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How to Identify and Remove Bad Backlinks That Kill Your Rankings


Bad backlinks can mean big trouble for website publishers. Poor quality backlinks can ruin a website’s ranking, since they indicate to Google that a website may have low quality content. What should you do if the damage has already been done, and you’ve got dozens or more bad backlinks pointing to your website?


The first step is to differentiate between good backlinks and bad backlinks. When we talk about bad backlinks, we’re usually referring to links coming from websites that are purely set up for SEO purposes, with low quality articles that were clearly designed for the purpose of linking to other websites. Bad backlinks also include links coming from the comments sections of other websites, links with over-optimized anchor texts, links with duplicate texts, and links coming from foreign websites. 


Other examples of unnatural links, or bad links, are those that come from the following sources:


  • Link networks 
  • Blogrolls 
  • Forums
  • Profile links and signatures 
  • Footer links 
  • Web and article directory links 


To remove bad backlinks, follow these steps:


Step 1: Locate the contact details of the website owner and politely ask the webmaster to remove the bad backlinks.


Step 2: If you’ve noticed that certain low quality pages on your website are linked by bad backlinks, then you can remove those pages altogether.


Step 3: If you discover a large number of bad backlinks pointing to your website, you can “disavow” those links. When you disavow a backlink, you’re telling Google that you do not want that link to be taken into account when determining your ranking. 


If you have completed these steps and you’re still not seeing the results you were hoping for, it might be time to call in a company like SOCi for support.


To learn more about backlinking, read Why Backlinks Are an Important Part of Local SEO.


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