What are Toxic Backlinks and How it can Affect your Website Traffic?


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In May 2013, one fact took most people by surprise was the launch of Penguin 2.0 by Google. Immediately, all search rankings on the internet dropped via the Page Rank. It was not surprising that among the sites that suffered the most were porn and gaming sites. These were, however, not the only sites that suffered as many legitimate firms experienced a drop in their websites’ search engine visibility. This was later described as the hurricane of toxic backlinks, a wave that had initially affected numerous page rankings by harming their websites.

Some backlinks pass through positive link juice or SEO metrics that is good for ranking. Others pass through negative juice. To make matters interesting, some backlinks have never been recognized by Google. Toxic backlinks come in as harmful waves of links that have a negative impact on the websites’ search engine optimization (SEO). In addition to this negative effect is the fact that toxic backlinks contribute to the poor page rankings of specific websites. Paid links and links received from various link schemes as well as blog networks are considered toxic because of their harmful nature.

The Importance of Removing Backlinks

You may wonder why it is vital to remove toxic backlinks from your website. Well, toxic backlinks are the most stubborn links on any website. They reduce the owner’s page rankings. If noticed by Google, it is highly likely that your visitors will not see your website. Anytime Google notices that a website contains a high number of toxic backlinks, their algorithm works tirelessly to exclude that site from search rankings or penalize their rankings.

Knowing if you have Toxic Backlinks

You may be wondering if it is possible for you to identify these toxic backlinks on your website. Well, challenging as it seems, it is possible. Here are a few quick ways to find out if your website contains toxic backlinks.

Has Google sent you a Warning Notification?

You may not have created those toxic backlinks yourself. One way to look at the case is a scammer having created it. A Search Engine Optimization firm may also have created it. If you are clueless about toxic backlinks, the only way you would know of their existence in your website is through a Google notification.

A Drop in Traffic

Your traffic levels may suddenly shoot down. If this happened to you after May 2013, it is highly likely that the Penguin 2.0 launch flagged your website off immediately when it was launched.

Backlinks Check up Through an SEO Tool

You could be nervous about the recent Penguin 2.0 update that is set to notice every toxic backlink in various websites. If you are, it is vital to pull up a list of the backlinks you have in order to check if there are any suspicious links. Even though your website may be clean, it is vital to be sure. You can consider using Ahrefs or Majestic SEO to receive a list of backlinks for analysis.

Determining the Presence of Toxic Backlinks

To be safe from toxic backlinks and their effects on your website, be keen on finding out where they came from. You will also want to ensure that you interact with clean sites that contain high-quality content. Avoid links that contain low-quality content as they may be the major bearers of toxic backlinks.

In conclusion, understand the effects of these toxic backlinks to your business which will affect your website traffic, prospects and clients. When you understand their implications, you will be keener on getting rid of them.


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