Spam links are generally not an immediate priority when beginning a content strategy workflow. They emerge as a factor when a domain's authority appears to be artificially low. When Moz scores you as having more spam links than your competition, for instance, it's time to take a look. What is there to do about other webmasters linking to you and trying to enhance their reputation by tanking yours? Not much, but Google does have a disavow process that's easy to use that could improve your domain authority score overnight. Let's take you through it.
Steps to disavowing spam links
- Using an SEO tool like Moz or this free tool from ahrefs, identify any spam links, observe and prioritize those with high spam scores and a low Domain Authority, per the above figure.
- Compile a list of spammy URLs and/or domains that you would like to disavow in the disavow.txt format. We have created a sample file to get you started. The complete instructions will give you tips on how to make specifics work.
Choose a Webmaster Tools property, then upload your file
- Upload your file to the Google Disavow tool. You will need to login to Google under your Webmaster Tools account and have Webmaster Tools validate you as the site owner if you have not already done so. Choose the web property you want to affect and upload the list. You should get the above screen (without red comments) when you're done.
- Keep the file that you submit in your local website development area. Add to it and re-submit as needed. Keep old entries on this list and submit all entries every time.
With a newly working disavow.txt and artificially-low domain authority, your website's domain may see an improvement in domain authority without invasive development projects or content overhauls. It may be a relatively quick way to do your website ranking a huge favor.