Our year in review

In the past 12 months, we’ve performed a great number of audits for clients in every sector imaginable. We’ve helped clients improve their backlink profiles by identifying their weaknesses and strengths, we’ve reversed manual actions and prevented further penalties. After reviewing over half a million domains in a single year, it’s time for us to review and look back at what we’ve learnt.

Disavow reviews

Disavow reviews are one of the more popular services requested by clients. A review of your disavow file can result in up to 21% free link equity added to your backlink profile and therefore a rise in rankings. Don’t waste time and money building links when we can review your disavow file with a more cost effective and efficient strategy.

Whether it’s an in-house generated or an agency provided disavow file, the chances are, you’re missing out on some equity. Every disavow file review we’ve carried out has had incorrectly disavowed domains in. SEO is an ever changing industry, therefore, it is important to review previously disavowed domains to assess if they still carry the initial suspected risk. Whilst it’s important to maintain a healthy backlink profile, it’s also crucial to ensure equity is not being wasted.

Kerboo's disavow review reavow rate

Over the course of the year we’ve carried out numerous disavow file reviews. On average we’ve reavowed 21.9% of domains. That’s 21.9% of equity previously being bypassed by the disavow file. A considerable number of clients we’ve performed disavow file reviews for, come to us querying the work of previous agencies and are eager for insights into lost equity. Could you be missing on a free 21% of equity? Act now and get in touch for a free insight into your disavow file.


During a general link profile hygiene audit, the first thing we look for is risk. Our aim is to reduce all risk from the profile, but crucially, ensure equity also remains where possible. Our LinkRisk algorithm uses over 150 factors when analysing a link. Using data from our profiles we’ve seen an average of 32.06% improvement in LinkRisk after we’ve applied our new disavow file to the Kerboo profile. 

Below is an example of a LinkRisk chart comparison before and after an audit. 



Follow to Nofollow links ratio

We’ve found that the average backlink profile has 76.42% of follow links compared to links that are nofollowed which are essentially ignored by search engines and therefore have their risk and equity removed. As a result, over three quarters of the average backlink profile has the potential to pass equity or pose a risk to the domain.

Active and Inactive links

To avoid wasting resources we focus on active links that are contributing to the backlink profile. We’ve found that on average 52.16% of a profile is made up of inactive links. This shows that links are not permanent and many eventually become inactive, therefore the acquisition of new links is essential.

Where do the links come from? 

Typically top-level domains (TLD) are grouped into three main classes; countries, categories and organisations. Com is considered the ‘main’ top level domain and is used by all types of sites. Taking a look at the top 10 TLDs we’ve audited, the .com domain extension dominates with over 70% of all domains using this extension. 

From our experience, the most frequently found TLDs depend on the geolocation of the domain we’re auditing. For example, during a German based audit we will likely see the .com domain extension as the most popular followed by the German .de extension. 

It’s crucial to recognise the strengths and weaknesses in your backlink profile, TLDs are a genuine method of providing insight and awareness of both strengths, weaknesses and potential untapped market.

HTTP status codes

Servers issue status codes when a browser requests a page. Status code 200 indicates a succesful request complete. On a working website this is usually found to be the most common HTTP status code. During our audits, the Kerboo platform will recognise and follow redirects using the 301 and 302 HTTP status codes. This is something that is frequently missed by other agencies. 301 redirects pass most of their link equity. We ensure to manage the risk of ALL links carrying equity.

How many domains do we disavow? 

After manually reviewing over half a million domains, our average disavow rate is 40.6%. This alarming number consists entirely of risk. During our audits we take risk vs reward into consideration, we always disavow domains that present more risk than reward. This ensures that each profile maintains its maximum equity whilst removing the greatest risk.

The disavow files we produce are made up of a mixture of domains. This is completely dependent on the specific domain’s backlink profile. On average the bulk of the disavow files will be spam sites, this type of domain is 100% risk vs 0% reward. Although we disavow a small percentage of sponsored posts in comparison to spam sites, they are often the cause of the majority of manual action penalties. It is therefore critical to stay on top of and prune these sponsored posts and built links. Our prime objective is always to keep equity where possible.


In short, the data we’ve gathered over the past year paints a clear picture of missed opportunities and equity. We’ve found that the average person doesn’t fully understand their backlink profile and their disavow file, resulting in lost equity and increased risk. Incorrectly disavowed domains are unknowingly costing the average person up to 21% of their link equity. Instead of throwing money away at building new links, take a look inwards and request your complimentary disavow file review today.