Spammy Links

How Spammy Backlinks Can Affect Your Rankings And Authority

You all must have heard the saying that “A dirty fish pollutes the entire pond”, well this saying holds true in real life and on your online efforts as well. 

We say this because to rank your website higher on SERP results it becomes crucial that you have the best content, keywords and backlinks. Also according to Databox, backlinks are the third most important factor to rank your website.

And when you make bad backlinks it severely affects your website ranking and authority. This makes it very important that you make the right backlinks so your website ranks higher in search results. 

But before you make quality backlinks you’ll need to have a better understanding of what backlinks are, what makes them bad and how you can remove them. We will discuss all these things in this article. 

So let’s start

Backlinks can be simply understood as a link developed when one business links its website to yours. They are often known as inbound or incoming links. 

For example, you write an article about best digital marketing practices and link to another blog which talks about best digital marketing tools. This link produced whilst doing so is known as a Backlink. 

what are backlinks

Now you might wonder how a backlink can impact your website. But before we talk about the impact of having a backlink on your website it’s important that you first understand the difference between good and toxic backlinks.

A good quality backlink is one that helps you improve your search ranking wherein spam links bring your website ranking lower in SERP results. 

good and bad backlinks

Apart from that, they both have different traits 

Good BacklinksSpammy Backlinks
They are from high authority sitesThey are from low authority sites
They have the right anchor text with the right keywordThey come in form of blog comments or forum 
They are from websites related to your business or your contentThey can be hidden sometimes
They are do follow linksThey are generally paid or sponsored links
Good vs Spam backlink

Now that you understand both good and spam backlinks it’s time to address how having backlinks can impact your website. 

Consider the analogy of hiring a candidate based on a reference as the best way to understand the impact of backlinks on your website. 

When you hire a new employee you are likely to prefer the one who has a good recommendation. The same goes for backlinks.

Acquiring backlinks from high authority websites boosts your website’s reputation with search engines, just like the candidate who came with a reference.

On the other hand, no-follow backlinks do not pass on the authority of the site from which they are derived, they are significantly easier to obtain and take less work. 

So make sure you acquire good do-follow backlinks all while maintaining a safe distance from spammy backlinks. Because if you get bad backlinks on your website all your efforts will be in vain. 

It’s important that before you label something as good or bad you should have some criteria to compare with. And when it comes to toxic backlinks there are some criteria that you should keep an eye out for when you label them as toxic backlinks

  1. The website has a low domain authority and trust score. This implies that Google and people don’t trust this website.
  2. The trust metrics of the website you are getting a backlink from are low. You can use different tools to measure the trust metric
  3.  The anchor text to your website link is being manipulated meaning the right keyword is missing.

You can measure all these parameters by using the ahref backlink tool. Now that you know about how you can measure toxic or spammy backlinks, it’s time to learn how they turn toxic.

It’s fairly easy to understand why a backlink that you might have built for your website can turn toxic over time. It can be because the website you were getting a link from now has a low authority or maybe cater to some different business than yours. 

All this can turn a good backlink into a bad one. Another thing that makes a backlink bad is that if you buy backlinks. Many website owners try this which is a bad market practice and even against the Google Webmaster rules and can lead to severe penalties.

toxic and spammy backlinks

Another thing that makes a bad backlink is the practice of making your backlink hidden. People try to hide the backlink behind some colours or some text which is against the policies and could lead to penalties. 

Now that you know how a backlink can turn toxic and spammy it’s time you remove it from your website by redefining your link-building strategies. 

To take out spammy backlinks, you’ll have to do a backlink audit to discover which will help you discover the bad backlinks. And if you plan on removing every link manually then it is going to take a very long time.

To save your time and effort we will tell you about a procedure that you can follow to remove bad SEO backlinks. 

Step 1 – Gather information about all the backlinks you are getting from different websites. You can use tools like Google Search Console although make sure you have connected with your Google Analytics

After this press “search traffic” on the search console and then click on “link to your website”. You will see a ”who links the most” section click on it and from here you’ll get a list of all the websites that link to your website.

Step 2 – After you have the entire list of backlinks you get from other websites it’s time you pick out the bad fish. Here you’ll have to audit each and every backlink and see for yourself whether it’s a good or bad backlink. 

To know this you should put the link to the test and see whether it has all the traits of a good link or a bad link. If it falls on the good side then keep it and if not then it’s time you take action on this. 

Step 3 – Now that you have refined the data and knowledge about the spammy backlinks it’s time to remove them. You can reach out to the owners of these websites and ask them to remove these backlinks. Also, you can send a backlink removal request to the webmaster if you are not able to reach the owner of any particular website.

Step 4 – It’s a long process to get bad backlinks removed because there are many people who send removal requests to the webmaster. That’s why it’s important you track your request and if you don’t hear from them in five to seven days then send them a follow-up mail.

Early it was easy for people to rank their website high on the SERP result but now it has become difficult. 

It’s because earlier people used manipulative connections, and they had a considerable influence on a website’s rankings. But Google’s algorithms have developed dramatically in recent years, as have its attempts to tackle web spam. 

With this in mind, it is critical for site owners to be aware of the SEO hazards connected with spammy backlinks and to make frequent efforts to remove them from their sites.

Because if you miss out on this it could lead to some serious implications like

1. Manual Action and Penalty

The worst consequence of bad backlinks is manual action. This occurs when Google evaluates your website’s links and determines that they violate quality policy requirements. 

manual google penalty

Manual actions nearly always result in a worse rating for the impacted page or website than it would otherwise have. And as part of this Google can also remove the page or the entire website from its index. 

