How To Check & Remove Toxic Backlinks

You have done everything the right way for your website to be found by the search engines.

You’ve created relevant, keyword-rich content, added the right metadata, and made sure your layout is optimized for crawling by search engine spiders.

You should be at the top of the search engine results – but you’re not.

What’s going on?

Believe it or not, your backlinks may be working against you.

The good news is that you can Do an analysis of your backlinks to find the bad ones This may lower your website rankings.

In this article, we will cover:

  • Basics of backlinks.
  • How backlinks can help and hurt your SEO rankings.
  • Ways you can identify and remove toxic backlinks with WebCEO.

Let’s start at the beginning and take a closer look at backlinks, how they work, and how they affect your SEO rankings.

What are backlinks?

Backlinks, also referred to as inbound links or inbound links, are links between one website and another.

Search engines such as Google and Bing treat it as a vote of confidence from the referring site.

In other words, the more websites link to a particular page, the more confidence the search engine has in the quality of that page’s content, which in turn plays a major role in determining where your site ranks.

This makes backlinks a vital part of your off-site SEO practices.

Link building is so important, in fact, that there is a specific type of SEO professional known as a link builder.

Link builders spend their entire workday building and maintaining backlinks to increase traffic and boost page results.

Not all backlinks are created equal

You don’t think every incoming link was as good as the next, do you?

Of course not, you are a professional SEO specialist.

And you already know that some backlinks are more valuable than others – and not just because of the traffic they send to your website.

Since we know that link quality can vary, it’s time to dig more into what separates a good or “safe” link from a bad or “toxic” link.

What are good backlinks?

Quite simply, good or “safe” backlinks help your search engine ranking.

Search engines keep the exact details of what makes a quality link secret, but good backlinks tend to share the following traits:

1. Good backlinks are from trusted sites

Backlinks from popular and trustworthy sites are very useful for boosting your search engine rankings.

This concept is known as “domain authority,” and sites with a high level of authority can pass that “juice” onto your site.

On the other hand, bad backlinks from low authority spam sites can have the opposite effect.

Think of it this way, what do you trust more, a link from the Wall Street Journal or one from a site advertising off-brand Chinese prescription medicines?

Search engines feel the same way.

2. Good Backlinks Use specific anchor texts with your target keyword

An anchor text is the word or phrase that users click on to visit a linked URL. (For example, “anchoring text” in the previous sentence.)

Short anchor text using your target keyword is associated with higher rankings because it gives search engines a better idea of ​​what kind of content is on the linked page.

3. Good backlinks are from sites that link to the content of your page

Because Google searches for related content that provides complementary information, the search engine rates links from related sites over those from unrelated sites.

This helps ensure that inquiries are answered with useful content, rather than random links from sites with no clear connection.

So, while the One Direction fan page may be a must-visit for fans of Harry Styles, linking to the used car dealership’s website does you no good.

And in fact, they may raise red flags and hurt your rankings. But more on that later.

4. Good backlinks are Dofollow links

Make sure to mark any good, relevant backlinks to your site as “dofollow” links.

Search engine spiders “dofollow” links from one site to another.

These are the normal links you are used to.

Conversely, search engines ignore nofollow links, or those that contain explicit instructions for crawlers to pass them on.

These nofollow links are commonly found on things like press release pages and paid ads and are not considered when determining your ranking.

This does not mean that nofollow links are worthless. Just being mentioned on a quality website can give your brand a huge boost.

However, this nofollow link will not boost your ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs).

Nofollow links are basically the digital equivalent of Kylie Jenner tweeting that she loves your jeans.

But for SEO purposes, they don’t do you much good.

So, wherever possible, target dofollow links.

We’ve covered what good backlinks look like, now it’s time to examine the other side: bad backlinks.

What are toxic backlinks?

As you might expect, toxic backlinks are the ones that damage your website’s reputation in the eyes of Google.

Many of these types of links have their origin in black hat SEO tactics, which are unethical attempts to manipulate the search engine algorithm to gain higher rankings.

To combat this SEO fraud, Google penalizes sites caught using these black hat methods.

Screenshot from Google Search Console, February 2022

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