What is Toxic Link? How to Identify and Remove from Website

What is Toxic Link? How to Identify and Remove from Website

Written ByPankaj Dhiman

Toxic Links – How to Identify Toxic Links and Remove Toxic Backlinks

In this Article We’ll discuss about the toxic Links. How to identify those links and site audit report in SEMrush. Get full details here about toxic links, how to identify toxic backlinks, How it affect SEO of a website and more.

Table of Content

  • What are Toxic Links?
  • How to Know if a link is optimal or toxic?
  • How to audit incoming links with SEMRush?
  • How do toxic links affect the SEO of a Website?
  • How to Identify toxic links with SEMRush?
  • How to Remove toxic backlinks with SEMRush?
  • Remove links in Google Search Console?

SEO (Search Engine Optimization ) positioning is the digital marketing strategy that, through different techniques, works to make Google crawl a website, index it and position it based on the keywords that best define the web project.

One of those techniques is link building or generation of quality links that point to the site. Much has been written about this technique, but the reality is that today, it is still key to optimal SEO positioning .

Related – What are Keywords and How to Do Keyword Research?

What are Toxic Links?

Toxic Links – The toxic links are those that Google will seem sleazy, SPAM, or suspected. 

For Example –  Links that come from pages that have nothing to do with our theme. Or they have more Spam Score.

These links may have been generated through bad SEO practices ( Black hat SEO ) such as the massive purchase of links in portals of dubious reputation, abuse of the same anchor text, many links from the same portal .

Many times these links are generated without our being aware, and no website is safe. The reasons can be diverse. One of them, the competition. Yes, as you read, in certain sectors, where competitiveness is high, some SEOs opt for this type of Black Hat strategy .

It is also possible that whoever has previously worked on the SEO positioning of the project we are auditing has bought low quality links in irrelevant directories; or that other irrelevant websites have included links to your site organically without you intending to.

How to Know if a link is optimal or toxic?

In any web positioning project, in relation to link building, it is essential to know the following:

  • How many links point to the web? Few links from many domains are more convenient than many links from a few domains.
  • What anchor text is being used (anchor text)? The ideal is a combination of generic words (click here), brand anchor text, empty, keyword …
  • If they are follow or nofollow.
  • The IP of origin of the link.
  • The link domain authority (DA).
  • If they come from pages related to your theme.
  • If they come from trusted sites.
  • The location of the links. Forget about the links in the footer of your client’s pages!
  • If they are “natural” in the context in which they appear.

Related – What is Domain and Why do you Need it?

How to audit incoming links with SEMRush?

To know how many links point to a website and analyze their quality, I recommend the SEO tool SEMRush. To check it, register now here and benefit from 14 days free.

Once you have created your project, by accessing ” Backlink Audit ” you can perform an audit of the quality of the links or back links that point to your website. If you have not done bad practices, surely your website has a great state of health!

How do toxic links affect the SEO of a Website?

Toxic links can negatively affect the SEO positioning of your website. If Google detects them, it can penalize and condemn your page to purgatory .

Related – How to Improve your SEO Ranking of a Website

How to Identify toxic links with SEMRush?

To identify toxic links, there are various tools. I recommend SEMRush (14 days free) . Of all the ones I have tried, this is the most complete, intuitive and easy to use for an SEO project.

Once we have registered and created the project, we agree to ” Backlink Audit” and execute the campaign (top right) to determine the level of toxicity of links or link building our website.

Here we will find information about the backlinks of our project:

  • Referring domains analyzed backlinks …
  • Percentage of toxic links: toxic, potentially toxic, and non-toxic links.
  • Types of anchors: brand, organic, empty …

How to Remove toxic backlinks with SEMRush?

The second step is the ” Audit “. It’s about reviewing toxic links one by one and deciding whether to disavow , remove or whitelist them – if they are not toxic -.

A link we can disavow, remove or add to the white list.

We are marking one by one the links that we want to disallow by clicking on “To disallow”. It is more convenient than “Delete” since in this way what we are going to do is ask Google to ignore them.

Once all have been reviewed, we access the “Deauthorize” tab and follow the 3 steps indicated:

  1. We click Import unauthorized links to check if any files with links to disavow have been sent in Google Search Console previously.
  2. We click on “Export” and the .txt file will automatically be generated with all the links to be disavowed.
  3. We upload the file to the Disavow Links tool of Google Search Console. Then I explain how.

Remove links in Google Search Console?

Once the .txt file has been generated, we access through Google Search Console the tool for disavowing links “ Disavow-links . We select the web project that we are working on, we choose the .txt file that we have previously downloaded to the PC and click “Send”.

After uploading the deauthorization file, we must wait up to 6 weeks before Google considers the file.

Once submitted, we will receive an email stating that Google has registered an update to the deauthorization file.”

It is recommended to periodically monitor the toxic links with the SEMrush tool to verify that no new ones have been generated.


Removing toxic links will help you improve the SEO of your website.

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