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How To Check & Remove Toxic Backlinks


1. Toxic Backlinks Are From Spammy Sites

Most people are smart enough to know a Nigerian prince doesn’t really want to give them $10 million, but are you just as smart when it comes to noticing spammy backlinks?

There are entire websites dedicated to selling illegal or irrelevant products and these sites are usually packed to the gills with spammy backlinks, sometimes to your site.

Not only are these annoying, but they can be downright harmful to your website.

And it’s not because you don’t want them associated with your brand – if you have too many backlinks from spam sites, search engines can penalize you, even though you may be completely innocent of any wrongdoing.

In fact, many times you may not even know that spammy sites have linked to your website.

So, it’s important to always be on the lookout for spammy, bad backlinks.

2. Paid Link Mills Often Produce Toxic Backlinks

Betalt link schemes have been around almost as long as search engines, from the first time someone realized backlinks contribute to rankings.

The way paid link schemes work is straightforward: länkar are sold either alone or as part of a package, to provide backlinks to site owners looking for a quick way to shoot up the rankings.

But search engines are aware of this tactic.

They don’t want top search engine results to just go to whoever bought the most backlinks, so these link exchanges are explicitly against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

As soon as search engines discover a new link mill, they start applying a penalty to sites using it.

3. Toxic Backlinks Can Come From Forum Or Blog Comment Links (Particularly Foreign Ones)

Let us start by stating: not all forum länkar are bad.

Those from quality sites with established users and with related content are beneficial.

However, like link mills, if you have hundreds of low-quality länkar coming in from foreign discussion forums, you’ll want to disavow them before they damage the ranking you’re working so hard to build.

4. Toxic Backlinks Are Sometimes Hidden

Possibly the very first black hat SEO tactic developed, unscrupulous webmasters are still trying to flimflam search engines with hidden backlinks, which are exactly what they sound like.

By using text manipulation, background colors, or other means, backlinks are hidden from users and search engines.

This is a clear violation of Google’s policies.

It’s important to make sure any länkar back to your site are clear, visible, and within Google’s policies.

5. Paid Or Sponsored Links That Pass PageRank Are Toxic

Another backlinking no-no is passing PageRank to the buyer of the ad.

While buying or selling pay-per-click ads is a perfectly legitimate practice, Google frowns upon länkar that are paid for, rather than organic.

You should always use qualifying attributes (e.g. rel=”sponsored”) to identify these länkar and avoid being penalized.

Make sure you’re validating link attributes to stay within Google’s policies.

How To Check & Remove Toxic Backlinks

So, we’ve got it all figured out now: safe backlinks are good, toxic backlinks are bad. But now what?

What’s the best way to check your länkar and clear out the ones that are harmful?

You could spend hours combing through every page of your Google Analytics account, identifying, visiting, and checking every individual link.

Or you could do it the easy way, with WebCEO Toxic Link Checker.

The most powerful and reliable spam link checker in the SEO sphere, WebCEO is integrated with Majestic, the largest link index database in the industry, which gives us access to data from over 2,371,111,956,878 URLs, with more being added daily.

It’s easy to use:

1. Quickly See All Of Your Backlinks: Analyze Your Backlink Profile At A Glance

Once you sign up for WebCEO, you’ll get a full list of domains linking to your website in a Linking Domains report.

The WebCEO Bakåtlänk Checker helps you quickly determine how many backlinks are pointing at your website, identify common anchor texts, check the diversity and authority of linking domains, and view the ratio of toxic/non-toxic länkar.

Screenshot from WebCEO, February 2022

2. Easily Discover Good Vs. Toxic Backlinks: Identify The Quality

WebCEO’s Toxic Pages report makes it easy to determine which backlinks are helping your search credibility – and which are having the opposite effect.

You can evaluate each bakåtlänk individually using analysis metrics like anchor texts, Domain Trust Flow, Domain Citation Flow, Alexa Traffic Rank to determine which links to keep.

How To Check & Remove Toxic BacklinksScreenshot from WebCEO, February 2022

3. Instantly See Harmful Links: Which Links Are Causing Your Site To Lose Rankings?

With a proprietary toxicity formula, which can be fine-tuned to your needs, WebCEO helps you spot bad links so you can disavow them and eliminate the negative impact they have on your ranking.

How To Check & Remove Toxic BacklinksScreenshot from WebCEO, February 2022

4. Remove Toxic Links & Stop Them From Harming Your Site: Disavow With Ease

It has never been easier to create, import, and export disavow.txt files.

WebCEO has integrated functionality, allowing you to do it with just a few clicks.

