How to find low-quality backlinks and get rid of them

There are several options for website promotion, and if you refuse to buy external links, it means you have chosen a white SEO strategy. This approach is good because your site should not fall under the Penguin or something else. But you are not immune from search engine filters because we can not always recognize a low-quality site when receiving a link from it.

 Alas, even the appearance of such links will not accidentally save you from the sanctions of search engines and will not help in their removal. 

But there are services and ways to identify such sites and avoid links from them. We'll tell you about those today.

Low-quality backlinks – what are they? 

For search engines, links that navigate from:

  • Internet resources that are not relevant to yours, such as information resources not related to your topic or in another language
  • spam sites are portals created specifically for linking
  • sites that have too low levels of trust and quality
  • sites with inorganic link mass (when the number of purchased links exceeds the number of organic links)

How to get a list of backlinks using tools and services 

There are many services for checking backlinks on the Internet, some are paid and most often available by subscription, and some are free, partially, or completely. Their main difference is that paid services can often give out more accurate and relevant information regarding links to your site. They also have parameters that will help you more accurately determine the quality of the donor when choosing a site for linking. 

Service from Moz: Link Explorer (free) 

This service has extensive functionality. With its help, you can detect backlinks and anchor text, keyword rating, and lost links. It can also show a list of top links to a resource. If you need a report, there is a quick upload option, where the received information will be saved in CSV format.

Megaindex (free) 

Provides data about backlinks and determines the links and donor sites. There is also a CSV export function.

Google Search Console (free)

To view backlinks in the Google Webmasters panel, open the Links report in the right pane and look at the list of inbound links in the Most Linked Sites window.

Ahrefs (paid)

To get a list of backlinks from the service, follow the algorithm:

  1. Switch to the Site Explorer tool. 
  2. Enter the domain of the site to be checked and click the search button.
  3. Open the "Backlinks" menu in the "Link Profile" section. Here you will see a list of all external links to the requested site. Use the "Export" function to save the report to your computer.

Serpstat (paid) 

To get a list of external links:

  1. In the tool, insert a domain into the line, selecting the search scope "Main domain" and the required search engine. Click Find. 
  2. Open the section "Link Analysis" → "Referring Domains" and "Referring Pages".
  3. Save the report with the "Export" button. 

What is the difference between free and paid check services? Mostly, free ones cannot boast rich functionality since they have only a limited set of tools. Also, the results of their analysis may not always be accurate. Paid versions provide more reliable information and offer more options. 

Criteria that allow you to sort out low-quality links 

After collecting a list of backlinks, check their quality. 

How to do it? Use these donor verification metrics from reputable services that measure domain quality. 

  • Number of backlinks;
  • Domain Authority by Moz (domain rating);
  • Visibility and total traffic by Serpstat;
  • Domain Rating by Ahrefs (domain rating);
  • Trust Flow by Majestic (trust flow);
  • Alexa ranking
  • Domain age (by WHOIS service).

You can discover these indicators at one time in the Netpeak Checker program. All data will be entered into one table, making it more convenient to make a comparative analysis. 

To perform the analysis, do the following: 

  1. On the sidebar, on the "Parameters" tab, enable these items: "On-Page": external links.

Parameters evaluate domain quality from Moz, Serpstat, Ahrefs, Majestic, Alexa, Google SERP and Whois."

  1. Insert a list of links or domains. This can be done manually, from a file, or the clipboard.
  2. Start the analysis with the "Start" button. 

After completing the analysis, review the obtained data in the main table.

To save and further work with the results, click the "Export" button. 

Also, using the services described in the second paragraph, analyze link anchors for over-optimization and spam keywords.

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How to reject low-quality links and reduce their negative impact 

Have you checked your site for low-quality links and identified links you want to get rid of but do not know how to do?

Severeal ways can achieve this after finding low-quality links to your site.

Write letters to the owners or administrators of the sites on which the links were posted

  • Personalize each email and include a list of links to be removed.
  • Be friendly and polite in your letter, do not threaten or be rude. You can find the email you need using the extensions and services Name2Email, Email Hunter, FindAnyEmail, Whois, etc.
  • Proceed to the next method after you are convinced this method did not work or worked badly.

Disavowing links via the Disavow Links Tool

This requires:

  1. Create a disavow file using a text editor with UTF-8 or 7-bit ASCII encoding.
  2. In it, specify the domains or links you want to reject.
  3. It is necessary to register the domain: command on a new line for each domain.
  4. Add all links to the file and then save it.
  5. Next, go to the Google Disavow Tool. Select a domain, click the "Disclaimer Links" button. 
  6. Attach your file and click Submit. 


Regularly checking backlinks and analyzing domains will help prevent ranking degradation and search engine filters imposed on your site.

How to check:

  • collect a list of backlinks using services and tools;
  • check them for quality and determine which ones are a threat;
  • contact the site owners directly. If that doesn't work, disavow links using Google's Disavow Links Tool.
  • share your methods of dealing with low-quality backlinks in the comments.