What is a backlink?
A backlink is a vote of confidence from a third-party website in your nice or industry. Google and other search engines like more backlinks to your website because it shows authority. It shows them you are legit.
What is a Bad Backlink?
A bad backlink is a reference to your website from a third party website that isn`t relevant, isn`t reputable, is shady, low-quality, or that is used solely to generate links. These factors are frowned big-time by the search engines of today and can seriously affect your rankings.
Remember when Google, or any other search engine, detects a suspicious backlink or penalized site linking back to your site, it associates your website with the website linking to you. If this website is penalized, or if the backlink is considered spammy Google may impose a penalty on your rankings. Even if you have never purposefully sought out backlinks it is still possible to end up with a few of them.
The old school technique of buying hundreds of links is gone. Never buy backlinks if you are approached by one of those to good to be true emails or ads. Those bad backlinks are frowned upon by Google and the other top search providers. Don`t do it!
A good rule of thumb is to look at the page that you want to submit your website url. If that page appears to only have links and provides no real value to the reader, then you should avoid it.
What do I do about Bad Backlinks?
The truth is sometimes bad backlinks are not your fault. If you ever find your website on undesirable pages then your can disavow those bad backlinks or the entire domain. This is a list you can register with Google and update when you need to.
I highly recommend that you learn to use the Google Disavow Tool and use it whenever you find a backlink you do not like associated with your website. It will pay in the long run to stay vigilant on bad backlinks.