Most marketers know that building links to your website is a great way to increase your organic visibility as long as they are the right link. In this video I’m going to break down how to spot rogue links that are damaging your backlink profile and damaging your SEO efforts, how to find them, identify them and disavow them within the Google Search Console as well so that they don’t affect your SEO negatively. All of that and more coming up.
Hey guys, Darren Taylor of thebigmarketer.co.uk here and my job is to teach you all about digital marketing. If that sounds up your street you should consider subscribing to my channel. Now in this video what I want to break down is how to identify the bad links that goes to your website that quite often happen naturally and how to identify those and then disavow them on the Google Search Console. Before I jump onto my computer and show you exactly how to do that let me start off by saying that disavowing links is not a small thing.
If you disavow links that are actually contributing well to your backlink profile and you think that’s spammy then that can massively harm your SEO. Only use the disavow tool within the Google Search Console if you really are sure that links pointing to your website are negative. Now I’ve got that out of the way, let’s jump right on to the tutorial on how to identify those bad links and then how to disavow them as well.
Hey guys, now what I’m going to show you is using the Google Search Console how to identify links pointing to your website. As you can see I’m on my Google Search Console account for one of my should I say test spam sites. I know I should have a few good spammy links in here and ultimately what I want to do is check to see who is linking to my site in order to determine whether or not the links they are linking to me with are spammy.
First thing you need to do is– Yes, if you haven’t got a Google Search Console account you need to create one for your website and register your site with the Google Search Console. It might take a couple of days for your data to populate but you should go ahead and do that. First of all I’m going to head over to the links option in the menu and this will give you a report on all the different types of links across your website so pages that have been linked to specifically. Your top internal links and top-linking sites.
This is the report I’m interested in. This is a report that shows you the top-linking sites that are linking to my site. If I expand this it will give me a list of sites that are linking to me. This website I have here is quite a smaller website, it doesn’t have a ton of links but we can work with these eight I can see here so far and we could start to understand and audit these links.
The first thing you need to do is head on over to Moz @ moz.com and create a trial account. A Moz trial account will allow you to do 10 link audits per month which is not many and if you’re an SEO and taking your SEO seriously I’d say you need to pay for your tools, but in terms of a free solution to do this, this is probably the best one to check to see how spammy domains are. You can have 10 searches using Moz per month of different domains. Lucky for us I have a pro account which is fine but even if I didn’t I’m only checking eight links anyway so I’m okay with that.
The first thing I’m going to do is I’m going to open up the first link. I’m going to copy this. I’m going to head on over to Moz and I’m going to go on to the pro link and I’m going to go to the link explorer. If you have a Moz account just go to analytics.moz.com pro link explorer home. I’m going to stick that into the link explorer and it will come up with a number of metrics.
You can see for example the domain authority of this site’s 21, the number of linking domains, but the thing I’m really interested in is the spam. If you go down here to where it’s spam score and you click this it’ll give you an indication of the spam score of this website. The spam score for this particular link is only 7%. Again it’s not that high which is okay, it’s absolutely fine. Ultimately I wouldn’t want to get rid of this link. It’s a good link to have.
Let’s go back across to the search console and check another one. Let’s try this one and see if this one’s got spam within it. Same practice again, copy the link, paste it over into Moz, hit search and it doesn’t actually have a spam score. It’s got so little data within this link, it’s hard to tell what’s actually around it. It’s difficult to tell but one thing you can do is you can look at the links linking to this site and then that can give you an indication of how spammy it potentially is.
The highest spam linked to this site is 88%. Go down a bit further it starts dropping off. It’s not too bad. This link is probably not going to give me anything in terms of authority. It’s not powerful. It’s only got an authority of three which means it might be a new site or just a certain insignificant site. It’s not been indexed.
I’m going to close this down and go across to another one. Let’s try this final one here and head over and see if this one’s quite spammy. Spam score 22, domain authority 1. That ratio isn’t good. I’m getting no authority basically from this link. It’s providing me no value and it’s got a spam score of 22% which is above the threshold I’d like.
Ultimately, Moz says that having a 1 to 30 spam score is okay and then there’s the middle bracket where it’s a bit of an amber light, 31 to 60, then 61 once 100 is a red light. Even though it’s a green light I don’t like that. I’m getting no value from this link whatsoever and the spam score’s 22. To me this is a spammy link so I’m going to go ahead and stop this link from being counted by Google.
The way I do that is using the disavow tool. I’m going to head over to another tab. I’m going to type in disavow tool. We need to type. It’ll be the first option. This is actually a tool within the Google Search Console but it’s from the old interface and it was actually removed from the main search console because people were overusing it and actually blocking really good links to their website and it caused issues. They’ve separated it and you can find it by going to Google and typing in disavow tool.
I’m going to head over to the disavow tool. You’ll see my property is there because I’m logged into webmaster tools. If I click this red button to disavow links, what can happen is I will click on this link again. Again this is disclaimer, Google have ultimately said, “Do not disavow links and expect your site to be fine if you disavow good links essentially.” This is a big disclaimer from Google. We need to make sure that the links we’re disavowing are genuinely spammy.
I’m happy that this one is and I’m happy to disavow it. I’m going to click on the button again. You’ll see here I’ve actually done a disavow of this website before so there’s an old file here. What I need to do ultimately is download this file and re-upload it with a new disavow link. I’m going to go ahead and do that now. I’ll click download. That file will download and you’ll see all these links I’ve disavowed because you can see they’re pretty spammy. They’re all pretty bad.
What I’m going to do is I’m going to add the latest addition to that list. If I head back over to my browser and then go back to Moz and I’m going to copy this link and I’m going to drop that in there as well. Now go ahead and save that. Great, so that’s now been saved. I’m going to close it. I’m going to go back to the disavow tool and I’m going to delete this file. That should be gone and I’m going to choose a new file.
One thing I should have mentioned actually, you need to re-upload the file as a text format file so I’m going to open up Notepad and I’m going to create a new text file with those links in by opening up that spreadsheet I saved and then upload that to the disavow tool instead. Now I’m going to choose the file and I’m going to upload it here and then hit done.
If I hit disavow links again it will make sure it knows it and it’s there again. You’ll see disavow.txt is there. I could submit it. There it is. I’ve successfully uploaded a disavow file from my website. I’m now blocking a number of spammy links and now Google will not count those links when looking at links to your websites because they’ve been disavowed. That’s it.
Thank you very much for watching. I hope that was very useful for you, and if you have any questions again I’m always available in the comments. If you liked this video, leave me a like, and more important than that, don’t forget to subscribe. Check out the other content on my channel and I’ll see you guys on my next video.