Unnatural Links

What are Unnatural Links?

Unnatural links are external links that are typically low-quality and do not provide any real value to users. They exist solely to manipulate search engine rankings and artificially boost a website’s visibility.

Unnatural links are often obtained through tactics such as: 

  • Link schemes or private blog networks
  • Excessive Link exchanges
  • Low-quality or spammy websites
  • Paid links

Building unnatural links to your site violates Google Search Essentials. Google’s algorithms are constantly evolving to combat unnatural links.

Why are Unnatural Links Harmful?

Unnatural links can have a detrimental impact on a website’s organic search performance. When search engines detect unnatural links pointing to a site, they view it as an attempt to manipulate rankings. This can result in penalties that significantly decrease the website’s visibility and traffic.

In addition to negatively impacting search engine rankings, unnatural links can also damage a website’s reputation.

Users who come across a site with spammy or irrelevant links are less likely to trust the website. Or, in some cases, they even report it as spam. This could cause a loss of credibility. Also, loss of trust in the eyes of both engines like Google and customers.

How to Identify Unnatural Links

Figuring out unnatural links is vital to retaining a healthy backlink profile. Thankfully, there are tools to help you.

Here are some effective methods to identify unnatural links:

Manual Link Audit

Conducting a manual link audit involves reviewing your backlink profile. After that, you identify any links that appear suspicious or violate search engine guidelines.

Look for links from unrelated or low-quality websites, excessive anchor text usage, and links from known link schemes.

Google Search Console

Google Search Console allows site owners to monitor and analyze their website’s performance in Google search results.

SEOLeverage has an app where you can see GSC reports. It provides valuable information about the websites linking to yours. Plus, you can see any potential issues with unnatural inbound links.

Backlink Analysis Tools

Various backlink analysis tools offer comprehensive features to identify and analyze backlinks. These tools can help you uncover unnatural links and analyze anchor text distribution. These tools also provide insights into the quality and relevance of linking websites.

Tips to Remove Harmful Backlinks

Once you have identified unnatural links pointing to your website, it is crucial to take action and remove them.

Follow these steps to remove harmful and spammy links effectively:

Contact Webmasters

Start by reaching out to the webmasters of the websites hosting the unnatural or sitewide links. Request the removal of the links and provide clear instructions on which links to remove.

Be polite and professional in your communication. Webmasters are more likely to cooperate if approached respectfully.

Disavow Tool

Google’s Disavow Tool can be a helpful resource for website owners and SEO professionals. It allows you to disassociate your website from specific backlinks that you believe are harmful or unnatural. 

When using the Disavow Tool, following Google’s guidelines and providing a detailed and accurate disavow file is crucial. Include only the URLs of the specific backlinks you want to disavow and avoid disavowing entire domains.

According to Google, this tool should be used with caution and as a last resort, as it can have unintended consequences if misused. It says:

Monitor and Reconsider

After taking steps to remove harmful backlinks, monitor your website’s backlink profile regularly. Ensure that the links have been removed or disavowed successfully.

If necessary, submit a reconsideration request to Google. Plus, explain the actions you have taken to address the issue.

Preventing Unnatural Links

Prevention is always better than cure when it comes to unnatural links. Here are some proactive measures you can take to prevent the occurrence of harmful backlinks:

Quality Content and Link-Worthy Assets

Create high-quality, valuable content that naturally attracts backlinks. Offering unique and informative content increases the likelihood of organic link-building. This reduces the need for an unnatural link-building strategy.

Regular Link Audits

Perform regular link audits to identify any potential issues with your backlink profile.

If you’re concerned about unnatural links to your website, SEOLeverage can help you to identify and remove them. Their link services can help you to improve your website’s SEO and protect it from penalties.

Depending on your needs and goals, here are two options to get started:

Educate Your Team

Educate your team members about the risks and consequences of the link scheme. Ensure they understand the importance of following ethical SEO practices. Additionally, avoid tactics that may lead to the acquisition of harmful backlinks.


Unnatural links can severely impact a website’s search engine rankings. Figuring out and removing unnatural links is an essential procedure. But it requires careful analysis and action.

Additionally, audit your web page and identify any issues. Take a look at our services at SEOLeverage. With its complete analysis and reporting functions, SEOLeverage lets you hold a healthful and authoritative backlink profile.