Frequently Asked Questions

What is Link Detox®

Link Detox® is software that automatically rates links based on automated rules we develop. In addition, we calculate and estimate the probable risk for your domain receiving a Google Penalty or Google Filter.

We do not pretend to have access to Google‘s algorithms and evaluation methods, as they are not published and not publicly accessible to any third parties. We use material published by Google, and draw personal conclusions from our long experience in Search Engine Optimization, client feedback, observations from thousands of reports, and ongoing testing and configuration of our systems according to our best effort and knowledge.

SEO is not an exact science. Therefore, we only give you opinions and recommendations. We ask you to review and double check the automated results. Make your personal decisions for any actions based on your own experience and direct viewing of the nature and content of websites displayed as potentially harmful to your backlink profile and website. The links evaluated by the program as harmful do not always affect your search engine ranking.

Link Detox® is not a product of Google.

The Link Detox Genesis®, DTOXRISK™, and Domain DTOXRISK™ ® algorithms are based on our personal research, experience, and estimations. The algorithms and reports created by the programs, Link Detox® and Link Research Tools®, do not reflect the official policy or position of Google or other Search Engine operators.

 

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What is DTOXRISK™ (or Link Detox Risk, Link DTOXRISK™)

DTOXRISK™ is a numeric result of our software calculations. This numeric result is sometimes labeled with verbal interpretations, such as high DTOXRISK™ or average DTOXRISK™. It is also sometimes highlighted in different colors.

The labels given to links and websites, such as “High DTOXRISK™”, are merely instructive. The labels are for the sake of program usability, and are not to be taken literally.

If you process a Link Detox® report for a domain, we calculate the DTOXRISK™ score for every link. From the calculation and weighting of various rules for the links, their domains, and their neighborhood, we derive additional technical criteria. Most of these technical criteria for each link are displayed in the application.

The higher the DTOXRISK™ score is, the more automated rules have been triggered and signal the potential risk of that specific link for your overall link profile. Our opinion and estimation, based on this calculation, is links with a high DTOXRISK™ score pose a higher risk for your Google rankings than those with a lower DTOXRISK™ score. The rules used in the application list and explain more detail here: http://www.linkdetox.com/faq

For the domain analyzed, we calculate another specially weighted average of all DTOXRISK™ scores and include additional criteria to get an overall Domain-wide Link Detox Risk (Domain DTOXRISK™). We base the weighting of the single DTOXRISK™ score on our opinion, estimation, customer feedback, and experience of internal and external SEO experts.

We want to be very transparent in our estimation and explanation of our ratings. Some details or algorithms cannot be made public, as they are trade secrets and would increase the complexity of display in our application.

 

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What is Domain DTOXRISK™?

The Domain-Wide Link Detox Risk (Domain DTOXRISK™) is our estimation of the probability for a domain getting a Google Penalty or affected by a Google Filter.

Domain-wide Link Detox Risk (Domain DTOXRISK™) is calculated in 2 steps.

The first calculation is on an individual link level, and based on specific Link Detox® rules detected and calculated in the link level DTOXRISK™. Those rules are listed and explained here http://www.linkdetox.com/faq/

The second calculation helps you understand the overall risk implied by all bad link signals resulting in DTOXRISK™ scores. We aggregate, score, and weight the link level DTOXRISK™ signals based on the experience and personal opinions of several internal and external SEO experts.

All of the Link Detox® rules have their own weight that contribute to the overall risk of a link. All of the Link Detox® rules have their own risk rating value. We configure all these weights and rating values based on experience and personal opinions of several internal and external SEO experts.

For example: If a link triggers the rules SUSP1, TOX1, and TOX2, this equals 50 + 400 + 700. Therefore, the Rating Value = 1150 and your Risk Level = DEADLY RISK

Therefore, the Domain-Wide Link Detox Risk (Domain DTOXRISK™) is a risk estimation for the overall website analysis report. This means even if you see a somewhat low average risk, you should still double-check to see if there are a few high-risk links in your profile.

