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how to get rid of bad backlinks

How To Get Rid Of Bad Backlinks


In the intricate world of SEO (Search Engine Optimization), backlinks are crucial in determining a website's ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs). However, not all backlinks are created equal. While high-quality backlinks can boost your website's authority and visibility, learning how to get rid of bad backlinks becomes more critical.


Join seobase as we explore the intricacies of bad backlinks and provide a step-by-step approach to how to get rid of bad backlinks effectively.


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What are Bad Backlinks?

Now, before we learn how to get rid of bad backlinks, let's cover the basics.

Bad backlinks, also known as toxic or spammy, are links from low-quality or irrelevant websites that point to your site. These links can originate from various sources, including:

Link farms

These are websites or web pages created solely to host links and manipulate search engine rankings. Link farms typically have no valuable content and exist solely to inflate the backlink count of other websites artificially.

Irrelevant directories

Some directories may accept submissions from any website without regard for relevance or quality. Links from these directories can be considered spammy, especially if the directory needs to be curated and contains unrelated websites.

Spammy forums and comments

Links in forum posts, blog comments, or guestbook entries on low-quality or spammy websites can be considered bad backlinks. These links are often irrelevant to the discussion or content of the website and are posted solely for link building.

Paid links

Purchasing links from websites solely to improve search engine rankings violates Google's guidelines and can result in penalties. Paid links are manipulative and can harm your website's credibility and ranking.

Malicious websites

Links from websites hosting malware, phishing scams, or other malicious content can also be considered bad backlinks. Associating with such websites can harm your website's reputation and may even lead to security issues for your visitors.


Read: Why Backlink Quality Matters To Your SEO?

bad backlinks

Here's How Bad Backlinks Impact Your SEO 

Learning how to get rid of bad backlinks  is crucial mainly because these links can significantly hinder your website's SEO efforts in multiple ways:

Decreased ranking

When search engines like Google detect a high volume of bad backlinks pointing to your site, they may penalize it by lowering its ranking in search results. Not knowing how to get rid of bad backlinks decreases your website visibility and makes it harder for potential visitors to find you.

Loss of credibility

Backlinks from spammy or irrelevant websites can tarnish your website's credibility and authority. Users are less likely to trust a site associated with low-quality sources, leading to declining organic traffic and engagement.

Manual penalties

Not learning how to get rid of bad backlinks may result in manual penalties from search engines like Google. These penalties can severely impact your site's ranking and require extensive efforts to identify and remove the offending backlinks.

Algorithmic penalties

Even without manual intervention, search engine algorithms can identify and penalize websites with unnatural or spammy backlink profiles. Not knowing how to get rid of bad backlinks can decrease ranking and visibility in search results, affecting organic traffic and conversions.

Traffic decline

Due to lower rankings and credibility, websites with bad backlinks often experience a decline in organic traffic. This traffic reduction limits the reach of your content and negatively impacts revenue and leads.

Ways to Identify Bad Backlinks

Before learning how to get rid of bad backlinks, it's essential to identify them accurately. Here are some  of the best methods to  know about:

Use SEO tools

While learning how to get rid of bad backlinks, utilize SEO tools such as seobase Backlink Checker. These tools provide insights into your website's backlink profile, including the domains linking to your site, anchor text used, and the authority of linking domains. Look for patterns of low-quality or irrelevant websites linking to your site.

Evaluate link quality

Assess the quality of each backlink by considering factors such as domain authority, relevance to your website's niche, anchor text diversity, and the link's context. Low-quality backlinks often come from websites with low authority, unrelated content, or suspicious anchor text.

Monitor referral traffic

While learning how to get rid of bad backlinks, keep track of your website's referral traffic to identify sources sending irrelevant or suspicious traffic. Analyze the quality of traffic from different referral sources and investigate if you notice a significant amount of traffic from low-quality websites.

Check Google Search Console

Google Search Console provides valuable data on your website's backlinks and can help you identify potentially harmful links. Navigate to the "Links" section to view a list of external links pointing to your site. Look for any links from spammy or irrelevant websites and take appropriate action.

