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Find Bad Backlinks and Remove Them

Find bad backlinks and remove them

Find bad backlinks and remove themI am going to show you a real quick way to find bad backlinks pointing to your site. Then I will show you how to remove them in order to push your site up Google SERPs.

So who is this tutorial for;

  • Anyone that hasΒ seen a recent rank drop
  • If your site has been penalised and removed from Google index
  • Anyone that wants to check the quality of their backlinks

It’s really good practice to do a backlink audit on a regular basis. This way you can identify low quality links early and have them removed.

By removed I mean “Disavow” them. This is your chance to ask Google bot to ignore certain backlinks pointing to your site.

The links are not removed, they are simply ignored by Google bot.

After you submit these links to Google it can take anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks before you see any rank change.

You are going to use one tool; SEO SpyGlass, it is free to use, so there is no reason not to have it.

The quality of the backlinks that point to your site play a very big part in your rank. We are going to locate the low quality backlinks, then remove them.

This in turn will push your site up the SERPs to where it deserves to be.

I am going to use my Amazon affiliate site as an example for this tutorial. I took the lazy route when ranking this particular site, so it certainly has some backlinks that need to be removed.

I am going to use SEO SpyGlass to locate the poor low quality backlinks.

This is very easy to do, you can have this done in 5 minutes.

Find Bad Backlinks with SEO SpyGlass

First of all, get yourself a copy of SEO SpyGlass.

Now go ahead and power up the software.

Enter Website URL to analyse

Enter the website URL for SEO SpyGlass to analyze. Then hit the “Next” button and wait for the software to do its thing.

Backlink Data Collected Successfully

You will then see the total number of backlinks found. Hit the “Finish” button.

Backlink Profile

Now you will see a page that displays your total backlinks, the number of domains that those backlinks come from and also your C-BLOCK IPs.

select the backlinks tab

Now select the “Backlinks” tab (circled red).

Link Penalty Risk

Now select the “Link penalty risk” tab (circled red).

If you look down the “Penalty Risk” column you will notice that they all have a penalty risk of 0%. We need to update the factors to have the software asses the links.

To do this we simply select the top backlink on the list, hold down your “SHIFT” button and hit the down arrow key on your keyword. We want to select all the links on the list to have them analysed.

Update Link Factors

Make sure that you have all the backlinks selected.

Now hit the “Update Factors” button (circled in red).

Choose Backlink Factors

You can now choose the backlink factors that you want the software to asses. I make sure everything is selected, which is the default option.

Then hit the “Next” button.

Backlink Factors Have Been Updated

Now hit the “Finish” button. This might take some time to complete, depending on how many backlinks you have to analyse. It took SEO SpyGlass six and a half minutes to analyse 121 backlinks for me. Of course this will also depend on the speed of your internet connection.

View Penalty Risk Backlinks

Now toggle the “Penalty Risk” tab to get the high risk domains at the top of your list.

All backlinks with a penalty risk of 30% or above are going to be removed. These are considered to be low quality links.

All backlinks with a penalty risk of 60% and over will be marked as red and require immediate action, these links are going to seriously hurt your rank.

As you can see from the image above, my Amazon affiliate site has 5 backlinks with a penalty risk of 30% or more.

Removing these five backlinks will give my site a little jump up the SERPs.

If you have a few low quality backlinks the first step that you should take is to contact the website owner and ask them to remove the backlink.

I can see clearly that someone has tried to destroy the rank of my Amazon affiliate site by dropping some very low quality Russian backlinks to it. I most certainly did not purchase or build those backlinks, so let’s get them removed and push the site up the SERPs.

To do this I am going to Disavow the links, which I will show you next. You need to create a Disavow file to submit to Google, the good news is that SEO SpyGlass will do this for you πŸ™‚

Select The Bad Backlinks

First of all you need to select the backlinks that you want to remove. Simply hold down the “SHIFT” key and scroll down with the “DOWN ARROW” key.

The backlinks that you want to remove should be highlighted, as shown in the image above.

Right Click Over Bad Backlinks

Now right click on your mouse button over the links that you want to Disavow. Then select the “Disavow backlink(s)” option.

Disavow Entire Domain

I have selected “Entire Domain”. I do not want any backlinks from these domains associated with my Amazon affiliate site. You can select “Backlink” to Disavow that particular URL. I prefer to Disavow the entire domain.

You can also add a comment, this will also be added to the disavow file. This is optional, so I will leave it blank.

