How to Locate Unnatural Low-Quality Links

First of all, thank you everyone who showed interested in my previous article about Negative SEO.   In my previous article, I discussed about protecting your site from Negative SEO and one of the most common method people use is buying thousands of low-quality links and pointing it to their competitor’s website hoping Google will see that and penalize their competitor.

But here is the problem; how do you know which link is the unnatural link?  Whenever Google detects an unnatural link, they will send an unnatural link warning email to Webmasters so that they can remove it as soon as possible before it start hurting their ranking.  However, if you have a big link profile, how can you tell which link is harming your site.

Unless you are monitoring your website since day one and know what sites are linking to you or you simply don’t build links at all, Matt Cutts from Google’s Search Spam team recommends the following ways to locate unnatural links.

2 ways to locate unnatural low-quality links:

  1.  Google updated the Webmaster tool which allow Webmasters to sort links by most recent.  This way, even if you don’t constantly monitor your backlinks, you will at least know the date your site received a particular link and compare it with when Google detected the unnatural link.
  2. Google will try to include examples of unnatural links within the unnatural link warning email they send to the Webmasters so that the webmasters have an idea of what type of links are low-quality.  They can work off from the examples and try to remove the unnatural links.


Like What You Are Reading?  Subscribe to DOJO NOW!




About: Tommy Tan Tommy Tan

Tommy is a self-taught SEO and Social Media marketer and the Dojo Master for his blog - MKTdojo which shares guides, news, and exciting updates on Social Media and SEO. Connect with Tommy on Twitter. @Mktdojo

  • Susan Cooper

    This is very good to know. I am in the process of auditing my site, so stuff like this is very helpful and something we can put on the “to do” list. It will be interesting to see what we find if any. :-)

    • Tommy Tan

      Thanks for the comment Susan! If you didn’t get any emails from Google, you should be safe.

  • Morgan Decker

    Great post! Very informative, I’m in the middle of taking a web design class now and I’ll have to show this to my professor, thanks for sharing!

    • Tommy Tan

      Hopefully this article will help you get an A in your class! :)


    This is very interesting! I haven’t received any emails from google so hope I am on the safe side so far! Thanks for the post!

    • Tommy Tan

      Phew, glad you are safe. Keep up the good work building “quality” links and keep track of your backlink profile.

  • Retha Groenewald

    Great post, and very informative.

    • Tommy Tan

      Thank you! :) Hope you enjoyed the article!

  • Jeri Walker-Bickett

    I’m glad I stop by here from time to time. I blissfully ignored SEO (or kinda thought I knew what I was doing) for much of this past year. I focused on quality content, but I did a lot of SEO no-nos. Little by little, with posts like this, I’m learning…

    • Tommy Tan

      Yay! I am glad that you are learning something from my articles!

  • Mary Slagel

    I don’t now much about creating and maintaining websites but I was able to follow and understand your post with the little background knowledge I have. Great information and clearly written!

    • Tommy Tan

      Hi Mary,
      Thank you! Glad that you were able to follow along!

  • Catarina Alexon

    Interesting information. Had no idea one of the most common methods people use is buying thousands of low-quality links and pointing it to their competitor’s website hoping Google will see that and penalize their competitor. Terrible behaviour, but it does not surprise me.

    • Tommy Tan

      Yup! These are unethical ways people do in attempt to lower competitor’s ranking. Luckily, Google has a way to protect people from these unethical methods.

  • HomeJobsbyMOM

    Very interesting. Is there somewhere you can just enter a link and see if it’s low quality? I need to do that.

    • Tommy Tan

      That would be awesome if we can do that. However, there are tools that can crawl your page and let you know the authority of the pages that are linking to you.


Subscribe to the Dojo