Toxic backlinks are links that point to a website but are not part of the natural flow of link building and thus harm a website’s search rankings. Google’s Penguin update focuses on penalizing websites with bad backlink profiles.

How are they created? 

The possibilities of gaining toxic backlinks are limitless. They can happen; naturally, they can be a result of previous ignorant attempts at link-building, or they can be the result of black hat SEO attempts by your competitors.

Why should you remove Toxic Backlinks? 

Toxic or unnatural links can hurt a website’s SERP rankings. Google may remove the site from its database altogether if it determines that an excessive number of such links exist.

How to recognize toxic backlinks?

There are many ways to find out:

  • You have received a Google Webmasters warning related to the poor quality of the backlinks pointing to your site. Also, If your organic traffic level has fallen suddenly, Penguin may have penalized you.
  • If you suspect that your website has toxic backlinks, the first thing to do is to check your website’s backlinks in Google Webmaster Tools. You can also use Ahrefs, Majestic SEO, or SEOmoz tools to check the complete list of backlinks.
  • When you get links from various sources, it is a good idea to have the anchor text be different for each link. If you see the same anchor text repeating itself often, it can signify that the link is spam.
  • Google identifies specific link schemes that it believes will negatively affect a website’s search ranking. These include paid backlink building, excessive link exchanges, automated services to create links, and unnatural link creation.

How to Spot Toxic backlinks?

The best way to track down the sources of toxic links is to examine each one individually and discover where it leads. Toxic links come from:

  •  Websites that Google did not index
  •  Sites that contain viruses or malware
  •  Sites created for the sole purpose of increasing a site’s popularity are also known as spam sites.
  •  Link networks connecting various links

How to know if you got hit by Toxic backlinks

  •  A manual action penalty can devastate your website, causing it to experience a sudden drop in search rankings or be completely removed from the search results.
  •  If you receive a notification from Google Search Console and see the issue in the manual action report, expand the description to see which URLs have been affected. You will most likely be able to fix the issues by following the guidelines and then requesting Google to revise your site.
  • If you see a green checkmark under the manual action report in the Google search console, your site has been verified as having no spammy or low-quality backlinks and is in good standing. 
  • When your website is hit with a Penguin penalty, you can expect a significant drop in traffic. Since Penguin is an algorithm update that targets specific pages on a website, you will notice a large decrease in traffic for targeted keywords. However, Penguin can also affect the performance of entire sections of your site.
  • When recovering from a penalty, you must disavow links that seem to be the main suspects for causing havoc. Recovering from a penalty is usually a long and hard process, but it may be possible to recover fully from a penalty.

A quick fix to boost your rankings might lead to a penalty. Take the time to invest in a long-term optimization plan that will increase the likelihood of sustained success.

How can we remove Toxic backlinks?

To clean up a toxic backlink profile, you must identify and remove toxic links. Here’s what you should do:

Make contact with the Site Owner

Some links may be beyond your ability to remove. The best course of action is to contact the webmaster of these sites and request that they remove the links.

Remove unwanted links 

When you have many toxic backlinks, you can ask Google not to count them in its ranking algorithm. However, it would be best if you only used this tool after trying everything else to get the bad links removed.

If your site has been penalized by Google’s Penguin algorithm, just disavowing backlinks will not help you recover your lost ranking or get out of the penalty. You will need to remove every bad link manually to regain your search rankings.

What happens after Toxic backlinks are removed?

After removing all of your website’s bad backlinks, you can file a reconsideration request with Google. It is a way of admitting your mistake and outlining your steps to rectify the problem. The reconsideration request also states that you will adhere to best SEO practices.


It could take Google up to three weeks to respond to your submission. Performing a backlink audit is time-consuming and arduous, but it’s worth the effort. Hiring a reputable SEO company like Ahbiv digital Agency that adheres to ethical SEO practices is always safe. Do contact us for further information on how to solve the toxic backlinks problem.

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