5 Toxic Backlinks to Avoid: Build These Links Instead

Eww! Stop being so Toxic. Are you building toxic backlinks? Well, it’s hurting your site, learn how to avoid them and focus on these highly underrated backlinks instead (infographic included).

Toxic Backlinks

Overwork vector created by studio4rt – www.freepik.com

Avoiding toxic backlinks is one of those lessons that you don’t want to learn by actually building them first. One day your stats are great, and then the next day they’re in the toilet. Build the right type of backlinks so that your website is always experiencing steady growth. 

What are Toxic Backlinks?

All we really need to know about them is what Google thinks, right? According to Google:

Toxic backlinks are low quality links, usually paid for, and used to try to manipulate a web pages search results. In some circumstances, incoming links can affect Google’s opinion of a page or site. For example, you or an SEO that you’ve hired may have built bad links to your site via paid links or other link schemes that violate our quality guidelines. First and foremost, we recommend that you remove as many spammy or low-quality links from the web as possible.

The 5 Most Common Toxic Backlinks Still Being Used in SEO:

1. Spam

Spam comes in many forms, but with backlinks, it is the spammy blog comments that stand out – for all the wrong reasons.

On many websites, the comment section has been removed entirely to avoid bots marketing the latest craze. Unfortunately for you, when your spam blog comment stays up, it lowers your website’s ranking. It also puts you in the same unfortunate company as the same bot that 99% of readers try to avoid. Hiring the Best Link Building Services is the easiest way to avoid building spam backlinks.

2. Private Blog Networks

This one will raise a few eyebrows, and for good reason. A PBNS has the sole purpose to sell links and is made from the ground up to look attractive.

If you look at the surface only, a PBNS uses some hard work to gather interesting resources. It is a collection of websites and blogs, but this interesting content is usually outdated the moment it gets posted. For this reason, it is of no use to someone that wants quality backlinks. This becomes even more troublesome since most PBNS setups require you to be the one to submit the fresh content. At that point, you are basically renting out a small plot of land for gardening in an entire universe. 

3. Directories with No Editorial Control

Lack of editorial control will cause the downfall of a page, even when the content is fresh.

Not all web directories are created equal, so don’t get lazy and fall for a ‘name’ or a ‘brand’. Do the legwork and checkup on a link whenever it is possible. The same type of toxic habits that you try to avoid should never be linked-to to someone else’s content. 

4. Purchased Links

Purchased links were and still are a common practice. But a search engine crackdown has made it more of a hassle for this method to be useful.

A purchased link can tarnish a website’s reputation while keeping it in the bottom feeders of search visibility. This isn’t limited to small up-and-coming websites, as many well-known brands have been struck down for their use of purchased links. And of course, the funniest thing about purchased links is that search engines consider advertising space to be in a completely different (but legitimate) category!

5. Sloppy Footer or Sidebar Links

Placement is everything with backlinks, so don’t stuff them in the footer or sidebar.

This is a sin that many webmasters commit, usually as a way to make use of what they considered unused space. If you want to completely demolish the clean look of your website, then randomly place backlinks in empty spaces. 


How Do You Identify Bad or Toxic Backlinks?

Since the release of the first Penguin update, removing bad backlinks has been a common topic among web masters.

We all know the importance of building relevant, high-quality backlinks. Ever since the dawn of Google, search engines have used backlinks to determine where websites should rank. If a particular website has a significant number of backlinks from automotive-related websites – and many of those links use automotive-related anchor text – then it’s more likely to rank high in the search results for automotive keywords. But what if you encounter a low-quality backlink in your website’s portfolio?

Here’s a quick guide on how to handle ‘Bad’ Backlinks pointing to your site.


1. Identifying Bad Backlinks

You first need to distinguish between a good backlink and a bad backlink. Backlinks created on pages with spam, adult material, automated content, or other “questionable” material are generally considered bad. When conducting an audit of your site’s backlinks, check the pages on which the links are posted. Now, go through and separate these links into two groups: one group for the relevant, high-quality links, and another group for the bad links.


