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Toxic Backlink Checker

to check and expose bad links
Get rid of spammy backlinks and improve your rank in Google
Available for:
High-end Google Penalty risk estimation algorithm
Free disavow file generator for spammy backlinks
Scheduled backlink audits and alerts
Toxic backlink checker by SEO SpyGlass

Find and remove every toxic backlink

Low-quality, spammy backlinks may result in Google penalty, putting your overall site rankings at risk. That is why toxic backlinks need to be instantly detected and neutralized. No matter if they are the result of your own black-hat link building practices or your competitors' negative SEO.

The Penalty Risk Link Audit feature in SEO SpyGlass lets you automatically detect each and every toxic link in your backlink profile and keep your site safe from Google's link penalties.

Get all the benefits of bad links detox

Detect toxic backlinks automatically. Create, manage, and export disavow files in seconds.
Keep good backlinks, improve SEO rankings
Let search engines discover and index your pages faster
Stay safe from Google's algorithmic or manual penalties
Find reliable domains to build citations and partnerships
Improve Experience, Expertise, Authority, and Trust (E-E-A-T) signals
Strengthen Domain Power and PageRank

Get your backlink audit in 5 steps

Run the backlink analysis checker to audit your website
Get a detailed analysis of your backlinks profile
Find all toxic backlinks in your site's backlink profile
Estimate Penalty Risk for harmful links and generate disavow file
Download your disavow file and submit it to Google Disavow Tool

Boost your backlink profile with SEO SpyGlass Easily check and remove toxic backlinks & create disavow files

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How toxic backlink checker finds spam backlinks

Since the Penguin Penalty release, Google has been mastering its guidelines on quality content. That's why a lot of controversy arises around link risks and how to handle them.

In SEO SpyGlass, we've built this comprehensive toxic backlinks checker to help you make sense of what is truly harmful to your site's backlink profile. The tool is set to analyze your links in the same way as Google does.

Our backlink analysis tool covers factors like:

Age of the linking domain
Dofollow and nofollow link ratio
Anchor texts diversity
Site's inbound and outbound links
PageRank and Domain Authority
Links from low-quality directories
Sitewide links
IP addresses and subnets
And more
Backlink profile summary in SEO SpyGlass

Penalty Risk calculation algorithms. How we identify toxic backlinks

In the early years of Google PageRank, SEOs used spammy link-building schemes to artificially flow more link juice to their websites. Usually, these links came from link directories, PBNs, and paid link schemes, which did not add value for visitors. This made Google develop an algorithm that would penalize and de-rank web pages for having such toxic backlinks.

To simplify SEO routine, most spam checkers estimate penalty risk for backlinks. Our toxic backlink checker tool generates the Penalty Risk score for a site in general and for each link individually. The spam score takes into account such metrics as:

Several links are coming from the same IP or have the same C-class block.
The same keyword appears in more than 10% of your keyword text.
The linking page has too many outbound links.
The InLink Rank of the referring domain or page is pretty low.
The link seems to be from a link directory.

After the checker completes the scan, the percentage value of Penalty Risk is calculated. This score shows the likelihood of a backlink to cause a Google algorithm penalty. This metric points to all dangerous backlinks you need to immediately steer clear of.

How SEO SpyGlass evaluates penalty risk for backlinks

A link with a 0 to 30% risk value is considered safe. A link in the 30 to 70% range is also a marker of pretty high quality, but may potentially be harmful, so it's recommended you take a closer look at it. A Penalty Risk of over 70% indicates lower-quality links and calls for urgent link detox action.

Today, search engines are smart enough to simply ignore link spam. Yet, having toxic backlinks in a profile may undermine the website's reputation and trust. Besides, you may get a manual penalty for black-hat linking practices. The affected website may get demoted or disappear from the search results at all. That is why it is highly recommended to remove those backlinks. And the link checker will help you do this ten times faster.

Audit your site's backlink health

Step 1. Run backlink analysis with SEO SpyGlass to overview your site

SEO SpyGlass analyzes the backlink profile in its whole complexity: domain authority and PageRank flow, inbound and outbound links, and your top referring TLDs. You can also see most common backlink countries, whether too many links come from the same C-Class blocks / IPs, content is linked with diverse anchors, or anchors are optimized for the same keywords. The Summary dashboard helps you quickly determine if the website has a good backlink profile.