How To Check & Remove Toxic BacklinksScreenshot from WebCEO, February 2022

5. Get Alerts When New Toxic Backlinks Show Up: Schedule Automated Scanning & Set Alerts

Once you’ve cleaned all those pesky bad backlinks, you want to make sure they don’t reappear.

And if they do, you should be ready to disavow them.

WebCEO has an automatic toxic link alert feature that can alert you when new links to your website are discovered.

How To Check & Remove Toxic BacklinksScreenshot from WebCEO, February 2022

You can set WebCEO to automatically scan websites you want to monitor.

You can also set email alerts to tasks, so you’ll know about changes immediately.

Between managing your website and staying on top of changing SEO algorithms, you have enough to do.

Take backlink evaluation and toxic link removal off your to-do list and try out WebCEO’s Backlink Checker. Sign up now and try it free for 14 days.





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Links Have Less Impact Today Than In The Past

I en Google SEO office hours video, a Googler answered a question about backlinks and rankings and offered the interesting fact that backlinks have less impact as a ranking signal than it used to in the past.

Backlinks Ranking Signal

Länkar and anchor text signals made Google a better search engine than the competition when it was first introduced.

SEO used to primarily be about optimizing titles, headings, and content with keywords.

After Google became important it was realized that länkar were the key to better rankings.

Whole industries rose to service the need for länkar, such as web directories and link selling brokers.

Olika länkbygge techniques also came to be such as reciprocal linking, comment spam, forum spam and so on.

Google largely lost the war against link spam. The turning point was 2012 with the introduction of the Penguin algorithm, as well as other updates to Google’s infrastructure (Hummingbird) which allowed Google to do increasingly massive amounts of link related ranking functions.

Today we are at a point where Google is able to rank länkar in such a way that low quality länkar are discarded.

Länkar continue to be an important ranking factor but it has been a mystery as to how much impact länkar have today.

John Mueller speculated recently den där länkar may begin playing a decreasing role in ranking, saying:

“…it’s something where I imagine, over time, the weight on the länkar at some point will drop off a little bit as we can figure out a little bit better how the content fits in within the context of the whole web.”

Backlinks Have Less Impact Today

It is interesting to hear a Googler say that links have less impact today because it was understood that the reduction in importance was something in the future.

But perhaps the key point to keep in mind is that the strength of the link signal is being compared to when Google first started.

The remark about links came about from a question about why Google still uses backlinks and if link building campaigns are not allowed.

This is the question:

“Why does Google keep using backlinks as a ranking factor if link building campaigns are not allowed?

Why can’t Google find other ranking factors that can’t be easily manipulated like backlinks?”

Google’s answer:

“There are several things to unpack here.

First, backlinks as a signal has a lot less significant impact compared to when Google Search first started out many years ago.

We have robust ranking signals, hundreds of them, to make sure that we are able to rank the most relevant and useful results for all queries.”

That is definitely true, links have a lot less impact today than when Google first started, mainly because less kinds of links (like directory links, paid links) have the ability to impact search rankings.

It’s unclear if the Googler was making a reference to more than just the kinds of links that still have an impact.

The Googler continued:

“Second, full link building campaigns, which are essentially link spam according to our spam policy.

We have many algorithms capable of detecting unnatural links at scale and nullify them.

This means that spammers or SEOs spending money on links truly have no way of knowing if the money they spent on link building is actually worth it or not, since it’s really likely that they’re just wasting money building all these spammy links and they were already nullified by our systems as soon as we see them.”

Links and Site Promotion Are Still Important

Links have a function that goes beyond just ranking. Google discovers webpages through links.

Google’s own documentation not only cites links as how Google discovers web pages, it encourages publishers to promote their sites.

The documentation says:

“Google also finds pages through links from other pages. Learn how to encourage people to discover your site by Promoting your site.

…Chances are, there are a number of sites that cover topic areas similar to yours. Opening up communication with these sites is usually beneficial. Hot topics in your niche or community could spark additional ideas for content or building a good community resource.”

The quantity of links pointing to a site still indicates how important a site is.

The linking patterns that are created from natural links helps Google to understand what a site is about as well through the resulting link graph.

Follow Up Questions

The Googlers statements seem to require follow up questions.

  • Did the Googler mean that links that Google uses for ranking have less impact than in the past?
  • What about link building campaigns that are centered on telling others about a site and asking for a link, are those considered spam?
  • When the Googler referenced “link building campaigns” were they talking about campaigns to pay for guest posts or link insertions into existing articles?

The answers given are good starting points but this new format for the Google office hours is not conducted live.

That means there is no way to ask follow up questions, which makes some of the answers less useful.

Citat

Utvald bild av Shutterstock/Asier Romero

Listen to the Google Office Hours at the 6:08 minute mark



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