Some Websites use some Black Hat Techniques to rank at the top in SERPs and boost their website traffic. Since the rollout of Google’s Penguin 4.0 real-time algorithm, a number of websites have been affected because of utilizing toxic or unnatural backlinks.
Toxic backlinks are the links that affect the search rankings of a website in a negative manner. For example: If you are using paid links in order to promote your site, it can be an indicator of low-quality or toxic backlinks. Google identifies the toxic links of your website and tells if they have a problem with your links by email through Google Search Console.
How to find toxic backlinks?
There are many ways to identify toxic backlinks.
- In case your website organic traffic level has suddenly gone down, then it a result of toxic backlinks.
- If you find some suspicious links from Russian or Chinese sites are suddenly linking to your website, it can be an indicator of low-quality or unnatural backlinks.
- If you receive a Google Webmaster notification warning related to toxic backlinks of your website.
When this is discovered, look at each of these links and find out where they are coming from.
Usually, they come from:
- Spam websites
- Un-indexed Google websites
- Websites containing viruses
- Pornography websites
- Link networks
If you see such links in your website, make sure that they are removed immediately.
Why is it important to remove toxic backlinks?
Toxic links can negatively impact the SERP rankings of your website and you will receive a Penguin penalty because Google doesn’t trust those links. So, it is important for website owners to follow Effective SEO Techniques and to perform regular SEO audits to remove toxic backlinks from your site.
Even if your site is not affected by toxic links, it is recommended you go through each of your backlinks manually to delete all the negative links.
How to Remove Toxic Backlinks?
Once you identify and separate bad links from the good ones, you need to clean up your website. Here is what to do:
- Request the Website Owner
There may be some external links that are linking to your site, which you are unable to delete. So, Contact the webmaster and ask him to remove the link. If you are still not able to remove bad links, go to the next step.
- Disavow Links
If you are unable to remove the toxic links from your website, you can make use of the Disavow tool. This tool will identify the spammy links and determine the page rank of your website. Remember, disavowing backlinks doesn’t help you from Penguin Penalty. You should perform regular SEO Tactics to remove toxic link manually.
- Deleting the website:
If your website is new but you have many toxic backlinks, then it is better to delete your website and begin afresh.
After the removal of Toxic Backlinks
Once you removed all the negative links from your site, you must file a reconsideration request with Google. In your request, you need to:
- Admit your mistake by having toxic backlinks
- Explain the steps you took to rectify the problem
- Assure that you will adhere to best SEO techniques only.
However, Google will take two to three weeks to respond to your submission. Performing a backlink audit is the best way to eliminate toxic backlinks but worth the efforts. Also, it is a safe approach to hire the best SEO company, which adheres to ethical SEO and is updated about the best practices.
Don’t build links that can harm your website traffic. Use Webmaster tools like MajesticSEO, SEOmoz or Ahrefs to identify bad links and to remove them before Google takes action and penalizes your site.