Backlinks are not just the backbone of your website’s reputation but they can also make or break your SEO. If your website earns many good links, then Google will recognize your website as a trustworthy and reliable website with content that people will find useful.
Many top-ranking websites exactly do that. Similarly, there are equally many top-ranking websites that have ended up becoming a victim of spammy backlinks.
This is happening because competitors are adopting a negative SEO campaign. One of the most popular tactics they adopt in a negative SEO campaign is spammy backlinks.
Spammy backlinks, considered by Google as toxic links, refer to links that originate from spammy websites or low-quality websites that are known for spamming, or websites with poor domain authority.
6 Steps To Stop Spammy Backlinks
Here are six steps that will help stop spammy backlinks on its track.
Know Wherefrom They Are Coming
First and foremost, it is important to learn wherefrom the spammy backlinks are coming from. There are many tools like Monitor Backlinks, Moz, etc, that can help you in learning wherefrom the spammy backlinks are coming from. They help in flagging all such links under the category of toxic links.
Every tool offers its own metrics. For instance, if you are using Monitor Backlinks, then it will reveal everything from Moz’s spam score to Ahref’s Domain Authority, and more. This will let you know when a backlink is shuttering between the ‘spammy’ category and the ‘possibly harmless’ category.
Whatever the tool you’re using for identifying spammy backlinks, make sure to find an export option. This can be done by downloading a CSV file which will help in sorting and ordering the data. The data will be extremely useful when you’re considering which websites to first contact for getting the spammy backlinks removed.
Ask For Spammy Backlinks Removal From Website
Once you’re clear about wherefrom the spammy backlinks are coming from, the next move you need to make is to get them removed. But asking the culprit webmaster to do the same in a nice way can be a tad difficult. Very few will respond to that.
Add to this, in around 90% of such incidents, you will not be able to find the contact details of the offending webmaster. In many cases, not even a generic ‘Contact Us’ page will exist. Even where it’s available, it will not contain details of the email id or phone number.
But then it is a task that needs to be done. Google will require you to take action before asking it to ignore the link. So try using ‘WHOIS Domain Lookup’ to track the site’s owner from where the backlink is coming.
Ask The Hosting Company To Remove Them
In case, the offending webmaster does not respond back, then reach out to the offending site’s hosting provider. Ask the provider to remove the spammy backlink to your website.
To understand who is hosting the offending website, use a service called ‘WhoIsHostingThis’. This will help you out with the contact details of the hosting provider. With the details at your fingertips, get in touch with the provider and get the needed work done.
Disavow The Toxic Links To Google
If all the attempts fail, then use Google’s ‘Disavow Links’ tool to sort out your spammy backlinks issue.
By using the simple and easy-to-use Google URL removal tool, you will learn how to import a txt.file with the assistance of Google Search Console. You can record in the file the specific URLs of spammy backlinks that you would want Google to ignore, or simply ask Google to ignore all the spammy backlinks from a specific domain.
But avoid using the tool on the spur of the moment. Instead, use it after careful analysis of the backlinks profile. Else, you could end up mistakenly disavowing high-quality backlinks which will only negatively affect your website’s organic rank.
After submission of the file to Google, you need to be patient. That’s because it takes time for Google to crosscheck, process the file, and later remove the spammy backlinks.
Use The Rel =”Sponsored” Attribute
If you’re looking to wipe off any traces of the spammy backlinks, then you need to clean up the backlink profile thoroughly. But the process can be frustrating. That’s because backlink removal requests consume a lot of time. Outreach to webmasters can be tiresome as many a time they do not respond positively or acknowledge your request.
To save yourself from such frustrating situations, use Google’s rel=”sponsored” attribute. This will allow you to mark all spammy backlinks and update the links to a rel=”sponsored” attribute. You can reach out to the webmasters of the offending spammy backlinks to undertake the task and flag the links. If successful, you can avoid a probable link scheme action.
Redirect The Link
This process involves asking the webmaster to redirect the link to a URL on their website that is blocked by the robots.txt file. This will allow you to not only clean up your website but also help reinstate trust among the users.
Search engines are today a lot cleverer and a lot more impartial as well. They not only want to create a level-playing field for all the websites but also want the websites to be ranked based solely on a merit basis rather than based on webspam.
The need of the hour is to remove as many spammy backlinks as quickly as possible. When that’s done, then the search engines will understand that they won’t be seeing them again later.
To prevent it from happening again, always check your website backlink profile, regularly. This will help you identify spammy backlinks and have them removed at the earliest.