A backlink cleanup is a way of removing black hat and poor quality links from websites. A backlink cleanup can result in improving your search engine rankings, and is especially relevant if a Google manual penalty has been applied for link building practices.
Typically, it will result in disavowing links, or requesting that links are taken down from the website.
A backlink cleanup is needed when a site is impacted by toxic backlinks. But where do low quality links come from?
A spammy backlink is often the result of a poor quality link building technique. Maybe there are paid links from PBNs or other places where you can get harmful backlinks. If these are combined with “money term” anchor text, they can be particular suspicious to Google.
Too many links from link directories can cause Google to consider that you have an unnatural link profile, with all of your link placed rather than being from an editorial process.
Some SEOs offer negative SEO services, where they will send hundreds or thousands of poor quality toxic links from all sorts of sites – often the kind you wouldn’t want your site associated with!
Link networks are sites where you create a group of sites which all link to each other. Google considers this to be a very spammy link building practice.
A backlink analysis can identify bad backlinks and create a list of links that will help your SEO efforts. However, they still need to be removed or disavowed.
Google likes sites to attempt to clean up some of the backlinks they’ve had created using various link schemes.
For this, after the link audit there would be an attempt made to contact websites linking to you in an attempt to remove or turn them into nofollow links.
Once as many had been contacted as possible, the remaining harmful links would be removed using the disavow tool.