Now hit the “OK” button.

Select Preferences

Now select “Preferences” from the top menu. Then select “Disavow/Blacklist backlinks…” from the drop down menu list.

Export Backlinks to Disavow

You should now see the backlinks that you have selected to disavow.

Click on the “Export” tab. This will allow you to save the Disavow file to your PC. Then you can upload it to Google search console.

Save File

Name your file and hit the “Save” button. Make sure you save as a .txt file.

Now we need to upload the file to Google Console.

Go ahead and log into Google via the disavow links tool page.

Make sure you sign into the Google account that has your website logged in the Webmaster Tools section.

Select Site to Disavow Links

Now select the website that you want to Disavow links for. Then hit the “DISAVOW LINKS” button.

Hit Disavow links button

Read through the words of warning, then hit the “Disavow Links” button if you wish to continue.

Choose Disavow File

Now hit the “Choose File” button and locate the file that we saved from SEO SpyGlass earlier.

Open Disavow File

Now hit the “Open” button.

Submit Disavow File

Now you need to hit the “Submit” button.

Success Message

Wait a few seconds, then you will be presented with a submission message.

I have successfully uploaded a disavow links file containing 5 domains.

Then hit the “Done” button and you are all set to rank up.

It’s very easy to find bad backlinks pointing to your site.

This is a nice easy way to find low quality backlinks that are hurting your rank.

Another little trick for you to perform to help you rank up πŸ™‚

Watch the video for more information on how to Disavow links:

90 Comments
  • Mantas
    January 30, 2017

    Finally, a new article to read!

    Thanks, Nick!

    Reply
  • Brad
    January 30, 2017

    Good stuff to know. Cheers, Nick.

    I’ve always read conflicting opinions about whether or not you should disavow links. A lot of the SEO guys I’ve spoken to say that if it’s not a massive amount of spam that you should just focus on building new, high quality links to offset the bad ones.

    That only applies when you’re talking about small volumes, though. Obviously if you’ve created or been hit with 100s or 1000s of bad links you’re not really going to be able to outmatch those.

    Reply
  • David
    January 31, 2017

    Hi Nick, loved your article…used the tool on my money site and found that most of my expired tumblr links are showing as Penalty Link, some upto the extent of 70….BTW I connected my google account and found more backlinks…..Any recommendation what should I do for these links?

    Reply
  • Tushar
    January 31, 2017

    Hi Nick,

    Greta post about how these bad backlinks can hurt our website in the long run specially if we don’t take any action. Also I had a question regarding backlinks. After submitting backlinks to index. I found out that some of the backlinks I can’t see in google but they are showing in “Site Linking” section of “Google search console” so what does it mean.They are indexed or not.

    Reply
  • Aro
    January 31, 2017

    Hi thanks for this information and but i have a problem whit spyglass because dont detect all backlink, i see i ahrefs my profile backlinks and this tool show me 600+ backlinks and spyglass only show 3 πŸ™ backlinksSwhat happens here ? thank for your sopport.

    Reply
  • Shannon
    February 1, 2017

    Hello Nick,

    Great post always writing what I’m thinking about.

    I have recently been having this bad back link issue so I’m currently trialling this company here https://linkdelete.com/

    Let you know how I go πŸ™‚

    Shannon

    Reply
  • Simo
    February 1, 2017

    Hi, and thanks for the article. It was surprising that many of the expired tumblrs bought from Seoclerks have penalty risk above 30% or equal. So, how I am able to spot good ones for actual use if I buy those from seoclerks? I think that is one serious question, because you are kind of advertising those gigs here and I am looking for your answer ASAP.

    Reply
  • Simo
    February 1, 2017

    Add to last comment. So it would is basically bad for my site to build any of those tumblr links because even the fresh Tumblr-blogs seems to have high penalty risk. I mean do I really have to disallow them all and basically I have done hours of work for nothing.

    Reply
  • Simo
    February 1, 2017

    And another add to my last comments. Is it possible to buy quality links to make those tumblers better because when I check those with Moz site explorer some of those expired has low spam score and high PA.

    Reply
      • Sisom
        February 3, 2017

        Thank you Nick, I will try to build buffer and hit’em hard with expired ones. Is it okay to just build 5 fresh web 2.0/money site with 300-500 word Hand written content and can I hit those buffer sites like 100-150 hand written expired Tumblrs?

        Reply
          • Simo
            February 4, 2017

            Okay, thank you for your answer. Is it okay to use Finnish language fresh web 2.00 buffers and hit them with English spun content in Tier 2?

