Recommendations on backlink auditors / sites?

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I have a feeling that some of the non white hat Web 2.0 links / guest post service links I threw at my site when I first created it may be holding up some of my rankings.

I’m not quite sure.

Would love if you could point me in the right direction BuSo!

Also - I wouldn’t really know which ones to disavow or not or if I need to even consider disavowing..
 

Ryuzaki

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There are quite a few out there:
These are largely for big sites with so many links they couldn't possibly do it manually. If you're in a position where you know there's not a zillion links, you can filter your backlinks by time crawled on Ahrefs and see what they've found (Like everything from 2015 and before) and choose which to disavow.

I would disavow if you need them removed. You don't need to do outreach to fix them unless you got a manual penalty. And you may not have the web 2.0 logins any more.

You already have a hankering that some of these could be problems. That should tell you which you'll want to disavow. Might you take out a few good ones as you take out the dozens of bad ones? Probably. But maybe they'd become poisonous later. If they're risky they're risky. You'll have to choose on your own, nobody can really guide you on the edge cases. The bad stuff, on the other hand, will be obvious to you.
 
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Thanks Ryuzaki.
Is there any down side to disavowing that you’ve seen? As in rankings dropping even further?
 

Ryuzaki

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Thanks Ryuzaki.
Is there any down side to disavowing that you’ve seen? As in rankings dropping even further?
I've only ever disavowed under two scenarios:
  • I know there's an algorithmic penalty
  • I know there's heinous spam coming in regularly
In the first case I've only ever seen rankings increase. In the 2nd I believe I've mitigated future harm. John Mueller of Google always says not to waste your time disavowing obvious spam because Google takes care of it for you. I know that's not true because I've seen algorithmic penalties. Also, Gary Illyes of Google said that by disavowing trash, Google's algorithm is likely to trust your remaining links more.
 
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Thanks Ryuzaki. Can you delete this thread? Can't find where to do that.
 

CCarter

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Can you delete this thread?
Why? People took their time to answer your questions, why hide the answers? Why not let others also see the answers?
 
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Why? People took their time to answer your questions, why hide the answers? Why not let others also see the answers?
I want people to see the answers! I only said to delete because I mentioned grey hat / black hat link building tactics for my site (and wanted to edit that post specifically), but I just stupidly realized I never (obviously) mentioned my domain so.....duh. Going to be a long week!

Thanks lol.
 
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I'm personally glad you shared this Luke. Been on the fence for a while about disavowing for a site that's slowly kind of crapped out. Looking at the RDs a solid 1/3rd were garbage. Just submitted a file. Will check back in a month or so if anything changes.

The effects of disavows is something I'm keen to learn more about if anyone else has any insight, particularly in light of Gary's comments about identifying crap helping value of quality links.
 
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Hey -
After reading more on this I decided not to disavow. I think it would matter more if my site was a large content base with a lot of spammy looking backlinks overall but because my site only has 35 ish posts, and not many backlinks (period) I can work on building real quality backlinks to wash out the bad ones (if they are even affecting my site).

I did however implement a good silo structure on my site in February, and have seen an uptick in rankings and most of my KWs are now trending up. That could be because I just passed the 2 year domain age mark too though. Not sure.

Interested to see what kind of movements you see from your submission!

Luke
 

Ryuzaki

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I've recovered algorithmic penalties through disavowing, as well as manual penalties (after proving to the reviewers I emailed everyone).

One of these cases was extreme trash spam image links from image scrapers, the kind of stuff Google would have you believe they can ignore. But if they can then why was there a penalty?

I don't think it's smart to let a bunch of spam accumulate. The more SERP exposure you get, the more spam you'll get. It'll only get worse. I work disavowing into my monthly schedule, sometimes bi-monthly.

Sure, you risk losing some benefit from spam that Google may be giving you because they don't realize it's spam. Eventually they do realize it's spam and you end up with a penalty. Short term gains for long-term losses.
 
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"One of these cases was extreme trash spam image links from image scrapers, the kind of stuff Google would have you believe they can ignore."

I know a site that has been dealing with this exact issue. Many of their high trafficked pages have specific images for each query and scraper sites are latching on like leaches at a nudist pool party..

I concur that although Google claims to be able to sort out all of these links and not count them when it comes to real world observable instances this does not seem to be the case.

Side note: I've started reading Google's public statements through the lens of a big brand, like a Fortune type company. With this lens in place a lot of what they say does make sense. The stuff big brands get away with is nuts and I feel that image scrapers are just one more thing they're protected from but that can still have a big impact on smaller sites.