Learn to Remove Bad Backlinks to Avoid Google Algorithmic Penalty

Before we start it’s important that you know the difference between an algorithmic penalty and a manual penalty. As you might know Google updates its search algorithms from time to time and it’s very important that you remove bad backlinks to avoid an algorithmic penalty. This post will guide you through how to do that using Linkody.

FYI: In the case of manual penalty, your site has been reviewed by someone at Google and maybe because of the link building pattern they decided to dish out a manual penalty. In the case of manual penalty you will receive a notification in your Google Webmaster tools informing you about the details of the penalty being served to you. You can read more about it here.

Over the past 12 months alone we have had:

  • 4 Panda updates
  • 2 Penguin updates
  • 2 unknown phantom updates
  • Pay day loan update
  • Knowledge graph update
  • Hummingbird update

Involving yourself in cheap link building practices that give a temporary boost to rankings will finally doom your site. The filters are evolving everyday and your site can get caught in these filters and trip a penalty.

manual penalty

In the recent past you can see examples of sites like RapGenius (see Rap Genius ‘ Link Scheme Goes Public Leading to Google Penalty) who were penalized by Google for shady link building tactics. Even though they came out unscathed, at last, most of us can never be this lucky. Disavow tool takes a long time to show any impact.

Again, you can read several case studies of sites being penalized and recovering from the penalty as they undo their links, which again takes lots of efforts. (See From Disaster to Triumph: How to Recover from an Algorithmic Penalty)

Now to remove bad backlinks from your website is easier than ever before. There is a time delay between the penalties being served and the links being built. Your link profile can be actively monitored  with Linkody and to remove bad backlinks takes a minute.

These are some of the factors that Google probably uses to see if a site is using link schemes or manipulating the SERPs in some way. If there are enough red flags tripped by a site then an algorithmic penalty will be triggered.

  1. Back links to domain
  2. Unique C class links
  3. Domain Age
  4. Page Rank
  5. Indexed Pages
  6. Links from pages that are not indexed in Google
  7. Page Authority
  8. Domain Authority

You can see each of the factors with Linkody and see if the links are good enough.

Some common metrics to see the link quality and remove bad backlinks:

You can easily use Linkody to see the links to your site. Once the links have been discovered, you can choose to monitor them. From that field you can see the Page Rank, the Domain authority and Page Authority and other metrics of links. One thing that plays an important role is the relevance of links. You can see the title tag and the description of the links in this tab to determine that.

Check Your Backlinks

Get an Instant Insight Into Who Links to Your Site

Monitored links– For each of your sites you can see a list of backlinks and the status of these backlinks. If you observe that your rankings have dropped suddenly then head over to the list of monitored back links and see if any of them has their status changed. When a site drops a few positions in the SERPs the reason in most cases is the change in status of these links. If these are guest posts links then you can easily send an email to the webmaster and ask them to to play fair.


Sometimes the reason may be as simple as the host being down but in any case, you now have the power to know.

No follow and Do follow:

A good site will have a nice mix of do follow and no follow links. You can see that by clicking on the links option.

Moz metrics:

quality of links

Moz Rank is determined the quality and number of back links that they have. The reason for indicating Moz rank instead of Page Rank are two fold. Page Rank is mostly a dead parameter. No one knows the real page rank of a site, save Google. And the toolbar page rank may or may not be real. There are no consistent Page Rank updates and there are many speculations that the data used to update the Page Rank last time in December was not fresh.(See Surprise! Google Updates PageRank Just in Time for Christmas)

The Domain authority and page authority are the other two metrics that you see. The first one predicts how well the website will perform in SERPs. The second one determines how well the page will fare on the SERPs.

bad links

Here you can see one back link example with 0 Moz score and very low Domain and Page Authority. Investigating a bit further into the link showed me that it came from a cheap guest blogging network.

These are the links that you specifically don’t want to have to your site.

Anchor text ratio: In any case more than 20% of your links with exact match anchor could land you in trouble. You can see a detailed anchor text report by clicking on the Analytics tab.

Linkody anchor text details

IP Address: While using private blog networks or building one for your site is a controversial topic, you can always see where the link are coming from. Too many links from the same IP address raises a red flag to Google and they could easily clamp you down following the footprints.

In the past private blog networks have been de-indexed because they left such an open footprint and their link were available to the public. (See Google Penalizes Blog Networks, Did SEOs Use It To Hurt Competitors?)

Total links on page: Finally if a page has too many outbound links, it is probably because the site owner doesn’t manage the site and all these links are from comments. Links from sites with so many external links could ultimately hurt your site.

Keyword similarity score: Here you will find information about the degree of similarity between the keywords of your site and the linking site and the number of times the keyword occurs. The greater the score, the greater the relevance of the back link and the greater the chance that your site will start ranking.

It’s all about keeping your eyes and ears open or letting Linkody do all the job.

Check Your Backlinks

Get an Instant Insight Into Who Links to Your Site

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