What is a Toxic Backlink?

toxic backlinks are like friends

Let’s start with how to identify toxic backlinks

Just like people or energy, most of us have been told to be careful about the people we hang around. If they are perceived as not good then the negative attention associated with them will also be cast upon us. The same is true with good or positive people. If I told you Tom Brady is a friend of mine and we take his boat out all the time (Tom, if you are reading this, I’d be delighted to go on a boat ride with you), would you view me in a positive light? You’d probably want to be my friend, too. What if I told you Jefferey Dahmer was a relative of mine (YIKES), how quickly would your perception of me become negative? The same is true of the link juice you may be after by backlinking to other websites or blog posts. 

In the world of digital marketing, the links you feature on your website or the websites linked to yours have the same effects. We call the links that bring negative attention to your web content – Toxic Backlinks. 

Toxic backlinks hurt your website’s authority and site health.

These toxic links cause your website’s ranking to suffer. The authority rating tells the search engines how trustworthy your website is. Your website’s health tells the search engine you have checked all the boxes to prove you have relevant information for the user and it is a safe place for them to visit. Your website’s health depends on these checks. Think of the flu or a cold. It’s a sickness you want to avoid. Search engines look at your website the same. If it is not a healthy website, chances are it is not safe for a user to visit. Both of these factors will cause search engines to show a user more credible and healthier websites than yours.

The good news is there are many tools to help you find toxic backlinks you want to use or avoid. A quick and free toxic backlink checker tool is Page Speed Insights. This tool allows you to enter a URL and it will examine both the desktop and mobile versions of the website and give you a pass or fail report. 

If you are looking for an in-depth analysis, we offer a complete analysis to cover every aspect of your website. We can provide you with a prioritized list of things you need to complete to improve your website’s performance. 

Here are a couple of things to consider when deciding whether or not to link to a website:

Avoid Spammy web pages

    1. This is a very vague term but you know these websites. These links slow or freeze your device. They have pop-up ads, banner ads, and ads to the left, right, and center.
    2. This could also be a website that just doesn’t make sense. You can’t seem to make out what the purpose of it is. Chances are the page has been created in an attempt to get as many clicks as possible with the purpose of trying to rank for a specific keyword.


    1. If you are asked to pay for a batch of links, more than likely those links are to very spammy websites or to foreign websites which can potentially open you up to security issues but can potentially be very toxic links.

Boosting the number of good links or your link juice as we like to call it, can be pretty simple.

Here is what you can do for link juice:

  1. When writing content like a blog post, don’t be afraid to reference and link to a credible source. Just like we did above with PageSpeed insights.
  2. If you have relevant content to your local media/news outlets, one of your favorite websites, or anyone with a website, reach out and offer your work for them to publish and link back to you. The key here is the content needs to be relevant to both parties.
  3. If you notice someone has mentioned you but did not link back to you, reach out and ask them to do so. 

The world of SEO can be overwhelming and time-consuming but Good Intents Marketing is here to help you increase your presence online, foot traffic, sales, and ranking with data-driven marketing solutions. 

If you would like to schedule a meeting to assess your current rankings and potential strategies to increase your digital footprint, send an email to Stephanie or andrew@good-intents.com.

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