How to Disavow Links Using Ahrefs and Google Webmaster Tools
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How to Disavow Links Using Ahrefs and Google Webmaster Tools

Hi guys, David McSweeney here with Ahrefs. Today I’m going to show you how to use Ahrefs to find low-quality links pointing to your website and how to create a disavow file for uploading
to Google. So we’re going to start off in our Ahrefs’ dashboard and the first
thing you’re going to need to do if you haven’t done it already,
is just add your site into your dashboard so you can just do that by
clicking add a website. In this case, I’ve already added the domain which is top 5 SEO and the reason I’m going to use top 5 SEO is that a couple of years
ago I was subject to a negative SEO attack so I know there’s lots of low
quality links pointing to the site. So once it’s added, we’ll pop it into the
search bar and click explore which will take us to the overview page for the domain. There’s a few processes we’re going to run through here, but the first one is simply just to use the referring domains report under backlink profile,
which will give us a list of all domains are currently pointing to the website. Now by default this is going to be ordered by Domain Rating (DR) with the most
powerful sites at the top so we can see a DR 94 and 85 etc. But as we’re looking for low-quality
links what we’re going to do is just click on DR to flip
that around and get the lowest quality sites at the top. And then we’re just
gonna work our way down the list looking for anything that looks low-quality or suspicious. You’ll be looking out for domains
you don’t recognize here or perhaps foreign language sites or .xyz domains there. They can be pretty dodgy, not every time but, certainly worth looking at Chinese
domains can be quite bad for spam so that’s something else you want to check. I’ll take a look at a couple of these here once you find something you don’t
like you can just click here to show backlinks. And we can see that anchor
text there is ‘link emperor review.’ It’s scored out because I’ve since 404’ed
that page but I’ll definitely want to disavow it. To check the actual sites themselves, just simply click on the link here and it will open up
in a new tab and we can see that this is just a little quality spun content with
a link back to my site. So that’s definitely one I want to get rid of. So what I want to do, is check the box here to the left, move on to the next one, and we can see it’s the same anchors,
‘link emperor results’, ‘link emperor’ etc. So I can just click the box again. Now you want to work your way through all these
domains, but I won’t bother doing that just now because it’ll take some time. I’ll just scroll back up and we can see we’ve now got the option to disavow domains. So I’ll click that. And I’ll show you what will happen next there in a second, but for the moment I’ll show you another couple of useful reports you can run. If perhaps, you might have had an SEO company working for you, maybe they’ve
been a bit aggressive with their anchor text or giving you too many keyword rich
links and you might have received a penalty because of that, so a good thing
to do is check your anchors so that shows your the anchor text of all links
pointing to your site and if I click on that report, we can see that right at the
top I’ve got these ‘link emperor results’, ‘link emperor review’ etc. And there’s lots of
referring domains with those anchors. So if I click on details and
then referring domains, I can see there are referring domains themselves now I can
add these directly to my disavow file from here, but what I can do is just
export that out and I can use that to manually create my disavow file at a later
stage. Finally a useful report is just your ‘best by links’ report, which shows
you the most linked to pages on the website. We can see again right up
at the top, we’ve got this 404 page with a 120 referring domains. I know that all of these are just spam. So, if I click on the number under
RD, that’ll give me all these domains, and again I can just export that out and
then I can create a disavow file from there. So now if I net back to the dashboard I’ll show you what to do with the
domains I added earlier and the referring domains report. Scroll on down to the site then click on disavow links. We can see those 2 domains have been added in here. And if I just click on export, then check the box to save as text for upload to
Google disavow tool, click OK. And if I open that up, we can see Ahrefs has created
a file in the format for uploading to Google. We’ve got domain : than the domain which basically means that Google should
disavow any links from that domain pointing to your site. Now the first thing you’ll want to do before this process is to try and manually remove
any links point to your site. So reach out to the linking site and ask them to
remove the link if it’s low quality. However, in this case I know that I
wouldn’t have any luck with that because it was a negative SEO attack, so I want
to go ahead, create a disavow file and upload that to Google. So that’s the
process of finding low-quality links with Ahrefs and creating a disavow file.
Once you upload the disavow file, once Penguin refreshes, which hopefully should
be at some point in the near future, you should start to see a recovery in your
search traffic. Any questions just leave a comment below. Thanks!


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