SEO Tips: Quick Way To Clean Up Low Quality (Bad) Backlinks


I was hoping the picture would capture your attention because this post is going to be pretty geeky (well, except for you SEO friends).  So if you aren’t really that interested, just spend the next few hours staring at the above picture intuitively thinking if she has a butter face or click here and watch your fill of Melanie Iglesias gifs.

In recent months (or at least since that darn Penguin update came out) Google has been cracking down hard on bad backlinking.  It’s simple, bad linking from other websites = bad visibility. With the recent release of the Penguin 2.0 algorithm update the penalties have gotten even stiffer.

I’ve honestly spent quite some time in looking for a definitive way to find and eliminate low quality backlinks.  However, to my avail, there is no definitive answer to this current conundrum. All I’ve found are blogs that give their two cents on how to identify the problem.  Based off of the data I’ve collected, I figured that I might as well make the simplified end all candid solution.

Step 1. Find out who’s linking to you

First step is find those bad backlinks.  The easiest way is to run a report on your website using an SEO tool like Open Site Explorer or Colibri Tool (these are paid tools, I’m sure you can find some free ones) to identify what sites are linking to your website.

Then create a spreadsheet, export that data to a spreadsheet, and weed out the data.  You can brake down the categories like this and delete unnecessary balderdash.


Photo courtesy of

Step 2. Identify the Bad Links

Now its time to find the the sour grapes in the bushel.  Organize the data by PageRank.  You’re looking for -‘s, 0’s, and 1’s.

Photo from

Photo courtosy of

Step 3. The walk of shame


Just like any really amazing 1 night stand’s, send those bad b*tches (and by that I mean links) on their way.  You have two ways of accomplishing this:

  1. The root of the problem – Go to the site the link originated from and request for either it to either be removed, or the post be taken down.  If you’re into the kinky (blackhat) stuff then take down the links you posted yourself.
  2. Disavow! – Google Webmasters offers a really cool tool to disavow links.  Don’t worry, it’s not “permanent” if you disavow a link by mistake.  There have been some research that show Google is the end all decision maker with bad links.  If the link is worth while, they may keep it.

Voilà! You’re all done.  Now you can tell your client that you did some “heavy lifting” and “hard work”. All is well in the universe again so sit back, grab some nice scotch, and cross your fingers to hope that it works!