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Expose Toxic Backlinks, Generate Disavow Files with Free Spam Checker from SEO SpyGlass

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Get rid of spammy links and improve your content ranking in 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 automatically detects 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 identify spam 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's backlink profile, 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. Our backlink analysis tool covers factors like:

  • Age of the linking domain
  • Its inbound and outbound links
  • Dofollow and nofollow link ratio
  • PageRank and domain authority
  • Anchor texts and keywords
  • Links from low-quality directories
  • Sitewide links
  • IP addresses and subnets
  • And more

Run the backlink analysis checker to review your site

To start your backlink analysis, paste the URL of your site to create a new project, either domain only or including subdomains as well, and let SEO Spyglass compile the summary.

The tool analyzes the backlink profile in its whole complexity: domain authority and page rank, inbound and outbound links, your top referring TLDs, most common backlink countries, whether too many links come from the same C-Class blocks / IPs, content is linked with diverse anchors, or anchors optimized for the same keywords.

Audit your backlink profile

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

Examine your linking sources in-depth

In the Backlinks submodule, you will find detailed backlink analytics: the upper dashboard shows general insights into the backlinks history, the link type ratio. Quick filters let you sort all backlinks by dofollow/nofollow type, differentiate between text links and image links, and find which websites are referring from their homepages.

Check your backlinks

The checker tool shows the backlink source page and your linked pages, their HTTP status codes, and the first/last found dates. The referral traffic stats powered from Google Analytics shows which backlinks are the most valuable for bringing relevant organic traffic. Pay attention to anchor text diversity: anchor texts overstuffed with exact-matching keywords is one of link spam indicators. Such in-depth backlink analysis is helpful for SEOs looking to improve backlink profiles of their websites through meaningful link-building outreach.

Inspect referring domains in-depth

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 building backlinks from high-quality sources.

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

Find toxic backlinks in your site's backlink profile

To make life easier, most backlink checkers estimate penalty risk for backlinks. Our backlink analysis tool generates the Penalty Risk score for a site in total and for each link individually. The score takes into account such metrics as:

  • Several links are coming from the same IP or have the same C-class block.
  • The same keyword appears in more than 10% of your keyword text.
  • The linking page has too many outbound links.
  • The InLink Rank of the referring domain or page is pretty low.
  • The link seems to be from a link directory.
  • etc.

The percentage value of the 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.

Penalty Risk metric to estimate backlinks

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

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

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

The link detox procedure goes in two simple steps: first, you contact webmasters of the referring websites asking them to take down the low-quality backlinks. If it fails, take step two and disavow the harmful links using the free disavow tool from Google.


Ask webmasters to remove the links

Contact webmasters and site owners of the referring 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 referring domains and then help you manage email correspondence with webmasters via its in-built email client.

Contact webmasters asking to remove toxic backlinks


Submit the bad backlinks report to Google Webmaster

It's also very probable that some webmasters will ignore your e-mails and the spammy 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 in your backlink profile.

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.

Use a Google Disavow Tool

The Disavow Tool is a way of telling Google not to take certain links into account when ranking 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 using SEO SpyGlass.


Add links to the disavow list.

Select the toxic backlink in your SEO SpyGlass project (or a list of poor quality links filtered by Penalty Risk value, tags, etc.), right-click, and hit Disavow backlinks.

Generate a disavow file quickly


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.

Adding backlinks you want to disavow


Add comments to the records in your disavow list.

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 websites you were disavowing and why.


Follow-up backlinks overview.

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).

Choose to disavow or to blacklist the backlinks


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.

Export the disavow file


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

Advanced 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.

Limit the number of backlinks found per domain

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!

Quickly analyze backlink profiles of your competitors

Switching to the Domain Strength module, you get the total score updated for your site's strength. The Domain Comparison module gives you quick insights into the backlink profiles of your SERP competitors (you can monitor up to 10 competitor websites with the Enterprise plan). The Link Intersection tool compares competitor link profiles for how much they intersect. Here you will quickly filter prospective domains where you can probably earn a few high-quality dofollow backlinks for your own website.

Domain Comparison to overview competitors

Switch preferred backlink source

You can configure the preferred backlink source when creating the project: choose SEO PowerSuite's backlink database (currently SEO PowerSuite Link Explorer is one of the most robust databases with over 2.7 million links). Or integrate Google Analytics and Google Search Console. You are free to change the preferred source as well in the run of the audit.

Choose a preferred backlink source

Run regular backlink audit

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

SEO SpyGlass lets you rebuild projects, update backlinks report, publish reports, export all backlinks in CSV format 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.

Prevent spam attacks by running regular backlink checks

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 or decline in backlinks happens (which may be indicative of SEO attacks or technical issues).

Run regular automated backlink checks

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