February 9, 2018

How to Fight Negative SEO & "Unspam" Your Site From Spammy Links

Getting rid of spam links pointing to your website is the first thing that I do in my Ecommerce link building company when I take up a new client.

In this post I will show you how negative SEO tanked my site with all the spammy links to JPEGs and what I did to improve it all:

  • How to Know You Under a Negative SEO Attack?
  • How to Get Rid of Spammy Links Fast (Using Ahrefs)
  • Artem, I Don't Have Ahrefs...Bro, What Do I Do?

Let's get to it.


How to Know You Under a Negative SEO Attack?

Just check Ahrefs and see what kind of links you got pointing at you (if you don't have Ahrefs, click here).

Here are the 3 ways to do it (and you would use all three to uncover different crap):


#1: Anchor Text Spam

I recommend check this first right away.

Are you overoptimized for some weird thing which doesn't even apply to you?

Here is my story (and not only my story - I see that happen to my clients as well):

A freaking "." is what I am supposed to rank for?!

Same thing applies to any other suspicious anchor text - it's usually very simple to see though.

Here is David's example for when he was under attack:


#2: Best by Links

This is the 2nd thing you need to check when at Ahrefs.

This gives you an overview of what assets are the most popular on your website...from link building perspective.

In other words, you see ALL the assets that have inbound links.

Here is my problem:

Yes, a ton of links going to my images!

There is no way all of these referring domains are valuable to me - look at their DRs (this is post-Ahrecalypse in February 2018).

You may uncover something very similar if you have an image-heavy site, because these spammers love it.


#3: Check "Backlinks"

This is the final place to look through, because this basically is a "mission control center"  - you can see everything in here (whereas the first 2 above are a way to batch all the ugliness at once and get rid of it quickly instead of scrolling through the whole "Backlinks" at Ahrefs).

Now is the time to find anything shady that definitely slipped through the cracks at this stage - you will see it all here!


How to Get Rid of Spammy Links Fast (Using Ahrefs)


Basically we are going to tell Google something like this:

Hey bro! Look, here is this smack that's pouring on top of me... I am a good guy, but I just live in a bad neighborhood. Please never mind this - I will show you I am good person. 🙂

Disavowal process is extremely simple.

All you need is to submit a ".txt" file to Search Console (and you must register your website there anyway).

Here is what it looks like:

As you can see the whole thing consists of 3 elements:

  1. "domain"
  2. ":"
  3. "sampledomain.com"

I use domain level disavowal because it's obvious to me that the entire website is BS.

You can obviously disavow individual pages, but it wouldn't help much with this kind of web spam - nearly all of these domains link back to you using a number of separate URLs (that's why I disavow entire domains).

And here is how to do it with Ahrefs:

  1. Add your website as a "New Project" (it doesn't work otherwise)
  2. Click on "Backlinks" (or use the 2 methods I showed you above)
  3. Add any of the URLs or Domains into the Disavow List
  4. Export the whole thing as a ".txt" for Google.
  5. Upload to Googles's Search Console Disavow Tool

Easy peasy lemon squeezy!

If you got no Ahrefs, do this...


Artem, I Don't Have Ahrefs...Bro, What Do I Do?

No stress, my online friend. Here is what you need to do:

  1. Go to Google's Search Console (you must have it; if you don't have it, verify your website on it and wait for 2 weeks until Google sees your property and all those links pointing at your site).
  2. Go to "Search Traffic" > "Links to My Site".
  3. Now you have all the domains that link to you - go over them once again and see how spammy/scammy they are.
  4. Export them all in to the CSV format.
  5. Now take all the spammy ones that you would want to disavow into a separate column.
  6. Add "domain:" into another column beside and use "=CONCATENATE" function to create a disavow list.
  7. Once the list is created copy it to the Wordpad and save as ".txt".
  8. Upload to Google's Search Console Disavow Tool.

Disavowing shady spammy links is the first step for a successful link building campaign that I consider when working with established websites that "weren't born yesterday".

What goes next?

Building a legit linkable asset!


P.S. Please don't share this guide if it wasn't useful. Thank you 😉

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