website’s performance by cleaning out poor-quality links. However, properly auditing and removing toxic connections can be complex.

If tackling this detailed project seems overwhelming, our expert web design team can handle it. We offer comprehensive website analysis and optimization as one of our web development services.

Our digital consultants will thoroughly review your site, identifying any unstable or risky elements that could pose issues. We’ll then make the necessary enhancements and changes to strengthen your website.

Contact us to discuss how we can take your website to the next level.

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