After Penguin update, although backlinks have remained the same, lots of things have changed in terms of backlink’s quality. Whether it is a spammy link building campaign, with the purpose to rank quickly, or it was a negative SEO attack by competitors.
Bad backlinks or toxic backlinks have a higher effect on a website now than before. Google strikes penalties to unnatural links or spammy links and sticks your website to the bottom of the SERP. You can’t completely remove all of the toxic links, but you can disavow them. Google has a tool to disavow links.
There are some tools like cognitiveSEO, which do all the hard work for you. If you want to do manually, then you can remove bad/toxic backlinks by these simple steps.
1. Identify Your Bad Links
There are many tools to identify toxic links. SEMrush’s tool ranks the toxicity of backlinks on a scale of 1 to 100. A toxic score between 0 and 44 is considered non-toxic. A score of 45 to 59 is potentially toxic, and a score of 60+ is toxic.
You can manually check the links with a toxic score of 45 and above, and create a list of backlinks which are bad/toxic backlinks.
2. Find & Contact the Webmaster to Remove the Link
Here we will try to find the contact information of the webmaster of that site from which you have received a toxic link. We will contact and ask him to remove our sites’ link from his website. If we don’t get a response within two weeks, we will proceed to the next step.
3. Create a Disavow File
Google’s disavow tool requires you to submit a list of domains and pages you want Google to ignore when evaluating your backlink profile.
The first step to using the Google disavow links tool is to create a .txt file. Per Google’s instructions, this file type has to be a.txt file encoded in UTF-8 or 7-bit ASCII. Within this file, list the URLs and domains you want to disavow; each domain and URL should have its own line.
To include a domain-level link in the file, add “domain:” before the URL of the domain home page (for example, “domain:toxiclink.com”). To submit a page-level link, simply list the URL.
You can add notes to each submission by starting a new line with “#” above the URL or domain listing.
4. Submit the Disavow File
Submitting a new disavow file will update the previously submitted disavow file, so make sure to add the previously disowned URLs into the new file. Go to the disavow links tool page and select your website. Click on disavow links and choose the file you created. You are done here; now it will take a few weeks for Google to process the information that you uploaded.
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