Backlink summary

Step 2. Analyze your backlinks in detail

In the Backlinks submodule, you will find detailed backlink analytics: the upper dashboard shows general insights into the backlinks history and the link type ratio. Quick filters let you sort all backlinks by dofollow/nofollow type, differentiate between text and image links, and find which websites are referring from their homepages. You can recheck backlinks altogether or each link separately. Just right-click on a linked page and see from which pages the backlink was generated.

Detailed backlink analysis

Step 3. Find toxic backlinks in your site's backlink profile

Now look at the Penalty Risk column. The green zone is a place of good backlinks. They are totally safe, so don't focus on them. Those in the orange zone require a deeper investigation of penalty risk factors. You need to understand if they are a real threat to your domain score, or are fine to keep. The links in the red zone definitely bring you no use and may even cause a Google algorithm penalty. Get rid of them, especially if their quantity is unforgivingly huge.

Penalty risk investigation

How to remove toxic backlinks affecting your site

The link detox procedure goes like this. For starters, contact the webmasters of the referring websites asking them to take down the backlinks you don't want. If it fails, disavow the links using the free disavow tool from Google.
Sending an email to a backlink provider
Ask webmasters of link provider site to remove the links

Contact webmasters or site owners of the referring domains, asking them to remove the link affecting your site. If you don't have their emails, find them with LinkAssistant. Just copy the backlinks you'd like to remove to the tool and get contact information for each of the referring websites. You can email them right there, too.

Download LinkAssistant
Submit the toxic backlinks report to Google Search Console

It's also very probable that some webmasters will ignore your emails. In this case, the best solution is to use the Google Disavow tool to tell the search engine it should ignore those links in your backlink profile.

Google and Google Search Console

Use a disavow file generator in SEO SpyGlass

Evaluate any web page based on top-ranking competitors and your on-page stats. The tool delivers keyword- and URL-specific optimization advice and reverse-engineers your competitors' strategies to see what exactly makes them rank high.
Disavow bad backlinks
Add toxic backlinks to the disavow list

Select the toxic backlink (or a list of poor quality links filtered by the InLink Rank and Penalty Risk values, tags, etc.), right-click it, and hit Disavow backlinks.

Remove toxic backlinks by a URL or entire domain

In the menu that pops up, choose whether you'd like to disavow only the backlink page or the whole linking domain. Pretty often, you'd want to disavow at the domain level, since there can be thousands of poor-quality links coming from the same domain.

In the same view, you can add comments to the records you're disavowing. Comments are useful for your own future reference — whenever you review or edit your disavow list, you'll instantly see what kind of websites you were disavowing and why.

Choose disavow parameters
Review disavow list
Follow-up backlinks overview

After you've created a disavow list, go to Preferences > Disavow/ Blacklist backlinks. At this stage, you can edit the comments and add or remove links from the list. Besides, choose whether you're about to simply disavow the links (exclude them from all future updates you run in SEO SpyGlass), or blacklist the links completely (have them removed from your project).

Export your disavow file

Once you're done with completing your disavow list, hit the Export button and select the folder to save the file. So that you can upload it to the Google Disavow Tool in Search Console.

Export disavow file
Sending a disavow file to Google
Upload your disavow file to Google

In the Google Disavow Tool, select your website and upload the disavow file you've just created. That's it — you've told Google which of your backlinks to ignore, and your site is all set to start clean! Note that it may take some time for the links to get disregarded by Google.

Advanced features of toxic backlink checker tool

Focus your effort on building backlinks from high-quality sources. The in-depth backlink analysis is helpful for SEOs looking to improve backlink profiles of their websites through meaningful link-building outreach. And our backlink analysis tool has a whale of features to make such work run smoothly.
Bulk check websites' authority and trust
For link-builders and outreach specialists, the powerful Bulk Analysis feature in the backlink analysis tool checks up to two hundred domains at a time. Here, you can quickly filter out low-authority websites and leave only good ones to work with.
Switch preferred backlink source
Configure the preferred backlink source when creating the project: choose SEO PowerSuite's backlink database (currently SEO PowerSuite Link Explorer is one of the most robust databases with over 2.7 trillion links). Or integrate Google Analytics and Google Search Console.
Check toxic backlinks regularly
Even when you've finished the clean-up and your site seems to have a healthy backlink profile, make sure to check history of your links every once in a while. This way you're sure to safeguard your site from a negative SEO attack and spot any unnatural links before Google algorithm does. 
Schedule automated link audits
Toxic backlink checker tool lets you automatically rebuild projects, update and publish backlink analysis reports, export all backlinks and other data in CSV format, and schedule penalty risk checks. Set up email alerts to receive a warning in case some surge or decline in backlinks happens.

