A Few Types of Bad Websites to Qualify for Link Removal

Having gone through the process of conducting a backlink analysis due to a client’s manual penalty, and ultimately proceeding with link removal, I have become more aware of how to quickly qualify and determine what type of websites are “bad” for linking.  In the beginning process of this however, it was sometimes tough to determine if a site was actually credible or “bad”. My coworker @IvyPollock and I spent plenty of time shooting each other messages back and forth asking, “What about this site?”, “Would you remove a site that looked like this?”.  Besides looking at the fundamental  SEO notions of domain authority, page rank and even the type of content and anchor text that were causing “spammy links pointing back to your site” you can also focus towards specific on-page qualities that a poor quality site may have.

Below are a few quick and easy beginner examples of sites that would qualify as being “bad”.  These are types of bad sites you would definitely want to reach out to for link removal or included in your disavowed list during your backlink analysis process. And obviously these are sites you would want to avoid for any type of linking opportunities.  They are also overly obvious crappy sites, but they get the point across.

High risk

Malware detected on the site

malware site example

The site does not exist

site doesnt exist example

No navigation

no navigation example of bad website

Advertising in the site navigation

advertising in site navigation bad website example

The site is a parked domain

parked domain bad site example

parked domain bad site example 2

parked domain bad site example 3

Spam terms can be found in the page but you cannot find them (as they have been hidden)

Hidden Spam terms Bad site example

No content or links to content on the home page

no content or other links on the home page site example

The website is no longer updated

website no longer updated example bad sites


The homepage is a 404

homepage is a 404

The website is a directory with no specific industry

web directory

Selling links on their site

selling links

Random links to different industries

random links

Medium risk

Site covered in AdSense

ad sense

Over-optimized links in content

over optimized 1

over optimized 2

Several languages on the page that don’t make sense together

several languages

Inconsistent content with optimized anchor text

Inconsistent content

Anchor text does not match the theme of the website

(Use the Ahrefs tool to check out the anchor text of a website you are qualifying to make sure that spammy anchor text isn’t pointing back to the site and that anchor text matches the theme of the site.)


Low risk

Broken images and formatting

broken images and formatting

Absence of logo

absence of logo

Hopefully you find these basic examples of bad sites helpful when manually reviewing those gross backlinks pointing to your site.

If you have any other techniques you use to quickly qualify bad sites during link building or the link removal process, let me know in the comments or on twitter @enre05.

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