There are plenty of online tools to help you identify bad back links. LinkResearchTools is probably the most referenced, but there are several less costly and equally effective services such as: Linquidator.com

2. Attempt Manual Removal

After separating your backlinks into two groups, contact the websites on which the bad links are posted and ask the webmaster to remove them. Not every website will heed this request, but that’s perfectly fine. As long as you make an honest effort to remove them, you can move through the steps to clean up your site’s backlink portfolio.


3. Google’s Disavow Tool

The next step involves using Google’s disavow tool.

The Mountain View company released this tool a few years back so webmasters could tell Google which backlinks it should ignore. Take your remaining bad links (the ones you couldn’t remove manually) and upload them to the disavow tool.


Note: always disavow at the domain level rather than the direct page url ie:

Google’s Matt Cutts said that if the links are on sites you don’t want to be associated with whatsoever, to go and disavow the site from the domain level (e.g., example.com) rather than that the exact page the link appears on (e.g., example.com/directory/directory/spamlinkpage.html)


More recently, Google’s John Mueller said this about “toxic links” you can ignore them. If you are losing sleep at night over them and it makes you sleep better, you can disavow the links – but you don’t have to – John Mueller said just ignore them and move on. John also stated that “Some link removal tools make assumptions about Google that just aren’t correct.”

Keep in mind that you won’t see any changes immediately. It may take weeks or even months before Google updates its algorithm to reflect your disavowed links. Once updated, however, the links will no longer pose a threat to your site’s search rankings.

Of course, the best way to handle bad backlinks is to avoid creating them in the first place. You should never use automated software or programs to create links. Furthermore, you should never purchase backlinks, no matter how tempting an offer sounds. Focus on creating high-quality content that other users actually want to read and you’ll notice more links pointing to your site.


What Link Building Tactics Should You Focus On?

Google seems to be updating ranking signals on a daily basis; one thing that hasn’t changed is the desire for link building tactics that work.

Well, not to worry, this post is going to cover these 9 highly underrated link building tactics that work amazingly well ~ infographic indcluded.

  1. Interviews
  2. Resource Pages
  3. Partner Links
  4. Haro
  5. Image Links
  6. Profile Links
  7. Linking Out
  8. 2nd Tier
  9. Media Events

Boosting your page’s rankings on Google is vital for your brand: higher rankings can mean getting more traffic on your site, increase lead generation, and the like. One of the most reliable ways to rank well is the use of link building tactics.

Even with the latest changes in the algorithms, many digital marketers continue to rely on popular link building strategies like guest posting, broken link building, and skyscraper technique.

Guest posting involves the creation of original content for blogs or websites of industry thought leaders to earn links and additional traffic for your page. Broken link building is executed by reaching out to webmasters and site owners, offering to replace dead links with your own content with better quality.

Finally, the skyscraper technique is the process of updating and upgrading existing content with new and better-quality backlinks.

The reason these strategies remain popular is due to their ability to produce results consistently. However, because more industries and brands adopting digital marketing practices, site owners and webmasters alike are flooded with similar, templated requests, narrowing the chances of getting proposals accepted.

The best way to stay ahead of your competitors and achieve your marketing goals is to explore underrated link building tactics that are just as effective or even better.

The infographic below discusses some of these lesser-used tactics: interviews, resource pages, partner links, Help- A- Reporter- Out (HARO), image reclamation, profile links, linking out/ego bait, 2nd tier link building, and media events.

These tactics range from beginner to intermediate-level executions and are accompanied by a list of corresponding best practices that maximize the chances of getting precious backlinks. Best of all, these methods can be used alongside more typical strategies to get the most out of your marketing efforts.

Improving your SERP ranking is a necessary step for growing and promoting your business. With the right methods and strategies, you’ll be able to reach your target market better. Take a look at this infographic from www.spiralytics.com to learn more about the different types of links to elevate your link-building strategies.

Play It Smart

A few bad backlinks can easily ruin all of the hard work you put into a website. Be mindful of the content, and make sure to recheck where a link is leading to. Readers depend on your honesty, so don’t misuse their trust with bad website content.