FAQ Link Audit - Frequently Asked Questions
Table of Contents
General Link Audit questions #
For questions regarding Link Detox® at it’s metrics and use, please see the Link Detox FAQ.
This chapter contains general questions about link audits, link removals, and reasons to use the Disavow Tool. Please find more detailled Questions and Answers on Disavowing in the Disavow FAQ.
What is the worst link audit mistake one can make?
The worst link audit mistake that you can make is to remove all of your links without carefully reviewing and evaluating them. This is often done by unscrupulous agencies that use scare tactics to convince their clients to pay for massive link removal services. These agencies may use tools like Link Detox to generate a high DTOXRISK score, which they then use to frighten clients into buying their services.
However, removing all of your links is not a good idea, as it can have a negative impact on your site’s rankings and traffic. It is important to carefully review your backlink profile and only disavow links that are harmful or of low quality.
To avoid making this mistake, it is important to choose a trained professional who is experienced in link auditing and disavowal. You should also personally review the disavow file before it is submitted to Google, to ensure that only harmful links are removed. This will help to protect your site from the negative effects of bad links, and ensure that your link building efforts are effective and sustainable.
What is the difference between Manual Actions and Google Penguin Penalties?
Google Penguin is an algorithmic Penalty (also referred to as a ‘Filter’) while the ‘Unnatural link warning’ (as it used to be called in 2012) is a manual Penalty. In the first case, your website triggered the Google algorithm and was thus penalized. In the latter case, an actual human from the Google Webspam team has reviewed your site and issued a manual action. Google will inform you about a manual action, but not about an algorithmic Penalty. To remove a manual action, you can send in a Reconsideration Request via your Google Webmaster Tools account. Algorithmic Google Penguin filters do not give you the option to file a Reconsideration Request with Google.
Both Penalties are based on bad, spammy and low-quality links, and require you to clean up your backlink profile. Read a summary of 3 different Penalty cases here and learn how they managed to remove it in each case.
Will I get all my rankings back after disavow done and the penalty removed?
Question about a Google Manual Penalty that I just got notice about in Google Search Console.
After you disavow, resubmit, does your site reappear at the place it was in google search results? Or do you get knocked to the bottom.
Which and how many links matters #
How much traffic you receive back after a Google penalty is lifted depends entirely on
- how many and which links got you the ranking in the first place
- how many and which links got you the penalty
- how many and which links you had to disavow
Of course, if you disavow links they don’t count anymore, so don’t expect to go back where you where from THOSE links.
In addition it may be required to disavow a lot more links to get rid of the penalty, as you have hit the risk threshold and were penalized for your link building, as Google states.
That being said, we have seen everything from really poor results to really great results the disavow is done well, as in some screenshots below.
That Disavowed Links are recrawled matters #
In addition to uploading the disavow file, you also need to make sure that the disavowed links are crawled.
Link Detox Boost, part of the LinkResearchTools Smart offering ensures that since 2013.
How long does disavow take?
Some typical questions are
- Will I get an email notification?
- How long will I have to wait to see the result?
Google will take the disavowed links into account when they crawl them again.
They do not provide you with a confirmation mail.
They only give you a confirmation that you have uploaded the disavow file successfully right after upload. But at this point the disavowing inside the “Google systems” only started.
All the links you disavowed still need to be crawled again by Google bots.
Fast processing of disavow file
There are several parts involved in the process of disavowing links.
- Identifying all toxic links and domains that you want to disavow in your link audit
- Exporting and Uploading the disavow file to Google Search Console
- Starting Link Detox Boost after 48 hours
- Checking for all links to be crawled by Google as reported by Link Detox Boost, which usually takes a few days instead of months
Slow and unreliable processing of disavow file
The effect of disavow can take up to 9 months without Link Detox Boost, as per our observations.
The reason is simply that Google crawls spammy links typically less often than very good links.
So the only thing we know from Google is, that all the links need to be recrawled for the disavow to take effect.
Without Link Detox Boost (BOOST) the effect takes longer
- the bigger the link profile
- the more spammy links are in the link profile and were disavowed
The size of the disavow file has no impact directly, as it’s uploaded in an instant to Google.
However the content (and length) of the disavow file is very relevant as it indicates how much crawling is required. The more links disavowed, the more need to be crawled.
Time for disavow needed
The other impacts on time needed to disavow links are as follow
- The process of crawling a complete backlink profile. This can be substantial if you have hundreds of millions of links
- The human work involved in reviewing the system suggestions on which links to disavow. While some SEOs claim that they can decide only by looking at the domain name, this is not recommended for a variety of reasons.
- If the complete backlink audit is deleted or lost has to be redone in a new turn. We always recommend and support to keep a history of all link audits and disavows done in LinkResearchTools.
Is disavowing links enough? Some link removal and link deletion tool claim that it is required to remove links.
No. Link removal is not required to get a Google penalty lifted.
As Google officially stated here , links that you cannot get rid of should simply be disavowed. This is the case for many Web 2.0-Links, Article Directory Spam, Link Directory Spam and of course Blog Comments.
Of course Google wants to see effort and there are some very simple ways to show them all your effort.
There are great ways to achieve high success rate with removal and reconsideration. Become an LRT Certified Professional and you will learn those ways.
If an undesirable site links to my website but to a non-existent page, does this create a 'bad backlink' in my link profile?
Since the site links to an error or 404 page, this will probably not affect your rankings. For all the good links to error or 404 pages, we have the Link Juice Recovery Tool. This tool finds links going to 404 pages, which you can redirect to existing pages to recover link power and trust.
What if the link I disavowed is still on the linking page? Does it make a difference how quick google revisits the page/poor link if the link is still there?
If you have already uploaded a disavow file to Google Search Console, then Google should be aware of your request to ignore the bad link when it crawls the linking page again.
However, it’s important to note that it can take some time for Google to process the disavow file and for the changes to take effect.
It’s also worth noting that simply disavowing a link does not guarantee that it will be removed from the linking page. If the link is still there, it may still have some impact on your site’s search rankings. To maximize the effectiveness of the disavow file, it’s best to try to get the link removed from the linking page if possible.
However, removing the links is usually not feasible, and also not required for a penalty recovery.