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Bad Backlinks Checker and Disavow File Generator in SEO SpyGlass

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Get rid of spammy links and improve your ranking reputation with Google

Low-quality, spammy links put your rankings at risk of Google penalty. Whether they result from your negative link building practices or your competitors' negative SEO, these toxic links need to be instantly detected and neutralized.

The Anti-Penalty Link Audit feature in SEO SpyGlass performs automatic detection of harmful links in your backlink profile and keeps your site rank safe from Google's link penalties. The backlink checker's most valuable features include:

  • Google Penalty risk estimation
  • Free disavow file generator
  • Comprehensive analysis of live backlinks
  • Improved SEO with high-quality backlinks
  • Scheduled backlink audits and alerts
  • Convenient export of data and reports

How To Spot Toxic Links Affecting Your Site

With Google getting ever stricter about what they consider suspicious links, a lot of controversy arises around link risks and the way you manage them.

To help make sense of what's truly harmful to your site, we've built the comprehensive toxic backlinks checker. The tool takes into account lots of SEO factors to analyze your links just the same as Google does. These factors are:

  • Age of the linking domain
  • Its incoming and outgoing links
  • PageRank and domain authority
  • Anchor texts and keywords
  • Links from low-quality directories
  • Sitewide links
  • IP addresses and subnets
  • And more

The tool analyzes the backlink profile in its whole complexity: domain authority and page rank, incoming and outgoing links, whether too many links come from the same C-Class blocks / IPs, have the same anchors, or anchors optimized for the same keywords.

The percentage value Penalty Risk is calculated, i.e. the spam score that estimates the likelihood of the backlink causing a Google penalty. This metric points to all dangerous links you need to immediately steer clear of.

A link with a 0 to 30% risk value is usually considered safe. A link in the 30 to 70% range may potentially be harmful, so it's recommended that you take a closer look at it. A Penalty Risk of over 70% is considered high and calls for urgent action.

Don't have yet SEO SpyGlass installed? Download the free backlink checker.

How to get rid of the harmful links you've found?


Ask webmasters to remove the links

Contact webmasters and site owners of the linking domains, asking them to remove the link affecting your site.

Tools to use: Enter the links you'd like to remove to LinkAssistant — the tool will collect contact info for each of the domains and then help you manage email correspondence with webmasters via its in-built email client.


Submit the bad backlinks report to Google Webmaster

It's also very probable that some webmasters will ignore your e-mails and the backlinks will remain in their places. In this case, the best solution is to use the Google Disavow tool to tell the search engine it should ignore those links.

What is a disavow file

Unnatural links can spoil your site's rank and authority (as in, the site might be demoted or removed from Google's listings completely) and thus require you to take action. Alas, taking down harmful links is not always possible — especially if you have a big number of spammy, low-quality backlinks. That's where Google Disavow Tool comes in — to report to the search engine that your ranking has suffered (or you expect it might suffer soon) from the toxic links.

The Disavow Tool is a way of telling Google not to take certain links into account when assessing your site. However, compiling disavow files manually is time-consuming and often challenging due to the files' peculiar syntax. SEO SpyGlass' in-app disavow file generator will take care of all that hassle and make creating, managing, and exporting disavow files a breeze.

Use a disavow file generator in SEO SpyGlass

Here's how you can easily create and manage your disavow files in SEO SpyGlass.


Add links to the disavow list.

Select the toxic backlink in your SEO SpyGlass project (or several of them), right-click, and hit Disavow backlinks.


Decide if you want to disavow by URL or by domain.

In the menu that pops up, choose whether you'd like to disavow only the backlink page you just added or the whole linking domain. Pretty often, you'd want to disavow on the domain level, since there can be thousands of low-quality links coming from the same domain.


Add comments.

In the same view, you can specify comments for the records you're disavowing. Comments are useful for your own future reference — whenever you review or edit your disavow file, you'll instantly see what kind of sites you were disavowing and why.


