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Backlinks removal and analysis – How to delete bad links

Backlinks removal services became very popular in 2012, after the release of Google Penguin. Prior to the algorithm update, the more backlinks your website had, the higher the chances to rank high for your keywords. Before, links couldn’t harm your SEO.

When Google Penguin was released, things changed dramatically. Websites with an unnatural backlinks profile started to be penalized. Today, it isn’t about the number of backlinks your website has, but more about the quality and authority of the sites linking to you.

People used to pay big money to get more backlinks, and now they are willing to pay just as much to remove bad links.

Crazy, isn’t it?

 

paying-to-remove-links

Websites with too many low-quality backlinks have lower chances to rank in the top results in Google. If you have suddenly lost traffic after a Google algorithm update, you should do a backlinks analysis and remove the bad backlinks that can harm your SEO.

In this article, I will show you how the backlinks removal process works and how you can delete unwanted backlinks.

If you are not interested in reading the whole article, use the table of content to navigate through the post:

Things to consider before removing backlinks

  1. There are numerous tools that claim to detect your bad backlinks automatically. Avoid them at all costs, or you might end up removing some of your best links.
  2. Hiring a link removal company is expensive and most of the time not worth it. It’s best to remove bad backlinks on your own. There is no secret formula to remove links.
  3. Removing backlinks is often not enough to get rid of a Google penalty. You also have to create and submit a disavow report with all the bad backlinks.

Backlinks analysis

Any link removal action starts with a backlinks analysis. You have to know what backlinks you must remove and which ones you should keep.

To understand more about your links value, use Monitor Backlinks. The tool helped me recover from a Google Penguin penalty and also to recover my organic traffic after a Panda penalty.

 

Follow the steps below to perform a correct backlinks analysis:

 

  1. Register an account with Monitor Backlinks. The tool has a 30 days free trial.
  2. Connect your domain with Google Analytics.connect-domain-with-analytics
  3. Next, you’ll have to import the links from Google Webmaster Tools, into Monitor Backlinks.

    Go to Google Webmaster Tools and click on “Search Traffic” and then on “Links to Your Site”.

    On the next page, you’ll see a module “who links the most”.

    Click on “more” and then on “Download latest links”.

    You’ll get a report with all your backlinks Google has found so far.

  4. Now go back to the “Backlinks” page on Monitor Backlinks. Choose to “add new backlinks”.

    import-your-backlinks

    Click on “import links from file”. Monitor Backlinks automatically detects the Google Webmaster Tools backlinks report and imports it.import-google-webmaster-backlinks

  5. With all the backlinks collected, give Monitor Backlinks a few moments to gather more details about your links. Once updated, you can filter your backlinks by their metrics to determine their quality.

    filter-your-backlinks

    Sort your links by their Domain Authority, Page Authority, Trust Flow, Citation Flow, Spam Score, anchor texts, MozRank,  TLD, Google index status, number of external links and more.

    Take the backlinks with the worst metrics one by one and determine if it’s worth keeping them or not. Learn more about filtering backlinks by reading my previous posts:

    How to identify and remove backlinks that are hurting your rankings
    What backlinks you should disavow 

  6. When you find a link you want to remove, click on the settings icon, from the left side of the link row. Then choose to edit and add a tag to your backlink, to easily find it later. It’s best to use simple tags, like “delete”.

    tag-bad-backlinks

  7. Go to the Reports page from Monitor Backlinks, and use the filters to generate customizable graphic charts with details about your links.seo-reports
    The SEO reports will give you a different perspective on your backlinks.
  8. After you are done tagging the backlinks you want to remove, you can find and get a list of them, by using the top filters button and clicking on “Tags”.

How to remove backlinks

The link removal process can be time-consuming if you want to get rid of hundreds or thousands of links. Note that it’s impossible to remove all backlinks. Nonetheless, in order to remove a penalty, you have to prove Google that you have done your best to clean up your website’s backlinks profile, before submitting a disavow report.

Whether if you have been penalized or not, removing bad backlinks is important. You shouldn’t have backlinks that you are not proud of, and links with bad neighborhood.

To remove backlinks, you have to contact the webmasters of the website and ask them nicely to delete the link pointed to your site. NEVER threaten a webmaster and be very polite if you want to be treated the same.

Be prepared to send hundreds of requests.

be-prepared

Link removal companies can do email outreach for you, but what’s the point, when you can do it yourself?! Follow these steps to remove a bad backlink:

  1. Identify the link you want to remove
  2. Find the contact information on the website. If no contact details are available, Whois can help you find the email address used to register the domain or host the website.
  3. Send an email to the webmaster, and make the location of the link you want to remove very clear. Try to ease the webmaster job and make sure he can find and remove your link in less than one minute.
  4. If you are not getting a reply in 5-10 business days, send a follow-up.

Backlinks removal email templates

Because you are going to send hundreds of requests, you can use an email template to save time. However, do consider to personalize each email and don’t make it look sloppy.

Below you will find two backlink removal email templates. Replace and edit them according to your needs.

Hi [Name],

My name is [YOUR_NAME], and I work with [YOUR_WEBSITE]. We are currently trying to remove some links pointing to our website, and I would appreciate if you would be kind to help us.

Your website links to our website from here: [URL_OF_THE_PAGE_LINKING_TO_YOU].

It points to this page of our website: [URL_OF_YOUR_SITE]

And it’s using the anchor text [ANCHOR_TEXT_USED_FOR_YOUR_LINK].

I’m kindly asking you to remove the backlink to our website. Thanks in advance.

Wish you all the best with your website

Regards

[YOUR_NAME]

Here’s another link removal template

Hi [NAME]

My name is [YOUR_NAME] and I work with [YOUR_WEBSITE]. I wanted to thank you for linking to our website from [URL_OF_THE_PAGE_LINKING_TO_YOU].

Unfortunately, it has come to our attention that it’s best to remove this backlink. Therefore, I will have to ask you kindly to remove this backlink from your site.

The link is located here: [URL_OF_THE_PAGE_LINKING_TO_YOU]

It links to [URL_OF_YOUR_SITE]

And it’s using the anchor text [ANCHOR_TEXT_USED_FOR_YOUR_LINK].

Thank you for your time.

Awaiting your positive reply.

Regards,

[YOUR_NAME]

How do you know when your backlink is deleted

When doing link removal email outreach, you’ll notice that sometimes webmasters will remove your links, without giving you notice. You don’t have to check each backlink manually to see if it was removed or not. To have everything organized, use Monitor Backlinks.

Monitor Backlinks automatically checks for your link statuses, and when any of your links is removed, you’ll get an email notification. You can also see the status changing from “ok” to “backlink not found”, in your Backlinks page.

backlinks-removed-and-not-found

That’s useful, right?

yes

What do you do with the backlinks you can’t remove

A 10-20% link removal rate is great. As I said at the beginning of this post, it’s impossible to remove all the bad backlinks. With the backlinks you can’t remove, you’ll have to create a disavow report and submit it to Google Webmaster Tools.

These are the two solutions available to get rid of any Google penalty, and clean up your backlinks profile. If you want to learn more about creating and submitting a disavow report, read my previous article: How to use the disavow tool.

Final words

Removing backlinks takes time, and you have to be patient. It’s a process you can do it yourself, and there is no reason to pay link removal companies to do your work. Follow the steps described in this post, and you’ll recover from any Google penalty.

What’s your link removal experience so far? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.

 

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