Dumb SEO Questions

(Entry was posted by Thomas Patrick McKee on this post in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Thursday, November 29, 2018).

How do I find the back links that may be doing me harm?

I want to clean up my back links. A little pruning. How do I find the back links that may be doing me harm and what is the most effective way to disavow them. What if there are thousands?

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Selected answers from the Dumb SEO Questions G+ community.

  • Daniel Barbour: Do research about disavowing links. Generally it’s unnecessary or harmful to do so.
  • Lauren Terfehr: Disavowing should definitely still be done - but only disavow links that are BLATANT spam. I’d recommend using a tool like Kerboo. You can import links from multiple sources (GSC, Ahrefs & Majestic) to get the full picture of your link profile and curate a disavow list there. Once you get your list, save as a plain text file and upload to GSC. Remember: be verrrrrrrry careful you only disavow blatant spam. Once you disavow a domain you can pretty much forget about harnessing any link equity from it ever again.
  • Dave Elliott: If you haven`t got a penalty or recently had one I reccomend being very dirty with this. Anything with a da of less than (say) 10 is either span of not helping your rankings and so can be disavowed.I hate doing proper backlinks analysis far more important things to be getting on with.
  • Michael Martinez: Unless you have received a manual action you don`t know if any of your backlinks are doing harm, and you are more likely to harm your site`s performance in search through unnecessary disavowal than by leaving things alone. If you did not build any backlinks you don`t need to worry. If you DID build backlinks, then you know which links should be disavowed if you want to comply with Google`s guidelines. Domain Authority is a completely useless, misleading metric to use in evaluating backlinks because it is not computed by Google nor based on any data they have collected.
  • Thomas Patrick McKee: Michael Martinez, I paid an SEO to help with backlinks a few months ago and I went from zero to 67k. I can’t believe that all of those can be good, legitimate backlinks.
  • Michael Martinez: Thomas Patrick McKee Doesn`t sound like they will be good backlinks, but when people just blindly say they are going to disavow links without providing any context, I tend to step in and remind folks that too many sites have disavowed perfectly good links. If you know which links were placed in violation of Google guidelines, just disavow those links. Don`t disavow anything else because you THINK it`s "low quality". They don`t use "low quality" the same way Web marketers do.
  • Michael Stricker: I’d be more concerned that the rapid accumulation of links could trigger a manual review and action. Keep an eye on GSC for a message. And, given Penguin 2+ devalues instead of demotes, why not invest the effort to build some damn good links, instead? If you lack evidence of manual action or filtering of domain results, I wouldn’t bother.

View original question in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Thursday, November 29, 2018).

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