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BY : Soumya PB 0 comment

Types of Bad Links to Avoid in SEO

In the realm of SEO (Search Engine Optimization), backlinks play a crucial role in determining the authority and credibility of a website. However, not all backlinks are created equal. Some can actually have a negative impact on your site’s search engine rankings. Here are some types of bad links to avoid in SEO:


  • Paid Links: Google’s guidelines explicitly state that buying or selling links to manipulate search rankings is against their policy. Paid links can lead to penalties and a drop in search rankings.
  • Irrelevant Links: Links from websites or pages irrelevant to your content or industry can raise suspicions and negatively affect your site’s credibility.
  • Low-Quality Directories: Submitting your website to low-quality or spammy online directories solely for the purpose of gaining backlinks can harm your SEO efforts. Focus on reputable directories that are relevant to your industry.
  • Link Farms: Link farms are networks of websites created for the sole purpose of exchanging links. These networks offer no real value to users and can result in penalties from search engines.
  • Article Directories: Links from article directories used to be a common practice, but Google’s algorithm updates have devalued these links. Articles on such sites are often of low quality and lack relevance.
  • Exact Match Anchor Text: Using exact match keywords as anchor text excessively in your backlinks can appear unnatural and manipulative to search engines. Aim for a diverse range of anchor text variations.
  • Automated or Bulk Link Building: Using automated tools to quickly create a large number of backlinks is a red flag for search engines. Genuine, organic backlinks are valued more than automated ones.
  • Footer and Sidebar Links: Links placed in the footer or sidebar of a website, especially if they are not relevant, can be seen as unnatural and manipulative.
  • No-Follow Links Only: While no-follow links have their place and can contribute to a natural backlink profile, relying solely on them can raise suspicions. A healthy mix of do-follow and no-follow links is ideal.
  • Reciprocal Linking: Excessive reciprocal linking, where two websites link to each other, can be an attempt to manipulate rankings. Focus on building one-way, authoritative links.
  • Guest Blogging Abuse: Guest blogging can be beneficial, but if it’s done solely for the purpose of getting backlinks from low-quality or irrelevant sites, it can be seen as manipulative.
  • Private Blog Networks (PBNs): PBNs involve creating a network of websites to interlink and artificially boost rankings. Search engines are getting better at detecting and penalising PBNs


Concentrate on obtaining organic, high-quality backlinks from reliable, pertinent websites if you want to develop a strong and healthy backlink profile. Quality should always take precedence over quantity, and a diverse range of sources and anchor texts should be utilised. Regularly monitor your backlink profile to identify and disavow any harmful links that may have been inadvertently acquired.


In SEO, steering clear of bad backlinks is essential for digital marketing success. Quality always trumps quantity, and diverse, relevant sources are key. For a thorough grasp of digital marketing and effective backlink strategies, consider IPSR’s renowned Digital Marketing Course. Elevate your skills ethically and stand out in the dynamic online landscape.


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Soumya PB is an experienced SEO specialist with a proven track record of success. With over 2.5 years of experience in the field, she has developed a comprehensive skill set in both on-page and off-page SEO techniques, including keyword research, content optimization, link building, and technical SEO. Soumya's expertise in these areas has helped numerous clients improve their website ranking and increase their online visibility, resulting in increased traffic and revenue.

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