How to avoid bad Links and create quality Backlinks for SEO rankings

9 min read
3 Nov 2023
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avoid bad Links


Bad links from spam sites can hurt your site’s SEO. If you’re not careful, your site could become the victim of a bad reputation on search engine pages.

Let’s learn how to obtain a site’s data before you proceed to build a link. We will also discuss, how you can disavow bad links on your site.

Before diving deep into the details, let’s describe what a good link is.

A link from a site that is relevant, has a zero or very low spam score, and has ranking visibility on search pages is a good incoming link for a site. In this case, if a link is tagged with dofollow, it is better for the site’s reputation and rankings.

Let’s proceed and learn how should we avoid links that will hurt our site’s SEO in the long run.

Obtain the sites’ metrics first

Before you create a backlink on a site, you need to obtain its metrics first. The more information you have in hand for a target site, the more you will be able to spot, whether or not links from the particular site will hurt your site’s SEO.

Here is a list of factors you will need to obtain for each target site.

  1. Relevancy: See if the target site is relevant and belongs to your site’s niche.
  2. Domain Authority: Domain Authority is a number made by Moz, showing the degree of a site for ranking on search engine pages. The DA is represented by a number from 1 to 100. In this case, sites with a high DA weigh more authority for backlinks.
  3. Link Type: Link type shows the tag of a link that points from one site to another. In this case, Dofollow link tags are better for SEO, as compared to Nofollow.
  4. Spam Score: SS refers to a number from 1 to 100 and shows a site’s authenticity based on several factors, such as backlinks, content, domain reputation, and overall activities. A site with a high spam score is bad for backlinks.

Now, let’s learn how to obtain the above factors for each site you wish to get a backlink from.


By visiting a site’s home page, you can confirm if it is relevant to your niche. Moreover, visit a site’s blog and see if they publish content on topics you do.

Domain Authority

Install the Moz Toolbar from the Google Chrome Web Store and search for your target site’s homepage on Google. If you’re signed into a Moz account, you can see the DA number for entries on Google search pages.

Link Type

While negotiating with a site’s owner for a guest post opportunity, you can ask, if they link to external sites with a dofollow link attribute. On the other hand, you can find yourself by visiting their contributor guidelines for guest posts or loading their blog posts and seeing link attributes with the Nofollow extension in Google Chrome.

Spam Score

As you’ve installed the Moz toolbar in the previous step, you can see the spam score of target sites by visiting their home pages. If the Moz toolbar is active, you can see the bar with the spam score number at the top of a site’s homepage.


How to avoid bad links from other sites?

Let’s address when you should avoid getting links from other sites.

If a site is not relevant to your niche, you can skip it and check metrics for other sites.

A higher DA is better for backlinks’ value, but checking other factors weighs equal importance.

Dofollow links are good for SEO. Hence they pass link juice to the linking sites, Nofollow links also matter if you’ve enough links with the Dofollow attribute on your site.

The spam score is dangerous and you should avoid links from sites with a high spam score. In this case, even if the other metrics are positive, links from sites with a high spam score will hurt your site’s reputation in the eyes of Google.

So, what’s the conclusion?

Keeping a balance between link attributes (addressed above) and choosing sites with more positive signals is the way to build quality backlinks.

For example, a site with a high DA and relevancy but a spam score of 20 is dangerous for a backlink. On the other hand, if a site has a zero spam score, is relevant, and has a DA of 30 with a Dofollow/Nofollow attribute is ideal for a good backlink.

To this line, you should have understood the process of rejecting a site for a backlink. Once you have a list of sites with metrics, you can decide if you should proceed or reject a handful of sites.

To be honest, the opposite routine of what you did to point out bad sites is the way to have good sites for backlinks.

For example, as defined above, spam score and relevancy are not negotiable. However, you should also pick sites with a good DA score. On the other hand, when it comes to the link attributes, if you have enough dofollow links pointing to your site, you can proceed with a handful of Nofollow links.

Let’s proceed with a proper roadmap to pick sites for link opportunities with guest posting.