Note that the automation functionality of SEO SpyGlass backlink checker is available in advanced versions only, so you'll need to upgrade to Professional license. The Professional and Enterprise editions extend the research to an unlimited number of backlinks (the free version allows analyzing up to 1100 backlinks), as well as saving projects and scheduling tasks.

Detect toxic backlinks with SEO SpyGlass Save hours on off-page SEO. Create and manage disavow files in seconds.

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What is a toxic backlink?

A toxic backlink is a dofollow backlink that comes from a low-authority source (like PBNs or mirror pages) or can be potentially harmful to your site's rank and reputation. Usually, harmful backlinks are the result of paid link schemes and other malpractices performed to artificially increase PageRank flow. However, such backlinks may also be the result of your competitors' negative SEO campaigns aimed at de-ranking your website.

Are all toxic backlinks harmful?

No. Only dofollow backlinks can spoil your site's reputation provided they come from spam websites. As nofollow links do not pass any link juice, they are not taken into account when calculating Domain Authority. So they cannot harm you no matter where they come from. To make sure that a link is harmful, look at the following factors of a backlink under consideration:

1. Low domain authority

Low-quality dofollow backlinks often originate from sites with low domain authority. These websites may be new, have no substantial content, or be possibly engaged in black-hat SEO practices.

2. Spam sites

Links from spammy websites, which contain excessive advertisements, illicit or thin content, are typically considered toxic.

3. Irrelevant content

If the linking domain has no relevance to your niche or industry, search engines may perceive such backlinks as manipulative.

4. Manipulative linking

Links that are placed in an unnatural manner or that appear manipulative, like paid links, are usually deemed toxic. This includes links that are not marked as sponsored when they are paid for.

5. Fishy link patterns

If the link uses over-optimized anchor text, especially if it's using exact-match keywords, it may be seen as manipulative.

6. Links from hacked websites

If a backlink comes from a website that has been hacked, malware-infected, or penalized, it's likely to be considered toxic by search engines.

Why manage bad backlinks?

Websites with numerous toxic backlinks have higher risk of being penalized by search engines, which could seriously impact your organic rankings. Consequently, the presence of harmful links can cause your website's traffic to plummet, which is hardly your SEO goal. In addition, having too many spam links for a long time may make Google consider your good links spam as well, lowering your overall reputation and trust.

What is Google Disavow Tool?

Google Disavow Tool is an advanced feature that is used to tell Google to ignore certain backlinks or even domains when calculating your PageRank score and reputation. The tool should be used with caution; if treated carelessly (say, you mistakenly disavow links from good sources), it may badly harm your performance in search results. To use it, you need to place all the links you want to discard into a disavow file first.

What is a disavow file?

A disavow file is a .txt format file you submit to Google. It contains a list of backlinks you want to discard. This file contains instructions on whether you want to disavow the harmful link only or the whole domain. If you choose to disavow a link, you will keep receiving backlinks from that domain in the future, and these links will count to your PageRank. In case you decide to disavow the whole domain, you will not be able to get any backlink from it until you remove restrictions.

Do I need to disavow every backlink with high Penalty Risk score?

The answer is, actually, “do what you want”. Probably, you don't need to bother with disavowing two or three links if all the other backlinks are fine — search engines of today are sophisticated enough to simply ignore a couple of links without extra actions. Still, it is highly recommended to disavow all bad links if your site deals with a sensitive topic like medicine or law, as Google guidelines are much stricter for them.

As Google Guidelines state, you should only disavow backlinks if you have way too many bad links, and your site got a manual action for malicious linking practices or is likely to get one. Anyway, make sure a link is 100% harmful before you add it to a disavow list. All in all, run a backlink analysis first to see the general state of your backlink profile to see if you need link detox actions asap.

Why use a toxic backlink checker tool?

Toxic backlink checker by SEO SpyGlass helps you easily identify backlinks coming from risky sources and timely take action if needed. Besides, the tool lets you set up automatic alerts, so you will instantly get notified if there is a sudden upsurge of new backlinks. In addition, our disavow file generator lets you automatically create a disavow file without errors to later upload it to Google.

I disavowed my site's toxic links, but nothing happened. Is something wrong?

It may take a few weeks for Google to find your disavow file and recalculate your site health considering the new information. If you had a penalty for unnatural links and did all the fixing, you can manually tell Google to reindex your site to speed the process up. If the penalty has been successfully removed but your positions did not grow back, please consider other factors that may have caused the position drop.