How to Remove a Backlink from My Website

Backlinking plays an important part in off-page SEO since a quality backlink to your website is like a vote of confidence. With quality backlinks, you can rank higher in search engines. However, links to your site from untrustworthy sites can drag you down further than it boosts your SEO ranking.

So, it is important to check for bad and unwanted backlinks regularly, because sometimes bad backlinks can exist without you knowing.

In this article, we’ll explain how to remove backlinks from your website and why it is important to do so. And, in the end, we’ll discuss what you can do to keep yourself free from bad backlinks in the future. Let’s begin.

How to Remove a Backlink from My Website

When You Should Remove Backlinks

Not all backlinks are equal. Bad backlinks can make Google devalue your website. Especially backlinks from unrelated or disreputable sources, spamming links in comments can do you more harm than good. To put it simply, when ranking your page, Google’s algorithm doesn’t only determine the number of backlinks anymore, it’s the quality that matters now.

Even if a website has high domain authority, you should setter clear from getting backlinks from them if they aren’t in the same niche as you. For example, gambling and porn websites usually have a ton of domain authority but their backlinks are of no good.

Another important thing to notice here is that backlinks to your site can be created without your knowledge. This toxic backlinking practice will not only harm your search engine ranking but also will lead to penalties from Google and Bing.

5 Steps to Remove Unwanted Backlinks

So, we’ve established that there’s no way around learning how to remove unwanted backlinks if you want to prevent a Google penalty or get rid of one. Here are five easy steps to find and remove backlinks from your website.

Step 1: Find Backlinks to Your Website

Although any backlink that is not relevant to your website falls under the bad backlink category, there are some obvious telltale signs of bad backlinks. We’ve already covered unreputable and unrelated sources. Also, links from penalized sources, link directories, and foreign language sites, all fall under the same category.

Here are some of the most popular tools to find backlinks.

Google Search Console

The easiest way to find all the backlinks to your website is to use the Google Search Console, which is a free tool offered by Google to monitor your website’s search engine results ranking. You need to verify your site with the Google Search Console. After that, you’ll gain instant access to not only your website’s backlinks but also other important considerations you should look into for your SEO rankings. You can use the Search Console with other tools like Google Analytics.


Unlike its competitors, Ahrefs works with more than one search engine. It is one of the most fully-featured tools that are available for link-building and search engine optimizations. However, it is geared more towards off-page SEO than on-page. Ahrefs can evaluate other things related to backlinks such as anchor text.


Moz is another SEO tool that you can use to find and evaluate every backlink to your website. With their free Moz account, you can use Link Explorer ten times a month.

Step2: Identify Low-Quality Links

Once you are done identifying all the backlinks, it is time to find out which ones are problematic. Here’s how you find which backlinks are of low quality.

Export the list of backlinks as a CSV file and check it manually. You don’t want to disavow a good backlink accidentally.

Check Spam Scores

A spam score is determined by the spam content present on a site. For example, a high percentage of follow links or instances of the same links are considered spammy links by Google and impact your SERP ranking hugely.

Mark those links to disavow later on.

Check Domain Authority

If a site’s own content doesn’t rank well with Google, it won’t have a good DA. Backlinks from websites with bad DA are pretty much useless. In fact, your own site might get penalized if you have a backlink from a website that has been penalized by Google.

Check Anchor Texts

If an anchor text is relevant, it is a quality backlink, it’s as simple as that. A good example of good anchor text is text related to your brand name, URL, keyword related to your site’s niche, etc.

Step 3: Request Websites for Removal

There’s a very low chance that a low-quality backlink will get removed just by asking nicely, but its worth a try anyway. If you can’t find the contact information of the person with access to the website, you can use domain lookup tools like Whois.

Step 4: Save Unwanted Links

This step is really simple. Carefully copy the links from the CSV files to a plain text file. Because Disavow Links Tool only accepts .txt files. Make sure to double-check the text file before submitting it for disavowing.

Step 5: Submit the File to the Disavow Links Tool

Disavow Links is a simple tool to use with a fairly straightforward user interface. Navigate to the tool and select your site from the drop-down menu.

You can then upload the text file by clicking on the DISAVOW LINKS button. Keep in mind that it can take from several weeks to a month or two to actually take effect on your website’s SEO.

How to Avoid Unwanted Backlinks in Future

Once you are done taking care of things, you naturally don’t want it from happening again in the future. Here are some tips for that.

Avoid Backlinking in Comments

It was a good idea maybe a few years ago, but not anymore. The truth is that Google is much smarter now and can see through these. So stop yourself form adding links to your site on blogs and other websites, however lucrative it may seem.

Steer Clear of Paying Backlinks

Steer clear from those services online offering hundreds or thousands of backlinks for a few bucks. With the questionable quality of links, you increase the likelihood of hurting your SEO more. Google these days go so far as to flag links marked as sponsored.

Regularly Audit for Bad Backlinks

Always keep your backlinking efforts clean and perform regular audits to weed out problematic backlinks before they do any damage to your site. For best results, do backlink auditing at least once a month.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are backlinks permanent?

Although not permanent, backlinks are likely to stay up for a long time. So, use them wisely and remove unwanted backlinks manually unless you want them to hurt your ranking continuously.

Are broken backlinks bad for SEO?

Yes, broken links will increase your site’s bounce rate and decrease your trustworthiness. This in turn will harm your Google ranking.

How many backlinks are safe?

When it comes to the number of backlinks, there’s no fixed limit. Instead of worrying about numbers, you should focus on the quality and relevancy of the backlinks.


To get stellar results with your SEO efforts, it is important that you cover everything. Monitoring and managing your backlinks regularly is one of those things that needs your regular attention. And even though bad backlinks can hurt you, with quality backlinks, the higher it is, the better. With more trustworthy backlinks, Google will deem your site to be trustworthy as well.