To find a full explanation of the rule definitions, go to: http://www.linkdetox.com/faq/

 

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Recommended Link Audit Priority in Link Detox®

The link audit priority we recommend to you helps you to understand which links we deem more important to review before others.

What does “High Link Audit Priority Mean”?

Links with a high link audit priority recommendation should be checked first.

If you agree with our opinion and the link risk estimation expressed in our calculated DTOXRISK™ score, you should disavow as quickly as possible and then try to get these links removed.

The higher the calculated DTOXRISK™ score is, the more attention you should give it during your review.

 

What does “Medium Link Audit Priority Mean”?

Backlinks with a medium link audit priority recommendation should be reviewed right after those with high link audit priority.

The DTOXRISK™ score we calculate expresses our opinion about the link risk assumed in these links. This score will help you understand our estimations and the various rules that led to it.

It’s your decision to either remove or disavow the link because you think it’s an undesirable link. For those instances, please give the link a thumbs down. If you would want to keep the link, give the link a thumbs up to record your decision and help train our Link Detox Genesis® algorithm.

 

What does “Low Link Audit Priority” mean?

You should always check Backlinks with a low link audit priority. Especially if these appear to be strong links with money keywords, or if you know or assume these links could be paid links.

Paid FOLLOW links, which violate Google’s guidelines, cannot be reliably detected by automated systems, including Google. If you find a paid link that you think looks too obvious, we recommend to give it a thumbs-down, disavow the link, and also have it removed.

Your can also find links with a low link audit priority that have a DTOXRISK™ value of 0. This does not automatically mean that there is no risk in such a link. It means our automated system could not calculate a risk for it. A possible reason for a DTOXRISK™ value of 0 could be that you chose to ignore NOFOLLOW links, or it’s a paid link that could not be identified as explained above.

 

What does link audit priority ”Disavowed Link“ mean?

Backlinks that are marked as ”Disavowed Link“ in the link audit priority column were reported as disavowed to us.

This means, the user said he reported these links to Google by uploading a disavow file to Google Webmaster Tools and then uploaded that same file to us.

For reported disavow links, we always calculate a DTOXRISK™ value of 0. This does not automatically mean there is no risk in these links. It means, we assume your upload to Google worked without errors, and that Google’s statement about completely ignoring the links is correct and the Disavow was already crawled by Google. To speed up the detection of disavowed links by Google, you can use our Link Detox Boost® tool.

 

What does link audit priority ”Ignored“ mean?

Backlinks that are marked as ”Ignored “ in the link audit priority column were reported to be ignored to us.

This means we do not calculate a DTOXRISK™ score but report 0 for all such links.

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NOFOLLOW link evaluation

The impact on NOFOLLOW links on search engine rankings and penalties is discussed controversially. Google published that such links would be completely ignored. We believe that NOFOLLOW links can under certain circumstances still be harmful to search engine rankings and result in manual penalties, because Google generally tries to identify spamming intents. We regularly hear from clients that their penalty was only lifted after they investigated and removed large quantities of NOFOLLOW links. From this we conclude that Google in certain cases tries to identify intents of spamming even if NOFOLLOW links are used.

We therefore explicitly give you two possibilities to run our software:

  1. Ignoring NOFOLLOW links – which will mean assigning a zero DTOXRISK™ score to all links in our software.
  2. Activating the NOFOLLOW evaluation – which will result in calculation of DTOXRISK™ score for NOFOLLOW links – albeit with a different risk scoring in the algorithms of Link Detox® than for FOLLOW links.

The results of Method 2 (“Evaluate NOFOLLOW”) are alternative evaluations of DTOXRISK™ for all links including NOFOLLOW links, based on the assumption that NOFOLLOW links should be evaluated as well, although with a different calculation of risk scores.

 

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Rules used in the Link Detox® Algorithms

 

TOX1
Domain is not indexed in Google – often a sign for a penalty

The TOX1 rule means that the link is not indexed in Google and this could mean that Google has de-indexed due to a penalty. But keep in mind that a non-indexed link could also mean that it’s a new domain that nobody has linked to yet or it has a problem in the robots.txt or META robots tag. Make sure that you double check these things before removing the link. On the other hand, a domain that is not indexed in Google won’t help you SEO-wise so removing it is the better option if in doubt.

