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Toxic Backlinks: SEO significance

The effect of toxic backlinks on a site’s SEO performance is not as clear as it used to be. Google uses backlinks to determine the  “Authority” and “Trust” of a site and reward it with higher page rank and higher organic positioning (

But, when low quality link schemes began to take advantage of this algorithm, Google began to penalize sites with it’s “Penguin” penalty. These penalties (Penguin 1-4),  lowered the ranking of sites that used “spammy” or “toxic” back link strategies. But, in the last couple of years Google, according to some experts, Google “seems” to  simply ignore low quality links rather than penalizing them. 

We do know, for sure, (as stated above) that Google still uses good and higher quality backlinks to determine  organic positioning  because of the “Trust” factor these links indicate.

A Change at Google?

It now “seems” that toxic ( or low quality) links are simply ignored by Google, but still there seems to be some difference of opinion.  Knowing “for sure”  is critical because it can be very time consuming (i.e expensive) to keep track of the bad links pointing to your site (via scans) then requesting removal from each source by getting Who Is contact information, and finally, using the Google Disavow procedure for the non respondent URL’s (i.e. most all of them). All of this could be eliminated if we knew for sure that Google simply ignores toxic links (or simply spammy, irrelevant, or bad links).

There is one other possibility in this whole regard.  When the toxic links  are very numerous and constant, it may indicate to Google that the links are an intentional spamming strategy, they will hit you with a Penguin penalty. So, the answer to the question “penalize or Ignore?” may be yes and no depending on the number and quality.

If any reader has had direct experience, or has simply fairly well informed knowledge about this issue I would be very happy to receive your comments.  Thanks in advance! 

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