Google’s John Mueller responded to some concerns on Reddit about “toxic links.” He was asked where these toxic links come from, in which he replied “Toxic links are all about selling tools.” He told the individual “don’t get hung up about it.”
Over on Reddit, one user asked John Mueller about toxic links and where these links tend to originate.
What About the Toxic Link Tools?
Of course, yes, some SEO tools exist that will help find spammy and low-quality links. However, Google tends to ignore and often doesn’t actively penalize for spammy links anymore.
Earlier, however, yes, Google would levy a massive penalty against sites that accumulated a lot of bad or manipulative links.
However, in Penguin 4.0, Google is going to generally ignore bad links.
There are, however, some outlier cases where Google could potentially distrust an entire site. But, this kind of event is very rare.
In the past, Google has said that there is no internal toxic domains concept. For the most part, any SEO profesional can ignore toxic links, along with the tools that do report on those links.
What Are Toxic Links in SEO?
A toxic link is a type of harmful link that can negatively affect a website’s ranking in search engine results pages (SERP). These links are created with the intention of manipulating search engine algorithms for the purpose of artificially boosting a website’s ranking. Toxic links can come from a variety of sources, including low-quality websites, link farms, and paid link networks.
The effects of toxic links can be severe, and can even lead to a website being banned from a search engine entirely. Therefore, it is important for website owners and SEOs to be aware of the risks associated with these links, and to take steps to avoid them.
There are a few key ways to identify and avoid toxic links, which include:
- Checking the source of a link before adding it to your website
- Checking the quality of a website before linking to it
- Disavowing links from low-quality or spammy websites
- Monitoring your website’s backlink profile for new or suspicious links
If you suspect that your website has been the victim of toxic link building, it is important to take action immediately. The first step is to identify the offending links and then contact the website owners to request that they be removed. If this is not possible, then you can disavow the links using Google’s disavow tool. This will tell Google to ignore these links when assessing your website, and will help to protect your ranking.
Other Responses in the Discussion
If a couple of low-quality links from scraper sites was enough to get you penalised then I’d shove every single competitor into pingmylinks.com and dominate the world. But Google would be very foolish to allow that to happen and therefore it doesn’t care about low quality links.
As soon as you register a domain or launch a site, you will start getting backlinks from all over the place, most of which are automated scraper sites. There isn’t much you can do about it really.
I always believe that Google knows how to handle these types of links and can detect them as spam quite easily. You shouldn’t need to disavow them either.
It is possible someone set them up to try to hurt your site, but unlikely, unless you are doing really well, raking in cash and traffic at the top of the SERPs. There would be better and easier ways to do a proper negative SEO attack if they really wanted to.
Just ignore them and move on.
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