How to Spot Toxic Links during Your Backlink Audit

If you’re looking to improve the SEO for your website, one of the things you should do is a backlink audit. Beyond the number of links you have to your website, it’s the quality of links that plays a significant role for your search engine ranking.

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  • Link farms
  • Websites with security flaws/risks
  • Websites that are in violation of Google’s guidelines
  • Domain Authority: Domain authority is another indicator that became popular among SEO experts as it is likely used by Google’s search engine. The lower the domain authority, the increased likelihood of a toxic link.
  • Spam Score: A high score indicates the link is coming from a spam website and is toxic.
  • Self Assessment: Numbers and indicators won’t always tell the whole story. Look at the website to determine if a link is worth keeping. If the website has a domain authority of 25 and looks promising but you see the content is low quality, it may be a source of toxic backlinks overall.
  • Link Patterns: Look at the other links on the site — and see if the backlinks are excessively optimized in terms of their anchor text. Quality sites use a variety of anchor text — and if you only see exact match keyword phrases, it’s likely these could be labelled as toxic.
  • Brand Alignment: Are the websites linking to you related to or aligned with your brand? If not, you may wish to consider them toxic. For example, if you’re advocating for a specific cause, then links from sites that are leaning against it might not have a beneficial effect.

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