How to Identify and Remove Toxic Backlinks in 2024

Toxic backlinks are links from external websites that can have a detrimental impact on the search engine ranking and overall health of your website. Usually, these links lead to spammy, unethical, or low-quality websites.  When evaluating a website’s authority and relevancy, search engines like Google consider the quality of backlinks. A large number of toxic backlinks can result in penalties or a decline in search rankings.

Identify the toxic backlinks

  • Low-Quality and Spammy Sites: Links coming from domains with a track record of spamming, poor content, or malicious activity.
  • Irrelevant Content: Toxic backlinks are those that come from websites unrelated to the subject matter or content of your website.
  • Paid links and link schemes: Toxic backlinks can result from link schemes or link purchases made to manipulate search engine rankings.
  • Over-Optimized Anchor Text: Overuse of keywords and other optimized anchor text in backlinks can be interpreted as manipulative and lead to toxic link building.
  • Link Farms and Private Blog Networks (PBNs): Link farms, also known as PBNs, are web networks whose main goal is to manipulate search engine rankings.
  • Unnatural Link Velocity: An abrupt and abnormal rise in the number of backlinks pointing to your website may cause concerns and be viewed as harmful.
  • Links from penalized sites: The rankings of your own website may be adversely affected by backlinks from websites that have received negative search engine optimization.

Effect of Toxic Backlink

  • Search Engine Penalties: Search engines may penalize websites with toxic backlinks, which would cause their ranks and visibility to drastically decline.
  • Loss of Page Rank: The quality of backlinks is taken into account by Google’s PageRank algorithm. Bad backlinks can lower your website’s page rank and reduce its overall authority.
  • Poor User Experience: Links from irrelevant or spammy websites can negatively impact how users perceive a website, which could result in a bad user experience and a loss of trust.
  • Impact on Trust and Reputation: The credibility of your content, goods, or services may be questioned by consumers as a result of toxic backlinks harming your website’s online reputation.
  • Difficulty in Ranking: It is difficult to rank well for target keywords when there are toxic backlinks present because search engines may give preference to websites with more reputable and clean backlink profiles.

Remove Toxic Backlink Using Google Disavow:

Important things to remember:

  • Disavowing needs to be handled carefully. By accident, disavowing high-quality backlinks can damage your website.
  • Disavowals are suggestions, not orders, according to Google. They may still give some disavowed links some thought.
  • Usually, it is preferable to attempt to take the link down straight from the website rather than disavowing it.

Create  a txt File to Disavow toxic Backlinks

Launch a text editor: Pick a basic text editor such as TextEdit on macOS, Notepad on Windows, or any other plain text editor. Steer clear of word processors like Microsoft Word because they may add formatting that prevents the file from functioning properly.

Start a new file: Create a new, blank document in the text editor.

Format the links: For individual URLs: Add each URL you want to disavow on a separate line. Include the full URL, without any http:// or https:// prefixes.

For entire domains: To disavow all links from a particular domain, start the line with domain: followed by the domain name (e.g.,


# Disavow file for

# Disavow individual URLs

# Disavow entire domains

# Disavow specific subdomains

# Disavow specific URLs with certain patterns

Save the file:

  • Click “Save As” or use a similar option in your text editor.
  • Name the file disavow.txt.
  • Ensure it has the .txt extension.
  • Choose a location where you can easily find it later.

Important guidelines for formatting:

  • Each URL or domain must be on a separate line.
  • Save the file as a plain text file (.txt).
  • There is a 2MB file limit.
  • There is a 100,000 line maximum.
  • Do not add any more text or comments to the file.

Steps to submit txt file to remove toxic backlinks:

Remove toxic backlink using google disavow
  • Go to the Google Disavow link
  • Select your property ( Domain )
  • Upload your Created txt file
  • Then submit.

It will take some time to remove toxic backlinks. Google starts processing your file, which involves analyzing each listed URL and its context. This process can take days or even weeks, depending on the file size and Google’s workload.

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