The Impact of Low-Quality Backlinks on Your Website

SEO is a multi-faceted marketing strategy that amalgamates several techniques to grow the reach of a website thereby making it easier to find online. Whether they’re trying to sell something or not SEO is incredibly important to most websites, links especially tend to play a major part in Google’s algorithm and can hold great sway over how easy your site is to find. If you find that your website isn’t performing well in the digital space and struggles to attract visitors, low-quality backlinks may have a considerable part to play.

What are Backlinks?

In their simplest form backlinks are links that lead from an external or third-party source directly to your website. Attaining backlinks (especially good ones) is challenging and has to be mostly done through inter-company partnerships or on specific directory sites that may charge to incorporate a link. These links can be placed pretty much anywhere on the website as Google’s crawlers are incredibly efficient at discovering backlinks.

How Can Low-Quality Backlinks Hurt My Website?

Based on what you’ve read so far backlinks may not seem too daunting, but believe me when I say they can cause a big dent in visitor numbers. Google sees a backlink as a partnership between websites or as a vote of confidence. When the linking website is recognised as being spammy or relating to a taboo subject, Google will negatively weigh that link against the remainder of the links you may have on your website. Having too many low-quality links can lead to your website being penalised in the rankings or -in extreme cases- even being removed from the search altogether.

An image of links between two sites


There are several online tools that gauge the overall quality of the links entering your website and give you a score out of 100, this is referred to as trustflow and is thought to be how Google ranks websites. Accumulating a high trustflow is indicative of your website linking to several other reputable sites and will likely lead to a boost in its overall Google rankings.

How Do I Improve my Backlink Profile?   

In theory, improving your backlink profile is pretty simple, get some good links in and raise that overall trustflow. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done, and attaining links to quality websites is usually very challenging or expensive. There are several online directories that do offer links for an affordable price and are instrumental to growing your backlink profile, however, it is very easy to dilute your trustflow and you should therefore avoid linking to any websites that have a lower trustflow than your own.   

Removing poor links can be equally challenging as they are often to spammy sites that haven’t requested permission to link back to you and while you can ask them to remove it, there is little chance that they will be willing to do so. In order to remedy this Google has created the backlink disavow tool which accepts submissions of harmful websites that you would like removed, while this does usually take an absolute age and doesn’t result in the removal of all the listed sites, it can still help to crack down on those lower-quality links. 

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