Keeping an eye on your website analytics is important so that you can spot any sudden change of traffic to your website. Well, there are many reasons why your website traffic drops, one of them that we are going to look into today is Spammy backlinks.
Spammy links or bad backlinks are intentionally created by others, it could be spammer, your competitors, or anyone who wishes to create damage to your website. The artificial, low-quality backlinks are created and pointing to your website, and this will degrade your website SEO health.
As you know, each and every link pointing to a website is considered a “vote“. And the source of the website the link originated from will decide the quality of the link.
For example, a link pointing to your website from established website link bbc.co.uk, cnn.com are regarded as good links. Thus it gives you a higher quality “vote” from Google. If the link pointing to you is originated from a spammy website where the pages are filled with spammy text, tons of outbound links, without proper content, the links will more damage to your website rather than helping it.
How To Discover Spammy, Low-Quality Backlinks
Your best bet to deal with spammy links is to remove them. But Before you can remove those bad backlinks, you will need to find them out.
How do you do that? Well, one of the easiest ways is to use backlink checking tools. In this example, I am using UberSuggest. The tool shows all the backlinks currently linking to my domain. I will screen through the links to identify the spammy sites.
So how do I identify and be certain that they are causing damage to my site?
It is quite obvious this site has nothing to offer but just a bunch of useless text.
Then you have this site. This looks like a website directory with a long list of random website links. It looks way better than the previous one but I would avoid this website at all costs. It has nearly 2000 outbound links on a single page and that screams “spam” to me. There are no other values it offers but a long list of unrelated, random website links. No useful article, no images, nothing, Just tons of links.
With that said, I go back to my UberSuggest tool and export the lists of backlinks. I then copy and paste it into the text file. (remember the URL must have https:// or http:// prefix. or else Google won't recognize when it comes to uploading the file)
How Do You Disavow Bad Links?
First things first, make sure you have a Google Search Console account. If you do not have one, setting up one is free. If this is the first time you sign up for Google Search Console, you will need to go through the process of adding your website to Google Search Console and do the required verification (kindly follow the steps given by Google to sign up and verify your website).
If you are the website owner, Google Search Console is an important tool as well as your good friend. It allows you to keep informed of your website health.
If you already have a Google Search Console account, just log in and follow the next steps below.
This is how you want to format your text file (that you exported from UberSuggest or any of your SEO tools) according to Google Search Console. Remember to place each URL in a single line. You can either disavow domain or disavow pages.
# Two pages to disavow http://spam.example.com/stuff/comments.html http://spam.example.com/stuff/paid-links.html # One domain to disavow domain:shadyseo.com
In my case, I have formatted them as separate URLs.
Next, go to https://search.google.com/search-console/disavow-links and you will be greeted with the following screen (well, the interface may change over time, so don't freak out if you see a different interface)
Under the Select Property dropdown menu, choose your domain property. Next click “Upload disavow list” and browse the file that you have saved earlier.
Once uploaded, you will see a message saying the URL that has been discovered in the files. If you change your mind, you can always cancel the disavows that you have just uploaded.
What's Next? Google will check your disavows lists and take care of them. You will receive an email from Google to confirm your submission. Take note that It may take weeks for Google to process and recrawl your site.
That's all the process it takes!