Google’s Disavow Tool: Removing toxic SEO backlinks to your website

Search Engine Optimisation is crucial to business. Good SEO through quality backlinks helps websites to rank higher online resulting in greater visibility and site traffic.

Unfortunately, with good backlinks comes toxic backlinks, which can hinder your website’s ranking performance on Google.

It’s crucial as an organisation that you regularly perform backlink checks to weed out those that are stunting digital growth.

We’d recommend using Google’s Disavow Tool, which will protect your website from link-related penalties. However, caution is required when you use this software which we’ll discuss below.

What is a toxic backlink?

Toxic backlinks are links from third-party websites that weaken your website’s SEO.

Toxic backlinks can negatively affect your website’s SERP rankings. This can result in your website not performing to the best of its ability.

Unfortunately, you cannot automatically prevent these unnatural backlinks to your website. However, performing regular backlink audits (we recommend on a monthly basis) is encouraged. This will provide you will the opportunity to disavow the links without them affecting your website.

How do I remove a toxic backlink?

Using Google’s free Disavow Tool should be a last resort. If you can, politely ask the person who is directing unwanted links to your website to take it down. Sometimes, a link can be manually removed, however, it’s not always possible, meaning you should use Google’s Disavow Tool.

The disavow tool will protect your site from unwanted link-related penalties and is relatively easy to do. If you’re not confident with the disavowing process, then get in touch and we’ll support you with this.

Before you begin disavowing links, it’s crucial that you carefully identify which links are harming the performance of your website. We wouldn’t recommend disavowing links from reputable resources as these backlinks will help your website to rank organically online.

Google’s free Disavow Tool can be accessed by click here.

How do I identify toxic backlinks?

There are several ways that you can spot toxic backlinks, common identifiers include:

  • Websites whose sole purpose is to link out to other sites
  • Websites and content that are not relevant to your industry. For example, a medical website providing a backlink to a PR agency
  • Websites that Google hasn’t indexed

We hope you have found the above useful. If you’d like to receive more SEO tips from us, then subscribe to our monthly email newsletter by clicking here.

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