How to Remove Bad Backlinks (4 Easy Steps)

  • Samuel Darwin
  • Jul 12, 2021

When it comes to link building, there are domains you can get a backlink from but can cause your website some trouble. These are bad backlinks, and you don’t want them on your website. You have to remove bad backlinks from your website to prevent a manual action from Google.

Removing bad backlinks is one way to keep a healthy backlink profile. Maintaining the quality of your backlinks is important to rank your website on SERPs.

There are simple ways to remove these potentially malicious backlinks from your link profile. To keep them under control, you have to monitor your backlinks and check which links fall short of the requirements.

The first thing to do to remove bad backlinks from your site is to check if your website is at risk from them. You have to find the backlinks you need to remove.

Find Bad Backlinks on Your Website

What makes a backlink “bad”? Well, these websites are labeled as bad links because they don’t comply with Google’s Webmaster guidelines. And to find these backlinks from your link profile, you have to use some SEO tools.

Here are some of the tools you can use to find bad backlinks on your website:

When you find these notorious backlinks, you have to list the URLs and collate them for the Google disavow tool (more on this later). Once you disavow from a link, there’s no way to get it back (unless you build it back).

That’s why it’s important to identify which links to remove and retain. You don’t want to remove a good backlink from your link profile.

NOTE: When you search for the bad links on your site, double-check the result that you get from these tools. Some websites are low-rated because they’re startups. And that does not necessarily mean that these websites don’t have quality content.

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Backlinks Management 101

4 Easy Steps to Remove Bad Backlinks from Your Website

1. Find the Origin of the Bad Backlink

It’s important to identify the domains for these malicious links on your site. Using the tools mentioned earlier, you can also find the domain of the backlinks. You can inspect the website and see for yourself if it poses threats to your SEO.

The data you can pull from these tools will be essential to start your investigation against these websites. All you have to do is to input the URL of your website and check your backlink profile. Any backlink that looks spammy will be put under investigation.

Investigate if the website looks spammy and check the backlink profile of the referring domain. Check for other black hat SEO techniques that can be the cause for a low-quality website. Also, check the website’s content and assess whether it looks spammy or not.

Once you’ve confirmed that these backlinks are harmful to your website, list them down and proceed to the next step of this guide.

2. Find the Contact Information of the Website

This is the easiest part to do when removing bad backlinks from your website. All you have to do is to find a way to contact the owner of the spammy backlink. From here, you can talk to the webmaster directly to voice out your concerns.

There are tools online that you can use to find email addresses for different domains. One of which is Hunter.io where you can find the email addresses of your referring domains. However, it’s a paid service, but you can also use it for other outreach and link building purposes.

You can find professional email addresses of your referring domains through this online tool.
You can find professional email addresses of your referring domains through this online tool.

Once you find the contact information, you can now politely ask them to remove the backlink you have from them. You can proceed to the next step after finding the necessary contact details from this tool.

3. Politely Ask Them to Remove the Backlink

Now, you have to talk to the owner of the website and let them know of the situation at hand. It’s a give-and-take matter at this point, so you don’t have to be shy about it. Approach them kindly and tell them that, during your website assessment, you’ve noticed that the backlink from one of their pages is broken.

This is also a win for them because they’ll be notified of a broken page. If they can fix it immediately, then you have no problem with the broken backlink. If they can’t, you should ask them to remove the backlink to your website.

Example of an email to ask the webmaster if they can remove your backlink.
Example of an email to ask the webmaster if they can remove your backlink.

Make sure to use an email address that has your domain name in it to let the webmaster know what link you’re referring to. You can experiment with the composition of your email to the webmaster, but remember to stay humble and polite with your requests. The sooner you can remove these bad backlinks, the better it is for your website.

4. Create a Disavow File to Submit to Google

Usually, the webmaster will respond to your email as this problem also concerns his or her website. However, if they don’t respond, you can disavow the link directly through the Google Disavow tool from Google Search Console.

To disavow links to your site, you must:

  1. Create a .txt file of the backlinks you want to remove. You can also do this by creating a list from tools like Monitor Backlinks and Sitechecker.
  2. Go to Google disavow tool.
  3. Upload your list on the tool. Remember that the disavow file should be in 7-bit ASCII or UTF-8 format to be accessible to the tool.
  4. Wait for Google to respond to your request.

It takes some time before you can get the response of Google from your request. If these links get disavowed, Google will not consider these links in ranking your website.

FAQs

Make Your Site Free from Harmful Backlinks

Spammy backlinks are still a threat to your website and should be removed from your link profile. To remove these links, all you have to do is follow the 4 easy steps listed above.

For faster results, try to manually remove the backlink by contacting the webmaster directly. If you got a response, you can remove those notorious backlinks from your website instantly. If not, you’ll have to wait for Google’s response when disavowing links.

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