# Does a sudden increase in no-follow backlinks hurt my site?

It's a two-month old website. Nearly a thousand unnatural no-follow backlinks were generated within 6 days with the same anchor text (which has nothing to do with my website keywords) and the same link url. All these links were removed suddenly a couple of days later.

The website used to rank between 270-300, but now I can't find it on Google. I think it's probably caused by the unnatural backlinks. I asked Google to disavow the links, even though they were nofollow and have been removed. I can still find them on Ahrefs.

I'm not sure if my website has been penalized. I didn't received any Google webmaster messages. Will the disavow tool work?

• "All these links were removed ... I can still find them on ahrefs" - what do you mean? If they were "removed", how can you still find them? "used to rank between 270-300" - what does that number refer to; the position in the SERPs?! – MrWhite Aug 21 '15 at 11:13
• I'm sorry I didn't make myself clear. The unnatural links have been removed. Ahrefs doesn't crawl every page everyday, so I think it's the reason why the links are still on this SEO tool. Yes, by rank I mean the position in the SERPs. As English is not my native language, I often make mistakes :) – Sandy T. Aug 22 '15 at 2:26

Generally speaking, you will not need to disavow any links. This should remain a last resort for toxic links. Elsewhere I describe what a toxic link is. Please understand that most junk links are not toxic. For a link to be toxic, a lot has to happen.

It is possible that there was some negative effect, however, Google understands that spam sites will make links to other sites at will and generally does not penalize the target site (yours). In fact, enough spam links can help some by adding up tiny bits of value. I know of one site that has 58,000 spam links from two related sites and performs rather well because of them despite the very few links of value it has obtained. I am not suggesting that spam links are good- just not necessarily bad.

In your case, the site is new and any knock will really hurt. All new sites fluctuate wildly for a period while Google fills it's index and creates the various scores required. This can take months to do and any recalculation and refresh will effect your placement in the SERPs from day to day and even hour to hour. This is also of course dependent upon he search and competition for the search terms.

Do good work in creating your site and doing decent and honest SEO and your site will perform just fine in the end.

BTW- the various SEO websites are very incomplete and slow to keep up with changes. Do not count on them. The experts are Google's various tools. I suggest sticking to just these at least for a while.

• "It is possible that there was some negative effect" - however, if these backlinks genuinely were nofollow then there should be no negative effect. (?) – MrWhite Aug 21 '15 at 11:21
• @w3d Yes. In theory... you are absolutely right! But this is Google remember. (<= excuse) I was not on my game yesterday. My netbook was giving me all kinds of problems and would reboot suddenly and seemingly randomly and then the network was having snafus of it's own and then my panic backups would fail over and over saying that files were too deep when they are only under one directory, and if I had a hammer... it is still doing weird stuff though I have fixed most of it. – closetnoc Aug 21 '15 at 13:32

When purchasing a new URL you need to run a few checks on its history.

You can use https://magestic.com to check out historical links and you can gain free access by registering your site.

You can also use https://archive.org to view the web history of the site.

If the domain looks to have a history of spam links then this may be the issue, Google will continue to see these spam links and associate them to your new site.

And if the previous owner had an algorithmic penalty (Penguin/links) then this also gets passed on to the new owner.

So I suggest you check the domain using the two URLs I provided and see what materialises.

I'm not trying to scare you but knowing sooner rather than later will help you on how to proceed.

If it turns out to be all clear then follow Closetnoc's excellent reply.

• You bring up some excellent points!! – closetnoc Aug 21 '15 at 13:48