Manual review

While exploring how to get rid of bad backlinks, conduct a manual review of your backlink profile to identify links that appear unnatural or suspicious. Look for patterns such as a sudden increase in backlinks, links from unrelated websites, or links with spammy anchor text.

Monitor anchor text distribution

Analyze the distribution of anchor text used in backlinks pointing to your site. Natural backlink profiles typically have a diverse range of anchor text, including branded terms, generic phrases, and variations of keywords. Over-optimizing anchor text with exact-match keywords may indicate manipulative link-building tactics.

Check for link velocity

While learning how to get rid of bad backlinks, monitor the rate at which new backlinks are acquired over time. A sudden backlink spike can be a red flag for unnatural link-building activity. Similarly, a significant drop in backlinks may indicate that Google has devalued or penalized certain links.


Read: Quick Guide To Backlink Quality Evaluation

backlink profile

How to Get Rid of Bad Backlinks

Once you've identified the bad backlinks pointing to your website, it's time to take action to remove them. Follow these steps to remove bad backlinks effectively:

Contact webmasters

Reach out to the web admins of the websites hosting the bad backlinks and request removal. While learning how to get rid of bad backlinks, look for contact information on the website or use WHOIS lookup tools to find contact details. Send an email explaining the situation and requesting the removal of the backlink. Provide specific information, including the URL of the linking page and the anchor text used.

Utilize Google's Disavow Tool

For backlinks you can't get removed manually, use Google's Disavow Tool to instruct the search engine to ignore those links when assessing your website's ranking. Create a text file listing the URLs of the bad backlinks you want to disavow and submit it through Google Search Console. However, exercise caution when using this tool and disavow links as a last resort.

Monitor progress

While learning how to get rid of bad backlinks, regularly monitor your backlink profile to track the progress of your removal efforts. Use SEO tools to verify if the bad backlinks have been successfully removed or disavowed. This process may take time, so be patient and monitor your backlink profile.

Document your efforts

Keep a record of all your communication with web admins, including emails sent, responses received, and actions taken. This documentation can be helpful if you need to prove to Google that you've made efforts to remove bad backlinks manually in case of a manual penalty.


Read: Getting Backlinks: Best Practices and Pitfalls To Avoid

Prevent Future Bad Backlinks

In addition to exploring how to get rid of bad backlinks, it's crucial to implement strategies to prevent their recurrence in the future:

Quality content creation

Focus on creating high-quality, valuable content that naturally attracts backlinks from authoritative and relevant websites. Quality content is more likely to be shared and linked to by other websites, reducing the need for manipulative link-building tactics.

Natural link building

While exploring how to get rid of bad backlinks, emphasize natural link-building techniques such as guest blogging, influencer outreach, and content partnerships. Build relationships with other website owners and industry influencers to earn genuine backlinks through collaborations and mentions.

Vet linking opportunities

Be selective when considering linking opportunities and carefully vet websites before agreeing to backlink exchanges or collaborations. Avoid websites with low authority, irrelevant content, or suspicious link-building practices.

Use no-follow attributes

While learning how to get rid of bad backlinks, use the rel="nofollow" attribute for links you don't want to pass link equity. This includes user-generated content like comments, forum posts, and sponsored content or advertisements. No-follow attributes signal to search engines that the linked content shouldn't be considered an endorsement.

Regular backlink audits

Conduct regular audits of your website's backlink profile to promptly identify and address any new bad backlinks. Use SEO tools to analyze the quality and relevance of backlinks and take appropriate action to remove or disavow toxic links.


Read: 13 Awesome Backlink Ideas to Solve Your Ranking in the Search Engines

backlink analysis


Recovering from bad backlinks requires a systematic approach that involves identifying, removing, and preventing the recurrence of these detrimental links. 


By following this guide on how to get rid of bad backlinks and prioritizing the acquisition of high-quality backlinks, you can safeguard your website's credibility, visibility, and ranking in search engine results. Remember, proactive management of your backlink profile is essential for maintaining a strong and healthy online presence.


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