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A Step-by-Step Guide for Using Excel to Disavow Poor-Quality Referring Domains and Boost Your Search Rank

by Martin Benes  |  
April 26, 2018

Although Google quite effectively detects low quality links and manages negative SEO, the disavowing process is still an important task for marketers to do to keep up with the search engine's quality guidelines.

As Google explains, "If you've done as much work as you can to remove spammy or low-quality links from the web, and are unable to make further progress on getting the links taken down, you can disavow the remaining links.

In other words, you can ask Google not to take certain links into account when assessing your site.

To protect your website from a potentially negative impact to its search result rankings, you need to conduct maintenance on its link profile to make sure it's clean. Here's a six-step process for how to do that.

1. Export backlink profiles from various SEO tools

The disavow file can be structured with referring domains, single URLs, or both. However, a link pointing from a low-quality domain usually tends to have little value, so it makes the most sense to include the entire referring domain instead of every URL separately.

Several tools provide detailed backlink profile overviews, such as MajesticSEO, SEMrush, Ahrefs, and Moz. Each of those provides slightly different information, so you will want to use multiple tools at the same time. That will make it easier to detect most of the referring domains and decide which of them should be included in a disavow file.

The important metrics for each tool specifically are the following:

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Martin Beneš is the SEO manager at Highlight Media Group.

LinkedIn: Martin Beneš



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