How to recognize Healthy and Toxic Backlinks?

July 23, 2015

If suddenly your good Google ranking has disappeared, one of the things you can look into is your links.  There’s probably something wrong there, and that could be a result of Google’s penalty.  The popular search engine hates toxic backlinks. Generally, backlinks are links that are intended to influence page ranking or search engines.  These links may be connecting to your site or connecting your website to other sites.

Healthy Backlinks vs. Toxic Backlinks

If a backlink is seen to be attempting to improve your website’s traffic in an unnatural way, Google, along with other search engines that have the same check system, will label it as toxic. Google is not being harsh or playing favorites when deciding to put one on the red or giving a high ranking for a certain website.  It is just that there are rules to follow and that Google sticks to the guidelines it has set for everyone to pursue.

Is It Your Fault?

It can happen that you are not entirely responsible for the presence of the obnoxious links in your site.  Some owners point to the possibility that someone else, like an SEO agency with which they have some dealings, could have done it on their websites.

Or, there is also the possibility of you having enjoyed the links provided by comments and bloggers for many years, knowing all along the associated sites have good authority and are well-managed.  But many things can happen in the web in a month or even in an hour.  These external links and the websites they are associated with may themselves have been corrupted by hundreds of spammy links and sites over the years.

Identifying Healthy and Toxic Backlinks

Google is fair to everyone, wanting all users to get relevant and useful information.  You have to check the links if they are relevant enough to the product and the theme of your business. Secondly, Google counts the toxic backlinks and the healthy ones.  If in a website the number of bad ones supersedes that of the good ones, it’s time for it to penalize the site.

What Can Be Done

You can try treatment steps without spending a single dollar:

  • First, log in as webmaster with the purpose of “disavowing links”.  If you can, contact the spammy sites and ask them to remove their dirty links on your website.  If they confirm they would, good.  If not, then proceed with the disavowing procedure.
  • Majestic and OSE can do a backlink analysis.  Put all the suspect links into one sheet and then go through them manually. The kind of anchor text and URL can easily show which links are problematic.
  • Use free backlink software, because they can do a faster job of removing offending links.  They can quickly identify the links that are no longer recognized by Google and perform scraping of pages to determine commercial keyword terms.

For best results, employ both manual and automatic clean-up.  There are things that manual checks can effectively do that software can’t do and vice versa.  Remember that Google penalizes manually which means they prefer manual checking over automatic checking.

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