Review the list.

After you've added all links you're about to disavow to the list, go to Preferences -> Disavow/Blacklist backlinks. At this stage, you can edit the comments (double-click any comment to make changes), add or remove links from the list, and choose whether you're about to simply disavow the links, exclude them from all future updates you run in SEO SpyGlass, or blacklist the links completely (have them removed from your project).


Export your disavow file.

Once you're done with completing your disavow list, hit the Export button, and select the folder to save the file so that you can upload it to Google Webmaster Tools.


Upload your disavow file to Google.

In the Google Disavow Tool, select your website and upload the disavow file you generated. That's it — you've told Google which of your backlinks to ignore, and your site is all set to start clean! Note, it may take some time for the links to get disregarded by Google.

Keep in mind that, if you already have a disavow file, you'll need to import it into SEO SpyGlass to start working on it in-app. To do that, go to Preferences -> Disavow/Blacklist backlinks, hit Import, and select your current disavow file. This step is important because uploading a new disavow file to Google will replace the previous one — that's why your new disavow file needs to include both the links you disavowed previously and the new ones.

Try SEO SpyGlass' disavow file generator

Create, manage, and export disavow files in seconds

More useful features for Anti-Penalty Link Audit

Limit the number of links per linking domain

SEO SpyGlass lets you limit the number of links to find per linking domain. This comes in very handy when you know you've got numerous or sitewide links from certain sites — just set the links per domain limit to make sure you don't waste time on collecting data on each one of them.

When you create a new SEO SpyGlass project, you can limit the number of links collected per linking domain at Step 3 right in the project creation wizard. To set it in an existing SEO Spyglass project, just go to Preferences -> Backlink Collection Settings, check the Limit backlinks from one domain box, and specify the maximum number of links to collect for every linking domain. Next time you rebuild your project, the limit you set will be used — saving you precious time on link analysis!

Tip: If you're only interested in collecting a list of domains that link to your site rather than all backlink pages, set the links per domain limit to 1 — this will give you a nice list of linking domains that's easy to manage and navigate!

Examine your linking sources in-depth

Explore the details of your backlink profile with Backlinks, Linking Domains, Linked Pages submodules. Observe your domain growth over time and who contributed to it mostly.

You can recheck backlinks as a whole or each link separately. Just right-click on a linked page and see from which pages the backlink was generated. Focus your effort on gaining high-quality backlinks from high authority sources.

Pay attention to anchor text diversity: anchor texts overstuffed with exact-matching keywords is one of link spam indicators.

See some more our tips on backlink audit to learn what backlink indicators need special attention.

Switch preferred backlink source

You can configure the preferred backlink source when creating the project: choose SEO PowerSuite's backlink database or integrate Google Analytics and Google Search Console. You can change the preferred source as well in the run of the audit.

Run regular backlink audit

Even when you've finished the clean-up and your link profile looks perfectly healthy — make sure to check it every once in a while. This way you're sure to safeguard your site from negative SEO tricks of your competitors and spot any unnatural links before Google does.

SEO SpyGlass lets you rebuild projects, update backlinks report, publish and export backlinks reports and other data even when you are not at your desk. All you need to do is create tasks for jobs you would like to automate.

You can manage existing tasks or create new ones under Preferences > Scheduled Tasks & Alerts, or jump to the menu by clicking the corresponding button in the top toolbar. Schedule penalty risk checks as often as you need; and sign up for email alerts to receive a warning in case some surge in traffic happens.

Notice that the automation functionality of SEO SpyGlass backlink checker is available in advanced versions, you've got to upgrade to Professional License. The Professional and Enterprise editions extend the research to an unlimited number of backlinks (the free version allows analyzing up to 1100 backlinks), as well as saving projects and scheduling tasks.

Save hours on off-page SEO with the latest SEO SpyGlass

Easily create disavow files & collect a specified number of links per domain