How to Redirect Bad Backlinks Away From Your Website

by Paul Wilson


An important element in ranking in Google is having other websites linking to your website. Simple enough, right? So simple that Google has written algorithms that try to penalize people for gaming their system.

If you gain too many “backlinks,” too soon; have lots of spammy backlinks; or both; you can trigger the penalty algorithms. These algos will assassinate your website and leave it in the land of the domain dead. You will no longer exist to the hundreds of millions of Google searchers.

The problem with these deadly algos, is that your competitors can “build” massive spammy links to your website, and potentially get you banned. Google denies this as possible, but I believe this to be a pernicious lie. I’ve seen first hand (but not by my hand) sites receiving the death ray of backlinks from their competitors and shortly after being penalized.

Having this bit of knowledge makes it easy to be paranoid when it comes to having mafia-like competitors. Unfortunately, Google doesn’t really stop cousin Guido from attaching cement boots to your website and taking it out for a swim in the world wide web.

A couple of months ago I reached out to my programming genius friend Milan and shared my concerns. He sent me the below code to put in my .htaccess file. The code makes it so the designated spammy backlink coming to your site will redirect to instead (or any other website you specify).

I am not completely certain that Google will disregard the backlinks you use this code with. It makes sense that they would, since you are telling the search engine bots to not come to your website. If doesn’t work, at least you can whine to them and show them your efforts in stopping your evil Sith Lord competitors from destroying you!



RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} domain\.com [NC]

RewriteRule (.*) [R=301,L]


P.S. I will be writing a quick post in the next few days giving you resources on how to check who is linking to your site. This way you can keep track of the links that are coming in.

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