            Reply
  • Mantas
    February 1, 2017

    Thanks for the info nick.
    I realize that seo spy glass don’t show web 2.0 backlinks so is there any other way to check if you got low quality web 2 tumblrs or any other web 2.0?

    Reply
  • Dean
    February 2, 2017

    Hi Nick!

    When I analyse the page on SEO Spyglass it shows me 276 backlinks and in the bottom left it says and 1774 backlinks. Is there a way to see the rest of the links somehow? I am sure there is lots of spam in there.

    Reply
  • Jeff
    February 3, 2017

    Hi Nick .This is a timely post as I have problems with expired tumblrs seoclerks.i mean the backlinks.

    I learnt a lesson is that to play safe,i ts better to point all exp tumblrs even pbn to a buffer.

    Like I currently redirect all tumblr pbn to a domain or URL shortener and point to my money site and I blasted gsa to boost up tumblr and pbn.

    Tier 1 be safe than sorry.tier 2 I don’t care the quality.
    After I switch to tgis method,i found the backlinkk profile of my site much cleaner rather than pointing exp tumblr pbn to money site.

    I dont spam my tier 1 but tier 2 yes I do.
    Of course,the seller is important in this case but if I am buying(testing) for first time,i will NEver use it as tier 1 links.W by?

    Because of the backlinks qualities issue as mentioned in the above comments.

    It’s not that all seo clerks seller are bad quality but at times one just can’t help to think if it’s good ,it shouldn’t be that cheap.

    But Nick I take your recommendation for gsa links from seoclerks.Actuaaly we don give a damn about gsa quality here.only Indexation is the key here.

    My 2 cents.

    Reply
  • Ashish
    February 3, 2017

    Thank you nick for this now i can check bad links.

    Reply
  • Shannon
    February 4, 2017

    Hello Nick,

    If your hovering around 2nd – 3rd rank for a keyword on Google, what is the best method for a little boost to first?

    Would it be some more social media mentions, or blast more GSA links to Tier 2 site? I don’t want to over do it.

    Thank you
    Shannon

    Reply
  • Shannon George
    February 9, 2017

    Hello Nick,

    Thanks, so Tier 1 is the money site?

    Thanks
    Shannon

    Reply
  • Brad
    February 10, 2017

    am very very sad with my rankings, i have 18 websites, and this is my 4th month. and i cant even seem to get closer to 1st page ranks. very very sad. my competitions range from 1-7 using keywordreaveler. help me out this annoying. when am i going to make it in life? over 2 years i have been trying to get my sites to no 1 but i cant. am using tumblrs and blogspot accounts.

    Reply
      • Brad
        February 13, 2017

        ok i have dropped you a mail through this sites contact page

        Reply
    • Brad
      February 13, 2017

      Ummm…. not sure what happened here – but that comment – not from me lol

      I have no idea why it has my account on it, but that’s not a comment from me.

      Reply
      • jerome mas
        February 13, 2017

        yes, really not sure how it happened, maybe my network error. am sorry for this man. thats my comment.

        Reply
  • Tushar
    February 11, 2017

    Hi Nick,

    I often heard using ‘white hat SEO strategy” helps to maintain ranking even after algorithm changes and ranking stays for long and all those sorts of things but I did not understood the actual meaning of it. What does it mean ‘White hat SEO strategy”. Is it mean playing safe to google when it comes to ranking. I know that I have asked you dumb question but this thing is really going straight over my head.

    Reply
  • Tina
    February 11, 2017

    Hi,
    Good information. Pitty SEOspyglass only gets a tiny fraction of all back-links. How do you add back-links you get from other databases like AHREFS and Majestic SEO.
    You should probably add some section in this article on how to add other back-links into spyglass for analysis. Otherwise good job.
    By the way your site is popular now, you need a search box to help your readers easily find things they may want to cross-reference…

    Reply
  • Tushar
    February 13, 2017

    So Nick.

    Can we consider this as a black hat backlinks strategy that we build with expired tumblr and web 2.0 etc to rank our sites.

    I mean is it safe or harm or what.

    Reply
  • Tushar
    February 14, 2017

    Hi Nick,

    I am looking for something like “White hat SEO technique”. I just have to know what kind of ‘White hat SEO technique you use personally’ to rank keywords and also what would be best way to get backlinks from guest posting.