 

TOX2
Linking domain’s theme is listed as dangerous (Malware, Malicious or Virus)

The TOX2 rule means that the domains theme is listed as dangerous with possible malware, malicious activity or a virus which is classified as a bad neighborhood. If this link is pointing to your site then Google may automatically assume that you are connected to this bad neighborhood. We recommend that you remove these links as soon as possible.

 

TOX3
High DTOXRISK™ score for this link calculated, classified by the Link Detox Genesis™ algorithm as unnatural

The TOX3 rule means that the Link Detox Genesis™ algorithm classified this link as very unnatural.

This automatic evaluation and calculation of our DTOXRISK™ score is based on a large number of data signals and user ratings.

We recommend that you review these links especially careful. If you agree with our opinion and the link risk estimation expressed in our calculated DTOXRISK™ score, you should disavow as quickly as possible and then try to get these links removed.

The higher the calculated DTOXRISK™ score is, the more attention you should give it during your review.

Please note that especially this rule triggers also for NOFOLLOW links if you decide that you want to calculate DTOXRISK™ for NOFOLLOW links as well. Please also read our explanations about NOFOLLOW above.

We took technical measures to avoid, that competitors or malicious users could influence our algorithms in a negative way. We do weight user ratings based on the trust we believe we can give that user based on a number of criteria. We also might ignore some user ratings altogether we believe we cannot trust that user at all.

If you do rate a link yourself, then only your own opinion counts and is not influenced by other users at all.

 

SUSP1
Link from a page without external links on a weak domain

The SUSP1 rule means that it is a link coming from a page on very weak domain that has no external links. This is often the case for links from forums or from  link is coming from some special automated spamming activity or listing in a link directory.

 

SUSP2
Link coming from a probably new or very weak domain.

The SUSP2 rule means that it is a link coming from a very weak domain. This domain could also be a very new domain.

 

SUSP3
Possible Link Network – link coming from a weak page but has more than 10 backlinks from the same network

The SUSP3 rule means that this link comes from a page that has more than 10 backlinks from 1 C-Class IP address and also has Cemper Power*Trust™ domain below 5 and Cemper Power*Trust™ below 5. This could mean that it is a link coming from a possible spammy link network.

 

SUSP4
Link from possibly penalized page

The SUSP4 means that the homepage of the site the link comes from does not rank for the title of the page which is usually a sign of that page or domain being penalized. However, special cases like pages with generic titles like “Partners” or “Home” have a hard time ranking #1 most of the times, so please make sure that you double-check for special cases like this.

 

SUSP5
Linking domain’s theme is listed as suspicious (Hacking, Suspicious or Pornography)

The SUSP5 rule means that the theme of the domain has been listed as Hacking, Suspicious or Pornography. For most webmasters, links from these type of websites are not what they want.

 

SUSP6
Possible Link Network – same registrant as other linking domains

The SUSP6 rule means that it has detected links coming from the same domain name registrant (REG) as other linking domains. This normally means that the links are possibly from a link network. Always be aware of your neighborhood.

 

SUSP7
Possible Link Network – Domain has the same IP as other linking domains

The SUSP7 rule means that it has detected links coming from the same IP address as other linking domains. This normally means that the links are possibly from a link network. Always be aware of your neighborhood.

 

SUSP8
Possible Link Network – Domain has the same Class-C as other linking domains

The SUSP8 rule means that it has detected links coming from the same C-Class IP address as other linking domains. This often means that the links are possibly from a link network. Many links from domains in the same C-Class block often means that these domains are part of a link network.

 

SUSP9
Possible Link Network – Domain has the same DNS as other linking domains

The SUSP9 rule means that it has detected links coming from the same DNS (Domain name server) as other linking domains. Many links from domains with the same DNS often mean that these domains are part of a simple setup link network. If you have links from a lot of small websites that by coincidence share the same public or very large hosting company then it’s also possible for this rule to be triggered. So please double-check for generic DNS providers or shared hosting sources.

