7 Backlinks That Have Negative Impact On Your SEO

Getting backlinks is an integral part of SEO, and getting more backlinks is known as link building. Like many other aspects of SEO, however, link building is not as easy as you might think! Some backlinks are good, and others are bad. Too many bad backlinks can have a negative impact on your ranking.

Bad links refer to the links on other websites that are linking to your site and hurting your SEO. However, there are many other types of backlinks that are considered to be less than reputable too.

Many website owners are having a lot of trouble determining what links hurt their rankings in the search engines. Nonetheless, several types of backlinks are known to harm a website’s rankings in the search results. These include:


  • Press Release Links


For a long time, press releases have been an indispensable tool in boosting your presence both online and offline.

When Google began to use press releases in their ranking algorithms, their popularity skyrocketed. Many people consider press releases to be an easy way to earn backlinks and establish their authority.

Unfortunately, the upsurge of low-quality and spammy press releases forced Google to take drastic action. Other search engines have followed suit as they also see press release links as a link scheme since they believe these are easily manipulated.

Overly optimized press releases might violate Google’s linking policies and hurt SEO rankings for your company. If your company uses press releases to spread the word about business products and services, you want to avoid heavily optimized links that target the main keyword. Since website owners want to rank for their money keywords, they sometimes make the anchor text and money keywords the same. However, this is a clear sign that the press release has been issued for link-building purposes only.   

Although Ghost Marketing SEO experts do not advise businesses to stop using this strategy altogether, it’s advisable to include fewer links and vary the anchor text in every piece. Use press release links only as call-to-actions for visitors to learn more or visit other pages on your website.


  • Forum Links


Having more people discussing your website in forums is one of the best things that can happen to your business. It implies that your site has generated a lot of attention in its industry.

However, not every forum link is a good thing. Using too many forum links on your site (or having some that come from poor sites) will harm your rankings. If you’re getting thousands of backlinks from these low-quality forums, Google will definitely flag it as it is considered to be “spammy”.


  • Guestbook Links


Guestbook links tend to be manipulative and spammy. You can get them by placing them manually or using an automated program. Having too many of these links can lead to a severe downgrade in your site’s rankings.

If unsure, disavow any guestbook links from your profile to prevent them from harming your SEO results.


  • Weird Nofollow Links


Many webmasters agree that random or weird nofollow links will have a negative impact on your search ranking – especially if they appear in a spammy (or bad) link network, in which the search engines are always on the lookout.

Since randomly placed nofollow links can harm your rankings, use them sparingly. The search engines can locate them, particularly if you are not utilizing an automated program. Too many nofollow links from different websites send a clear signal to Google that something fishy is going on.


  • Social Bookmark Links


Linking to various social bookmarking platforms (such as StumbleUpon and Reddit) is also said to be manipulative. This implies that if you utilize them regularly, it will lead to a drop in your search rankings.

These links are added to these platforms manually, which is not what Google is looking for.


  • Directory Submissions


There are just a few premier quality directories on the web that are worth obtaining a backlink from. The search engines prefer DMOZ web, The Yahoo and Best of Web online directories because they are strictly moderated.

However, many online services offer to provide you with links from poor quality directories. Links from many poor quality web directories can lead to a drop in rankings.

These web directories have been abused in the past, so Google was forced to take action. Many SEO experts believe that backlinks from such web directories can have a negative impact on SEO. Therefore, it is recommended only to obtain backlinks from the leading directories.


  • Blog Comment


In many niches, blog comments are highly welcome. There’s nothing wrong with leaving a helpful comment on another website. In any case, the internet is designed for sharing information. Webmasters often interact on blogs and forums, and links from such platforms are okay.

However, what matters is how the links are generated. Many automated programs spam blogs and forums with comments, and such programs are built to provide keyword-rich backlinks. 

If you use your real name to leave a couple of backlinks on forums and blogs, that shouldn’t lead to a drop in your rankings. Nonetheless, creating backlinks on forums or blogs using keyword phrases will most likely attract a Google penalty. The right way to benefit from blog comments is to leave valuable comments on relevant websites.


The key to online success nowadays is to follow ethical SEO practices, based on search engine standards, and staying up-to-date with Google’s ever-changing ranking algorithms.

Although this list of bad backlinks is not exhaustive, it includes the most common backlinks that can harm your SEO rankings. In addition to dealing with the problem of bad backlinks, you should also consider your content and overall website design to ensure it is not limiting your SEO success.

If you need help with creating high-quality backlinks or any other SEO aspect, browse around this website anytime.

Dorian Koci

Dr. Dorian Koçi is a historian, Director of National Historical Museum of Albania and lecturer in Tirana State University, Faculty of History and Philology and New York University of Tirana.