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I did a backlink audit and found some toxic backlinks. The links were all pointing to my image folder and wordpress. I visited the site that created them. Instead of seeing a backlinks,the anchored text from my site was in the url of the toxic site.

Here is the toxic sites URL: https://angoliskolabudapest.hu/usa-made-dog-beds-k.htm

The subfolder is my text. I can't find a link but it is using my images.

I am thinking this is an attack, but can someone explain what and how this happens. Was the toxic site hacked?

I am going to disavow. I am just trying to understand what happened.

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  • That URL does not appear to be have toxic content now - I wonder if the site was hacked and has been cleaned up. Its a bit difficult to give advice as we can't see what you are seeing. Maybe you want to look at a plugin to prevent hotlinking?
    – davidgo
    Dec 31, 2023 at 2:22

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Disavowing may actually harm your site. Spend some time here searching for Disavow tool and potential harm it can cause.

These links are very common, but are not necessarily "toxic" to Google. A toxic backlink is likely to generate a message from Google in GSC stating that a "Manual Action" has been taken by Google. (https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/2648487?hl=en)

Additional information from Google's John Mueller:

Per John Meuller of Google, "Most websites do not need to worry about toxic links. It’s something that our systems, when they run across links that they think are bad, we will primarily ignore them."

See also: Complete list of my backlinks and What exactly is a bad backlink that is Disavow worthy?

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  • Thank you for your response. I checked GSC, no manual actions. So I am gong to hold off on disavow tool. But SEMRush did identify these links as Toxic with very high toxicity scores. There come from many websites. 1 of them was even removed. Also, how did these links happen? I do not see a links going to my site. Just link text in the URL of the domain that has the back link.
    – seodave
    Jan 2 at 0:22
  • BTW, here is another target link. Target: mywebsite.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/DEWALT-20V-MAX-XR-Bru... Notice it goes to my content/u[loads folder.
    – seodave
    Jan 2 at 0:33
  • @seodave, I've not seen this as the anchor text only. I think that is what you're saying. However, I have dozens of these links in the URL portion of the hyperlink. They show up in GSC as 404 errors because most of them I assume are written by bots, and have the incorrect path. I simply ignore them. I've added an additional link to Google's response to the toxic link stuff. I personally think SEO sites are doing the industry a disservice by continuing to label these links as toxic, but fear sells product.
    – Trebor
    Jan 2 at 3:01

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