 

SUSP10
Linking domain has very negative Link Velocity Trend – maybe part of an Expired Domain link network or a domain that the public has lost interest in

The SUSP10 rule means that it has a Link Velocity trend dropping by 70%. We analyze the link growth of every domain and understand that in this case the link growth of the last 4 months is significantly smaller than it was in the last 12 and 24 months. Usually that’s a sign that the domain is abandoned by the current owner. (As many expired domain link networks are, especially after Google Penguin update)

 

SUSP11
Sitewide Footer Link detected – a typical way how paid links or “friend”-links are artificially placed

The SUSP11 rule means that a sitewide footer link has been detected. While sitewide links have been popular in the past, they have really lost most of their power in recent times. Today there’s more risk and reward, because SEO experts and Google likewise can easily spot these links and most industries have been cleaned up from it. We recommend that you inspect this link carefully as it could potentially be cross linking between your own sites. Such cross linking between own sites if on topic is  tolerated for some big brands (think Amazon, Ebay, big publishers) but usually not the average webmaster.

 

SUSP12
Possible Link Network – Linking domain has the same Google Analytics code as other linking domains

The SUSP12 rule means that the linking domain has the same Google Analytics code as other linking domains. If multiple domains have the same Google IDs then it is a strong signal of a possible link network. We recommend examining these domains manually because many agencies manage the Google accounts of their clients and this could be the reason of the same Google ID. In addition even if a link network is present this is not necessarily classified as “poor.”

 

SUSP13
Possible Link Network – Domain uses the same Google Adsense Publisher ID as other linking domains

The SUSP13 rule means that the domain name has the same Google Adsense Publisher ID as other linking domains. If multiple domains have the same Google IDs then it is a strong signal of a possible link network. We recommend examining these domains manually because many agencies manage the Google accounts of their clients and this could be the reason of the same Google ID. In addition even if a link network is present this is not necessarily classified as “poor”.

 

SUSP14
Page has no Google PageRank™ but at least some weak links

The SUSP14 means that this link has no Google PageRank. This could be a sign Google has penalized this site from the search engines. Google PageRank™ is becoming more inaccurate and unreliable (many webmasters don´t trust this metric anymore).

 

SUSP15
Link Directory Links

The SUSP15 means that these links are coming from typical web link directory footprints which were often just setup to artificially inflate link popularities and/or sell links from. While it was practice for years to fill up link profiles with these type of links for many SEOs it cannot be recommended these days.

 

SUSP16
Article Directory Links

The SUSP16 means these links are coming from typical article directories which were the successor of link directories and often also automatically filled with useless articles just to get a link from as many as possible domains. Often these article directory pages were furthermore linked with spam links to increase their inbound links and thus make those otherwise useless pages more helpful. While this was practice for years for many SEOs it cannot be recommended these days.

 

SUSP17
Massive Number of outgoing Links

The SUSP17 rule means that this page has more than 1,000 outgoing links. This could be a sign for a spammy blog or directory. Please ensure that you review these links carefully.

 

SUSP18
Young domain with low CEMPER Power*Trust

The SUSP18 rule means that it’s a link from a page that is coming from a young domain (less than 6 months old) that has a low CEMPER Power*Trust Domain below 3.

 

SUSP19
Old domain with no Google PageRank™ on the homepage

The SUSP19 rule means, that an established Domain (older than 6 months) has no Homepage Google PAGERANK™. In our experience this is often a sign for a Google penalty.

 

SUSP20
Above Average DTOXRISK™ score calculated for this link

The SUSP20 rule means that the Link Detox Genesis® algorithm rated this link as suspicious based on its DTOXRISK™ score. This automatic evaluation and calculation of our DTOXRISK™ score is based on a large number of data signals and user ratings.

