I know that link building is important. How do I check what links I have currently?
How do I prevent Spam Domain links from hurting my reputation?
Is that a concern that’s justified?
How should I make sure only good sites link to my domain. Is there a way to disavow spam domains?
If you set up the Google Search Console properly, you should be able to access the links to your site section under search traffic in the Search Console (formerly Google Webmasters).
When you see the links to your site section click the more link under the list of domains under who links the most.
As you can see, some of the top referrers for my site have nothing to do with internet tech.
Remove Back Links with Disavow Tool
Now that you have identified the Spam domains linking to you, it’s time to tell Google.
To start this process, download all the linking domains into a csv or Google Spreadsheet.
Think of your site’s DNA as a puzzle of code, content, and inbound/outbound links.
You should look through what your site’s made of and pick out the bad code.
Now, rename this file “Disavow File” and remove all the domains that you view as relevant links.
Warning: This is an advanced SEO procedure and should be done carefully. Telling Google to disavow good links will negatively impact your site.
What Does a Link Do?
Google considers a link as a “vote” for your site.
Check out my article about link building and follow vs no follow links to learn more about links.
Now imagine if you are running for president and a prominent KKK member is touting your name on the News.
You’ll probably want to distance yourself from this person by publicly stating that you have no affiliation with this person.
Disavowing links is a similar process. You are essentially saying, these sites shouldn’t be linking to me, they aren’t relevant.
Now that you have your file with all the undesirables, its time to submit it to Google.
Investigating Inbound Linking Domains
Let’s take an example from my inbound link spam domain research.
I found a domain I didn’t recognize in my list of linking domains.
The domain is treadmi and I want to see all the links it has to my domain.
Here’s a google search trick to see all of these.
Enter this into the google search
The pattern being:
You can click on the actual link to view the page containing the link.
Then you can do CTRL + F and paste in your domain name to find the link on the page.
In the example I provided I saw that the link to my site was listed but wasn’t actually a link. I found this strange and it seems like an oversight by Google to list this as an actual link to my domain.
I saw that they have three links and all of them scrape topic relevant content form my site to improve their SEO for that term.
In this case the term is Photoshop and related words.
The site provides cracked versions of software (unlocked proprietary software).
This is fraud and illegal so I’m going to disavow it because it’s hurting my SEO.
If the reputation of the site isn’t as obvious you can analyze it through a couple other techniques.
Use the WOT Chrome Extension
This tool is a crowd sourced database of spammy and malicious domains to quickly and easily flag any site as a quick disavow on google search console.
I wrote an extensive article on how Web Of Trust can secure your web browsing and I recommend you check it out. It can save you from getting hacked or prevent your kids from viewing unfriendly content.
Check Out It’s Global Rank On Alexa
Just add the domain using this syntax and go to the url.
When you go to Alexa’s site it won’t really let you use it until you sign up for a free trial so this is a bit of a hacky workaround if you don’t want to give them your credit card info and have to remember to cancel before they charge you.
They seem to have a new interface but I bet a lot of the valuable info they provide is the same as when I wrote an article about their survives.
Check it out to learn how the paid version can help with site’s your search engine optimization and link building strategy.
Scan Your Links for Broken links
While researching techniques on analyzing your links I found a chrome extension for checking a sites links for broken links.
This is a bit of a tangent but is still useful in terms of maintaining a healthy outbound linking profile.
The downside of this plugin is that it will only scan the page that you’re on, in other words, it doesn’t scan your whole domain.
Please leave a comment if you have a solution for that.
Now back to inbound links.
Services That Help With SEO and Link Building
Ahrefs offers tools to grow search traffic, research competitors, and monitor your niche.
SpyFu offers deep analysis of keywords both paid and organic for yourself and competitors.
Alexa offers keywords and domain analysis and a site audit.
SemRush offers analysis of SEO, Social Media, Paid Traffic, and Content & PR.
However, there are many out there and the ones listed above are by no means the best available, they are simply ones I have used and see value in.
Yes, you should definitely disavow spam domain links. These inbound links are hurting your google reputation and this effort is worthwhile.
It’s going to take time though so be prepared to do some serious investigating.
Tools metnioned above like SEM Rush will point out some of these links to disavow but it’s cost you a bit or a timely free trial cancellation.
Otherwise you can use some of the techniques mentioned above.
These backlinks can be easily identified by following some key indicators listed in the SEO Blog (linked below) about warnings signs to look for.
However, you don’t need to be a genius to figure out whether to disavow a link or not. It the domain or the link looks spammy, then it is.
The article linked above is a good read, but it’s not necessary because this really is a common sense process.
I hope you liked this article, please let me know if you have a more productive technique for identifying spam domains to disavow.