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Mike Isaac

Discovery Thursday: SEMrush Backlink Audit Tool

Mike Isaac
Discovery Thursday: SEMrush Backlink Audit Tool

Welcome to yet another edition of Discovery Thursday! Here is where we will show you various reports and features within SEMrush that you may not be taking advantage of.

Everyone wants their website to look as authoritative as possible in the eyes of Google. This is conducted through the efforts of SEO and PPC. However, it comes down to more than just digital marketing campaigns. Backlinks have a direct correlation with your SEO performance.

For those unfamiliar with backlinks, these are links one domain puts on their webpage that redirects to your website. The authority of these websites that link to you can vary dramatically from very low quality, spammy websites to highly authoritative and well known brands. If you have too many spammy websites linking to you, it is not going to make you look credible to search engines. That is why auditing your backlinks is crucial when it comes to monitoring your website. What better way to audit your website then with the SEMrush Backlink Audit tool?

Located under Projects, the SEMrush Backlink Audit tool will assist you with finding any low quality backlinks and assisting with the removal of these links. If you need help understanding our Projects interface, please review this blog post.

This tool will essentially audit your website and help you understand, of the backlinks your website is receiving, which ones should stay and which ones should be disavowed. If you would like help with setting up your Backlink Audit project, please review this manual. When you first open this report, you will be shown a list of keywords that appear toxic and be brought to the Audit report by default. The Page Title and the Source URL will be listed here, the anchor text displayed for the backlink, the type of backlink, the Toxic Score and the Action you would like to take against the backlink. 

The ToxicScore is measured based on a 100 point scale. The higher this number gets to 100, the more toxic the backlink is to your website. This is based on the toxic markers that are triggered by each backlink to determine how toxic the backlink actually is.


At the very top of this report, you can connect your Google Search Console to input any backlinks that Google has found for your domain. You will want to click the “Connect” link at the top and a pop up will appear describing what actions you need to take to do so. 

The Backlink Audit tool also has an alerting system that will provide you with a message if there was a drop in organic traffic as well as check if a project domain is already deindexed. Thus could mean that the given website has been penalized by Google and that further action may be required.


You have the ability to view your backlink based on the default category SEMrush has determined for your backlinks. You can choose between seeing backlinks that were marked as Toxic, Whitelisted or Suspended. The toxic list will include backlinks SEMrush has determined to be toxic. The whitelisted backlinks are ones that SEMrush has determined are okay for your website. The suspended links will be links that may not be harmful but should be reviewed to come up with a decision.

Other filters available to you include reviewing links marked follow or no follow or by toxic markers. These toxic markers are available to see backlinks that experience a certain characteristics. These markers vary from not having social buttons to webpages with high link density. Other than toxic markers, you can also show backlinks that only have a money anchor. These money anchors are anchor text that contain keywords the site is trying to rank for itself. You also have the option to merge similar links together. These would be links from the same domain that carry the same characteristics. 

Next to each backlink you have the action column. This allows you to select if you would like to disavow a single backlink or all backlinks that domain has. 


The Disavow report will list out all of the backlinks you have marked to disavow. If you have marked the whole domain to disavow or just a single backlink, this report will reveal this information in the type column. The Disavow column will provide a green checkmark next to it if the backlink audit was successfully added to the Google Search Console. The More column will display an info link, when click, will populate a list of toxic markers that the url experiences. Next to this column will be an action column. Here you can choose to suspend the backlink(s) or whitelist them. You can manually add links to this report in the top right using the “Add Links” button, or you can export this report to upload it directly to Google.

Using this tool, you can really break down your backlink profile and determine exactly what you need to get your website looking as healthy as possible. Using the toxic markers we provide to you, you can make a decision as to what backlinks you would like to remove or keep in your profile. Don't know where you stand when it comes to your backlinks? Try out the Backlink Audit tool today and see what information you can uncover!

Have you used the Backlink Audit tool yet? What features of this tool do you like? Have you found this helpful? Any recommendations you have for this tool? Please let us know in the comments below!

If you still have questions about any of this information, please feel free to reach out to our Customer Success Team at: (855) 814-4510 or by email at mail@semrush.com. You can also contact us on Twitter by using the #semrushcare hashtag.

Mike Isaac

Knows everything… well, almost.

Mike Isaac is the Customer Success Content Manager at SEMrush. He has been working at SEMrush for over 3 years and is constantly pushing out new content to keep users engaged. Feel free to connect with him on LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter.
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