STEP (1) – Gather relevant sites

Compiling a list of relevant sites for guest posts is easy with Google.

Search for a relevant phrase or keyword in Google and note the ranking sites, as shown in the screenshot below.

Google Sites

You can also use tools that help you find similar sites. For example, giving a try to Site Like will list relevant sites at scale.

Similar Sites

Having that clarified, you can compile a list of relevant sites for guest posts by repeating the above tools and routines.

STEP (2) – Find metrics for collected sites

Using the above methods, you can find metrics like Spam score, DA, and link type for each site on your list. If possible, create a Google spreadsheet to gather data for sites that accept guest posts.

Google Sheet For Data

Again, you will need to use Chrome extensions like the Moz toolbar, Ubersuggest, Nofollow, and Keywords Everywhere. The extensions don’t require logins to work, except the Moz Toolbar.

Note: In this step, you should compile a clean list of sites with positive measures, such as zero spam score, relevancy, a good DA, and dofollow/nofollow information.

STEP (3) – Compile a list of relevant topic ideas

Now, you need to create headlines for guest post proposals.

In this case, you can research ideas in general, within your niche, and pitch the ideas as proposals for guest posts on target sites.

To compile a list of proposed topic ideas, you can see your blog’s content as an example. You can also find ideas on Google pages or visit the trending blogs in your niche for ideas.

STEP (4) – Using an Email Template, reach out to the site owners

Note: Before you start sending emails, you should have found the contact information of sites on the list.

In this step, you can’t use a general template to reach out for possible guest post opportunities.

An email template is important when dealing with target site owners for guest posting opportunities.

Here is the email you need to edit for each candidate on the list.

Hi <name>,

I’m reaching out to see if you accept guest post proposals at <website address>.

I’m <your name>. I’m the founder of <your blog name> which helps beginners <state your blog vision>.

I’d like to know if you accept guest posts on your blog. Here are my proposed topic ideas for a guest post.

  • Article idea 1
  • Article idea 2
  • Article idea 3

I’d love to see your precious reply or let me know if you prefer a different idea for a guest post.

Best Regards,

<your name>

Note: Make sure you have edited the above email for every blog you’re going to pitch for a guest post opportunity.

STEP (5) – Get Approved, write the guest post, and perform other measures

Once your guest post idea is accepted, you’re ready to start working on the writing process.

Make sure you have replied to the “approval” email, stating that the writing process will take a few days.

You can send a link to the Google Document once you have finished writing the guest post. If the target site owner prefers a different medium, follow the instructions instead.

Note: Once your guest post has been published, you can ask the site’s administrator to submit the post’s link in GSC.


This is how you can repeat the process and secure more guest post opportunities on relevant sites.

The whole process stresses enough on compiling a list of clean sites for guest posts. If you fail to collect sites with positive factors, you will fail to achieve the expected results.

How to Disavow Bad Links?

If you have bad sites pointing to your site, you can let Google know about them.

Let’s proceed to learn in this detailed guide, how you should disavow toxic links on your site.

Summary – Over to you

Most people take guest posts wrong when it comes to building backlinks for improved rankings.

As discussed above, there is a difference between good and bad backlinks. You need good links from other sites, the sites with positive measures like 0 spam score, relevancy, and a high DA.

Last but not least, for every site you choose for a guest post, you need to check the measures that could affect your link juice (defined above). If this is true for your site list, you can expect positive results in terms of improved rankings over the coming few months.

If you wonder how to go through the whole process and build quality backlinks, let us help you create a winning strategy for your site’s backlinks.

Written By
I've worked in digital marketing for 10+ years and founded 3 agencies. I am the CEO of Lakewood media Limited and our digital marketing agency I also head, a support and maintenance company and, our premium design and development agency.I currently spend my time developing strategies for digital marketing, covering everything from SEO, PPC, lead generation, email marketing, analytics and conversion optimisation. My role is to ensure our agencies are at the forefront of the industry so we can provide the best solutions and remain agile.I also manage the daily operations at our parent company, where I enjoy the business side of running a group of agencies.
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