We recommend that you review these links careful. If you agree with our opinion and the link risk estimation expressed in our calculated DTOXRISK™ score, you should disavow as quickly as possible and then try to get these links removed.

The higher the calculated DTOXRISK™ score is, the more attention you should give it during your review.

Please note that especially this rule triggers also for NOFOLLOW links if you decide that you want to calculate DTOXRISK™ for NOFOLLOW links as well. Please also read our explanations about NOFOLLOW above.

We took technical measures to avoid, that competitors or malicious users could influence our algorithms in a negative way. We do weight user ratings based on the trust we believe we can give that user based on a number of criteria. We also might ignore some user ratings altogether we believe we cannot trust that user at all.

If you do rate a link yourself, then only your own opinion counts and is not influenced by other users at all.

 

SUSP21
Linking domain found on Blacklist

The SUSP21 rule means that the domain linking to your website has been found on one or more blacklists that we cross reference. You should consider removing this link.

 

SUSP22
Possible Link Network – Domain has the same website footprints as other linking domains

The SUSP22 rule means that the Link Detox Genesis™ footprint detection found this domain to be closely related to other domains that link to you. This is often the case with link networks. This footprint rule is different to SUSP23, SUSP24. Please understand that for competitive reasons we cannot disclose more details here.

Please review if this link is spammy or unnatural and then consider removal or disavow.

 

SUSP23
Possible Link Network – Domain has the same website footprints as other linking domains

The SUSP23 rule means that the Link Detox Genesis™ footprint detection found this domain to be closely related to other domains that link to you. This is often the case with link networks. This footprint rule is different to SUSP22, SUSP24. Please understand that for competitive reasons we cannot disclose more details here.

Please review if this link is spammy or unnatural and then consider removal or disavow.

 

SUSP24
Possible Link Network – Domain has the same website footprints as other linking domains

The SUSP24 rule means that the Link Detox Genesis™ footprint detection found this domain to be closely related to other domains that link to you. This is often the case with link networks. This footprint rule is different to SUSP23, SUSP24. Please understand that for competitive reasons we cannot disclose more details here.

Please review if this link is spammy or unnatural and then consider removal or disavow.

 

SUSP25
Hidden image link detected

The SUSP25 rule means that a hidden image link has been detected. This is often a sign of bad linking tactics. Please review if this link is spammy or unnatural and then consider removal or disavow.

 

SUSP26
Links coming from typical link voting directories

The SUSP26 rule means that it’s a link coming from link voting directories and is a common way to inflate link popularities and/or sell links which is not recommended anymore.

 

SUSP27
Links from possibly penalized Domain

The SUSP27 Rule means that we assume that domain this link is on was penalized by Google. This is because we don’t see any rankings for this domain but still count some CEMPER Power*Trust™ for the domain. This means the domain should have some rankings, but doesn’t, so we assume a penalty by Google.
Please review if this link is spammy or unnatural and then consider removal or disavow.

 

SUSP28
Money keyword anchor text appears in more than 5% of all backlinks

The SUSP28 rule means that a money keyword’s anchor text was found more than 5% in your link profile. This is usually a sign of “overdone” SEO and is highly problematic as it could be detected by Google easily as well. Please review if the keyword phrase of this anchor text has been classified correctly and if you find high risk links that you should consider to remove. Also consider changing links from “money keywords” to “brand links”.
Please note that 5% in this rule only serves as a simple filter for “really overdone” and lower percentages could also cause issues.

 

SUSP29
Compound keyword anchor text appears in more than 5% of all backlinks

The SUSP29 rule means that the anchor text has been marked as a “Compound Keyword” and appears in more than 5% of all backlinks Anchor Texts. It’s highly recommended to review this link to ensure it is not Spam.

 

SUSP30
Link from a potentially spammy forum

The SUSP30 rule means that you have links coming from forums that are typically targeted by link spamming Tools. We recommend reviewing these links before removal.

 

SUSP31
Anchor text placement looks suspicious

The SUSP31 rule means that the anchor text placement looks suspicious. We recommend reviewing these links before removal.