Bad Backlinks, Google Disavow Tool, and SEMRush

The Google Disavow Tool is where you can upload bad backlinks that point to your website and tell Google to ignore them so they won’t hurt your rankings.

Google Disavow Tool

Google Disavow Tool

Hello Everyone,

I thought I would take the time out to write a quick post on what I just discovered with SEMRush and comparisons to other tools that I worked with.

Today, this popped up in my inbox.

Toxic Backlinks Report

SEMRush notified me that it had discovered some toxic and potentially toxic backlinks pointing to one of my customer’s websites. Since I am pretty new to SEMRush I thought I would share my experience with this.

Since this caught my attention right away I went to investigate it immediately. When I clicked the link to examine the bad backlinks manually at first I thought that they were not really toxic at all. It appeared a little spammy to me at first because there were many other links on the same page but to me, it was just a very low DA (domain authority) and PA (page authority) directory page that linked to where you can find the tracking information from different websites.

So, I decided to turn on the Moz toolbar to see how they rated it as being spammy. I like the Moz toolbar because it gives me quick data laid out simply that you can determine at a glance. SEMRush uses the SEOQuake toolbar which overloads you with a ton of information which is nice but distracting if you want a quick summary. It seems that the Moz toolbar gives it a low spam rating which I thought it should be too. So, I was ready to chalk up that Moz’s toolbar was more accurate than SEMRush’s notification.

But I dug deeper…

I discovered after looking at the toxic links that SEMRush notified me that there were MANY websites using different domain names that look just like the one that I just examined. Now, I think that SEMRush is more accurate than Moz for picking this up but when I looked further down the list comparing the spam score of Moz and SEMRush’s estimation of what it considers to be a bad backlink I discovered examples that Moz was better and examples that SEMRush was better.

This goes to show that you should ALWAYS check backlinks manually. In fact, SEMRush warns you to do this manually.

This brings me to the next part. SEMRush has a lot of information displayed so I was worried about losing the data if I clicked on delete. Fortunately, when reading the page I discovered the options that it gives you along with three steps on how to add the bad backlinks to the Google Disavow Tool. Unfortunately, Moz does not create the disavow text file to upload to Google.

DIIB, which is geared more to amateurs, has an excellent step-by-step process on how to upload bad backlinks to the Google Disavow tool. It also notifies you like SEMRush about potential bad backlinks it discovers via email which is great along with the why behind it. As soon as I saw the email I knew that this would need my attention right away because I was seeing drastic ranking fluctuations and wanted to give it a ‘push’ in the right direction.

There you have it. That was my quick impression on dealing with SEMRush’s bad link reporting and creating the disavow list to submit to Google.

Have a great day!

Michael

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