To check your manual penalties (if any) you should follow these steps

  • Go to Google Search Console
  • Click on “Security action” 
  • Click on “Manual actions”
  • If you see any issue on this page then resolve them ASAP

2. No recognition by Google

Google’s algorithm is getting better each passing day at detecting low-quality or spammy links. Meaning if you have bad backlinks you can’t get away with that and also with all these updates they are now just ineffective. 

Also, Google doesn’t recognize them as a viable factor for website ranking and the more bad links you have on your website the more likely you are to face a manual penalty. 

Even if you don’t receive a manual punishment, you’ll be wasting your time because these links are worthless

There are several kinds of backlinks that you can utilize to rank your page higher in search results. And here are some backlinks that are very beneficial for your website or blog. 

  1. Editorial backlinks

These SEO backlinks are the hardest to get because you get these links when someone naturally links to your website. This means your content has to be highly relevant and engaging. 

And to get these links you should aim to make your content evergreen meaning it doesn’t have to be updated for a long time. Another great trick is to generate creative content like infographics, webinars, case studies etc which get the audience moving when they consume your content.   

  1. Acknowledgement backlinks

Such backlinks are a great source of gaining customer trust which is very beneficial for your SEO. These backlinks are given to your website/work when you speak at a certain event and they acknowledge your work by sharing your website’s link. 

To get such backlinks you should take advantage of social events like webinars, podcasts, interviews, etc. This way, you build relationships with your industry peers as well as acquire safe, and high-authority backlinks.

  1. Social media backlinks

People around the globe access social media and promoting your content on these channels is a great way to increase your business brand awareness. Also, getting these backlinks is quite easy but these backlinks have a no-follow attribute which means Google will not crawl the website. 

That’s why social media posts need to be selectively indexed. It’s good news that it’s good to have a blend of follow and no follow backlinks. Also, you get more shares from social media if your content gets more traction, which results in more users linking to your great content.

  1. Guest blog backlinks

This backlink is the most commonly gathered backlink. Also, these backlinks are the best way to rank your website higher and up your SEO game. We say this because when you do a guest post and get a backlink you get a high-quality backlink from your niche, get mentioned, comments and social following. 

You also need to keep in mind that getting published in well-established sources takes time. And the best way to build your reputation and credibility is to start with smaller and less popular websites and scale your way up.

Use Google Disavow Tool

This tool is the most talked about backlink removal tool since Google started targeting spammy links after the Penguin update. 

google disavow tool

The reason Disavos is so crucial is that it’s not easy to remove thousands of spammy backlinks manually because it takes a lot of time and energy. So with this feature, you can ask Google not to take certain links into consideration when they crawl your website. 

To use this tool effectively you should follow these steps

  1. Select the links you want to disavow
  2. Gather their URL or domain
  3. Upload all lists in .txt format in the google disavow tool

After this whenever Google will crawl your website it’ll not take these links into consideration as a ranking factor for your website. 

We have learned a lot about spammy backlinks and how they can affect your website. But it’s a good idea if you could just stay away from making toxic backlinks altogether. And here are some methods that you can utilize to do this

  1. Set an email alert

Whenever you get a backlink from any website you get to set a notification in your Google Webmaster. This way you’ll know when and where you got the backlink from and if you think it’s a bad backlink then remove it immediately.

  1. Keep an eye on total backlinks

When running a big business or a website you will get thousands of backlinks from numerous websites. And chances are you might miss out on some webmaster notifications. 

So make sure you maintain your backlink data and audit it from time to time so your website isn’t affected by them. 

  1. Protect your website from malware

Security is the most important thing when it comes to running a website. That’s why it’s important that you protect your website from any malware attack. Because in case of any attack your website ranking, DA, and trustworthiness will take a deep dive. 

Also, your website will get thousands of bad backlinks from low-authority sources which are bad for business. So to keep your website ranking higher in SERP make sure your website is safe from virus attacks.

  1. Stay away from duplicate content

Content duplication or plagiarism is something that every website owner has to worry about. It is the most common method used by spammers to bring down competitors’ websites. 

And if Google finds duplicate content it is likely to penalize your website which will lead to a loss of ranking and authority. So make sure you write and publish only plagiarism free.


Hopefully after reading this article you now have a better understanding of bad backlinks.  And top it all off we would suggest you perform an SEO audit eerie once in a while because with the audit you’ll be better equipped to fix them.

You can also use a plethora of tools accessible to assist you to analyze your link profile and repair any spammy backlinks. Also, toxic backlinks are quite damaging, and the more you can prevent this from happening, the greater your chances of long-term success.


1. How to get more follow links for your website

There are several ways you can get follow links for your website

  1. Building internal inks
  2. Backlinks via infographics
  3. Write engaging content
  4. Try an outreach program
  5. Try guest posting
  6. Write testimonials
  7. Appear for an interview

2. What do you mean by follow and no-follow backlinks

This is a way of identifying links and how Google should associate with them. To put it in layman’s terms, do-follow links are such links that boost your website ranking and increase your page and domain authority. Whereas no-follow backlinks don’t have much effect on your website ranking.

3. Can we create quality backlinks for local SEO

Yes, you can create quality backlinks for local SEO. Here are some ways you can do it 

  • Write local relevant posts 
  • Create visual content
  • Build your network
  • Repair your broken links
  • Analyze your competitor
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