    Reply
  • Morgan
    February 14, 2017

    Hi nick
    I sent you email
    waiting for your reply

    Reply
  • jerome mas
    February 14, 2017

    I have send you email since 24hrs as you asked me to and waiting to move on from there. Am the guy that mistakingly used Brad as name here

    Reply
  • Shannon
    February 15, 2017

    Hello Nick,

    I have heard that Google has made a recent update and is now focusing on backlinks from PBN sites. Have you had any drops because of this?

    Thanks
    Shannon

    Reply
  • KireG
    February 15, 2017

    Hey Nick, I’ve got a little off topic question from this post, but I’ve wrote you an email almost a week ago and didn’t get a reply. So I will ask here if that is not a problem..

    I’m using the fresh web 2.0 strategy.

    1. Can I add expired tumblrs with high PA as Tier 3 linking to the tier 2 blogger post and if yes what anchors should I use?
    2. For the third month I post the third tier 1 article on the same websites that I’ve made on the first month or I go and create new websites on other web2 platforms?

    Thank you for your time!

    Reply
    • KireG
      February 15, 2017

      Also, what should I do about the websites from tier 1 and doc shares that do not index? I already have 2 great posts on each web 2.0 and they hardly index..

      Reply
      • KireG
        February 23, 2017

        Thank you for the reply Nick. Hope you make lots of $$$

        Reply
  • Leo
    February 17, 2017

    Hey Nick, I need a quick help here.

    I indexed 2 web2.0 posts using google url submit but they drop off the index after a few days. I checked them by putting the posts urls in the search bar. These 2 posts have unique handwritten content.

    So, do I need to index them again with url submit for them to stick or do tier 2 backlinks (wiki links) to help them index again?

    Thanks.

    Reply
    • KireG
      February 17, 2017

      Have the same problem bro.. know the struggle. I tried everything and they still can’t index. I also have 2 handwritten posts on each web2

      Reply
    • Brad
      February 18, 2017

      Check again after a few days. The same happens to me. They index, after 2 days they are “deindexed” and after week – 10 days they are back in index.

      I’ve read that is how google behaves lately. Check again after a week, very sure they will be indexed again without doing anything.

      Reply
      • Brad
        February 18, 2017

        Lol I am not Brad, no idea why and how my comment in shown as from Brad πŸ˜€ Something is wrong here.

        Reply
        • Mantas
          February 23, 2017

          Brad is like Chuck Norris, he appears everywhere even when he is not there.

          Reply
      • KireG
        February 23, 2017

        And again we use long tail exact on every tumblr that we use to link to our tier 1 posts?

        Reply
          • KireG
            February 23, 2017

            Thank you Nick!

            Reply
      • KireG
        February 23, 2017

        Sorry Nick, one more questions, is it okay if these posts are with spun content?

        Reply
  • rinti
    February 23, 2017

    Nick, I saw comments for all articles but this one are closed, is there a reason for that ? Maybe the blogs take too much of your time as it has grown considerably.

    Reply
  • jerome mas
    February 25, 2017

    there is no update factors on seo spyglass. i have tried it severally and i need your help ranking one of my site as we said earlier. but it seems is not possible with you now.

    Reply
  • Tushar
    February 27, 2017

    Hi Nick,

    I have send you an email about 1 or 2 question that I can’t share in public.

    Please check it whenever you get the time.

    Will wait for reply.

    Reply
  • Atif
    March 21, 2017

    Hi Nick,

    Thanks for such gr8 post i just order 50 tumblr seoclerk gig on directly on my money site which you share in the post. is it good idea or bad please help me thanks

    Reply
  • Atif
    March 23, 2017

    Thanks Nick,
    Can you make a new details post about new proven usage of web 2.0 which you use recently because I need to follow it. Your all posts are so much good and also your comments and replies are so much helpful to me. Keep it up. I have one more question that I have 6 pages on my money site may I use same web 2.0 backlinks on each url and bought same seoclerk gigs or change the algo. please advice. thanks

    Reply
  • diri sikici
    May 18, 2019

    I did this and my ranking went back up to where it was, thank you so much.

    Reply
  • Tamin
    July 1, 2019

    My website got a lot of spam links recently and I used this method to get them removed and get my ranking back. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  • Karin
    July 1, 2019

    My site got hit with GSA and it bombed down the SERPs. I found your post and it gave me hope to get my ranking back, I thought all was lost. I did the disavow links method and my site ranking came back to where it was. It took 3 weeks to return after I submitted the disavow file to Google console.

    Reply
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