- Backlinks play a crucial role when it comes to SEO. A backlink gets created when another site links to your website. However, the site that gets linked should belong to the same genre for efficient and optimal results. For example, if a brand finds that your blog post might help their customers, they might request a link to it. This could prove to be credible in the eyes of the search engines. Thus search engines rank the website higher.
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- Search engines see backlinks on a page and consider it as a credible website. The more backlinks on a website make the search engine consider the content as valuable. If various websites link back to your website, search engines would more likely bring up the content you have provided in search results. This would improve your website ranking. When it comes to off-site SEO, earning backlinks is important. However, all backlinks that are made might not be straightforward. There might be some good links, great links and some other toxic links. The presence of too many toxic backlinks would eventually harm your website ranking on search engine results.
- Incoming links, in some circumstances, might affect the search engine’s opinion of a page or a website. There could be chances that the search engine optimisation team you might have hired previously might have built bad links via paid links for quicker results or might have done something that might violate the search engine’s policies and guidelines. The primary thing you should do is to take action by removing the maximum amount of spammy links from the website.
Factors that Make a Backlink Toxic
- Low Domain Trust Score:- This score is given based on the number of backlinks a website gains from the trusted domains to the domains that provide the backlink. If there is a low rank, it means that the website domain score might be inflated artificially.
- Mirrored Pages:- If you could find similar pages on different websites that are linking you from the same hour text, then search engines would see this as a link building scheme.
- Page Layout:- The linking page would be considered as the one with poor quality if the ratio of visible text to HTML is low.
Impact of Bad Links
If the website gets penalised, it would drastically reduce the page rank by decreasing the chances of finding your content. If the penalty is too bad then the website might even be removed from the search index! Manual link reviews and penalties night get triggered by:-
- Spam report from competitors
- The algorithmic activity of search engines (Unusual activity triggers manual review)
- The brand belongs to the niche where the activity is constantly monitored by the spam team of search engines
Fixing Toxic Backlinks
- You could address this issue by implementing many ways. You could either reach out to the administrator of the website or ask for the link to be removed. If the link seems to be valid and the penalty was manually activated, you could request a review. If that backlink doesn’t seem to be of much importance, you might as well remove the backlink to avoid further complications for the website.
- The major thing you should check constantly is that the backlinks to the website are of high quality and follow the rules of search engines. This is an essential aspect of website management when it comes to SEO. Perform website audits at regular intervals to identify spam links and eliminate them from time to time to avoid any penalties from search engines.
Toxic Link Building Tactics You Could Avoid
- It is essential to know well about the link building tactics that might lead you to toxic backlinks. However, find out how to stay away from the practice of toxic backlink building and the link building tactics you should avoid practising.
- Paid Links:- This should be a big “no-no”. When you are exchanging money to obtain links, you are ending up violating the guidelines of most credible search engines. This would, however, also include paying sponsorship fees for guest posts, providing products or services for free in exchange for a link and so on. If you have paid for a link, then it is not placed editorially. It is a huge no if you look from the SEO perspective. However, if you make use of sponsored content for reasons like earning referral traffic or so (other than link building purposes), you should do so with full transparency and with the help of an expert in link building. However, you should also avoid the links being identified as unnatural.
- Exact Match Anchor Text Links:- The links that make use of exact match anchor text might be toxic, regardless of the source. Most people don’t naturally link to an apparel store by making use of a link text ‘get cheap apparel’. They are far more likely to use the link with the help of a brand name or domain. If the keyword-rich anchor text is used heavily, it is a red flag that you might be paying for links or they might not be editorially placed. If you influence the anchor text that would be used as an exact match to the keywords to rank a page, the links would be unnatural.
- Private Blog Networks:- PBN or a private blog network is a black hat link building technique that involves maintaining and building a collection of websites that would mainly be used to serve the purpose of adding links to other websites. They are mainly developed from expired domains that are repurposed. The majority do the black hat SEO providers would argue that a private blog network would never be discovered by a search engine. The issue might be that many could be easily spotted by experienced SEOs and search engines even when they look to be natural to usual web users.