Bad and Low Quality Backlinks – Finding and Fixing

Bad links on the site — this is the main reason some of the filters leading search engines. Since the promotion link is now very difficult to do, we’ll talk about how to protect your online resources from low-quality backlinks.

Bad backlinks

Bad links — what is it?

To begin with, we will determine the terminology and bring to a common denominator the “badness” of the reference mass.

It is logical to assume that a poor link mass is a type of link to a site that leads from not very high-quality resources – donors. Or, they can stand from good sites, but in an unacceptable form (hidden). One thing is clear, responsible seo specialists do not use questionable sites as donors.

So, substandard links are:

  • Links that are from sites with low quality indicators (low traffic; no TIC, PR; the site is under the filters of one of the search engines; the site is made “on the knee” and is simply poor in appearance).
  • Links from sites on the same subnet. Often such sites are a network of low-quality sites of the same owner, which makes money by placing links to different resources on them.
  • Hidden links. Often these are links from hacked sites that owners are not even aware of.
  • Links with bad “neighbors”. Neighbors call links from the same page where there is a link to your site that lead to sites of spam topics (for adults, gambling, illegal drugs, etc.).
  • Above, we examined how to identify bad and poor-quality links by evaluating the sites on which they are located. But now, when search engines complicate their search algorithms over and over again and introduce new and more advanced filters, you need to understand what the link mass of the site is most natural.

This is necessary because the search engines have been urging all site owners for many years to use only natural methods of link building. By natural links they mean the mentions that other webmasters put for free, simply because they like the material posted on your site.

We will not dwell on how to get this kind of links. We will only say that you can make your site useful so that other resources link to you, but along with this process, you just need to buy links to overtake competitors.

So, given the risks that modern search engine filters are preparing, how do you identify the bad links that Google will accept as purchased?

We will assume that you have fulfilled the conditions that make links good by avoiding getting them into one of the points described above in the list, then …

Bad links for Google it:

  • Links that contain anchor keywords on which you want to promote the site. If there are more than 50% of such links, you are at risk.
  • All links are dofollow, i.e. indexed. For naturalness, at least 30% of the reference mass must be nofollow.
  • Links from non-thematic sites. If your site sells tires for cars, and 90% of the links to it come from sites about cats and medicines, then these are bad links, especially for Yandex.
  • The reference mass does not grow gradually, but immediately and sharply. With rare exceptions (some super-popular new resources) – this is a sign of artificial links.

With the definitions of two parameters sorted out. Now we turn to the search for bad links.

How to find bad links on your website

To find the bad links that contractors or you put on your site, you need to use various tools. A complete list of such services can be found in this article.

But it’s better to start searching for low-quality links by viewing the Google webmasters panel. Because the links listed there are exactly visible to search engines.

Then continue your search with third-party tools that will give a more detailed picture.

Do not be surprised if in the search process you find a lot of spammy links that you did not put. Quite often, a method is used against market leaders that gives a chance to lower a competitor (client) by purchasing bad links.

This spammy link mass is clearly visible in the overall link profile. Usually these are links with similar anchors (and not at all on your topic) from a huge number of low-quality sites.

How to deal with spam links, we will describe below.

Find and neutralize – how to remove links from bad sites

As you already understood, bad poor-quality links are a problem with many unknowns: what are these links, how to find them and how to “neutralize” them.

If we have already described the first two problems, then with the last – removing the bad link mass – you still need to tinker.

So, you have a list of pages (or domains) from which there are bad links to your resource. What’s next?

Google’s webmaster tools have a special tool called the Disavow tool. With it, you simply add a list of all domains from which you think bad links are and send them. All links from these domains Google will regard as unwanted and will not be taken into account in the ranking.

If sanctions have already been applied to the site for poor link mass, and you do not have access to all the sites on which these links are affixed, the “do what you could” approach may work. You simply contact the maximum number of webmasters and ask them to remove bad links. And those that do not answer you, just put in a separate list and send the administration of the search engine. In the cover letter, indicate that you have done a great job and removed the links from such sites, but these sites, unfortunately, do not respond to your requests. Therefore, ask to “understand and forgive” you.

Sometimes it works and sanctions are lifted.

It’s good if you or your contractors set these links yourself using exchanges. In this case, they are more likely to be successfully removed.

When deciding how to remove bad links to a site, you may encounter dishonest behavior of competitors who are trying to “drown” your site using spam links.

Spam links, as described above, appear quickly and in large numbers.

Fortunately, modern Google search engine algorithms can identify such a link mass as unnatural and solve the issue in your favor. Simply put, the search engine will be on your side and simply will not take these links into account in the ranking.

But this does not always happen. And if you get caught by a filter for such spammy links, you will have to delete them or, at least, have a long correspondence with the administration of search engines, convincing them that this is not your business.


That’s the whole algorithm for identifying, searching and eliminating bad links to your site. It doesn’t matter who crushed them – your contractor or competitors. The main thing is that you get rid of them in time, so that the site does not fall under the filters of search engines.

To do this, you can order an audit of the site or just responsible webmasters.