Introduction To Backlinks
Backlinks remain one of SEO’s most powerful tools. However, toxic backlinks can contribute to large SEO setbacks. Before we get into this, let’s look at a couple of reasons why backlinks are a driving force in running a strong SEO campaign.
Reason #1: Backlinks create link juice; link juice is a term used to describe the power a referring link transfers to a website or page. The more powerful the links, the more link juice, and the more authoritative the website becomes in Google’s search engine.
Reason #2: Trust! Backlinks provide credibility to your website, brand, product, etc…Backlinks essentially showcase to viewers that you are an expert within your niche.
What Is a Toxic Backlink?
Now let’s get into the good stuff! How exactly do you identify, and eliminate harmful backlinks? The first step to identifying toxic backlinks is to know what makes a backlink harmful to your SEO campaign. Let’s hear it from the powerful SEO tool SEMRUSH(See Below).
In other words, Google punishes link spamming and links published on low-quality web pages. Do your research before guest posting on a website or link building in general.
Eliminating Toxic Backlinks
Now that you have a general idea of what to look for, it’s time to get to work. Make your way over to this Free backlink analysis tool, or save some time and head over to Path-Media for FREE SEO analysis!
The Step-by-Step Process
Once you have arrived at the tool complete the steps below.
- copy and paste the domain or URL of your choice into the search box and click “view backlinks report”.
- Next you want to analyze the first four elements.
- Total External Backlinks: There is no magic # here, obviously the more the better, but when integrating backlinks focus on integrating both quality and quantity. However, ensure that all backlinks are healthy and come from relevant and valuable web pages.
- Total Referring Domains: This is how many domains refer to your website. For instance, if your website has a referral from Forbes then you have 1 referring domain. When gaining referring domains, look for web pages with high traffic related to your niche. Make sure that consumers are engaging, and that the webpage is quality.
- Do follow Backlinks: A term used to describe links that boost link juice to your website. Do follow backlinks are essential to running a successful off-page SEO campaign because they provide the boost in traffic and authority your business needs. Through the use of the tool provided you will be provided with a percentage of do-follow backlinks that lead to your domain or URL.
- Referring IPs (internet pages): This element tells you how many separate Internet pages your links appear on. For example, you could have five total external backlinks but only one referring IP if all backlinks come from that one referring page. The more referring IPs the better.
Now that you have analyzed the four key elements, it is time to test the quality of all your backlinks and referring IPs.
Testing Backlink Quality
- First you are going to click on the very first URL located to the right of the page.
- Next, you are going to look at the page, is it sketchy? Is your link being spammed? If so, this could mean that your business is being subject to something called “SEO Sabotage”, this is when competitors place harmful backlinks to hurt your SEO performance and lower your credibility. Right about now you are probably asking, “how do I fix this?”. Well, it’s simple, first, you want to see if you can manually take the harmful link or post off of the webpage, if this does not work then you should contact the webpage owner, explain the situation, and ask that the link or post be deleted.
- If all seems well up to this point, take the next step and head over to the SEO tool Mozbar, and download the extension. Once downloaded make sure you head back over to the webpage and activate the Mozbar extension. At the top of your page should be an element labeled DA (domain authority). Generally, you should aim for backlinks on pages with at least a DA of 25. However, despite the DA if the page still seems quality and there is no sign of spammed links, it will not hurt to leave it there.
- All that is left to do now is to continue the following steps for each URL that contains a backlink. Once again Path-Media’s Free Analysis is a great way to save time breaking down your backlinks.
Go through all your backlinks and see if they meet the criteria of a toxic backlink. If they do, simply eliminate the backlink from the web page or contact the webpage owner if someone has placed unremovable sabotaging link spam. Next, repeat the search process for some of your top competitors, and analyze their information. See what works for them and what their link scores are.