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Google's Search Console gives the possibility to list all backlinks from other domains to your site, which are an important factor for search engines to determine your site's ranking, popularity and importance.

As we know, "linkspam" can threaten your site's authority. Using Google's Disavow Tool gives you a possibility to disavow low-quality links to your site, which can "potentially harm your site’s performance in Google’s search results" if used incorrectly. In the documentation Google gives "spammy, artificial, or low-quality links" as examples, which is pretty vague and not further explained in the quality guidelines.

Which objective criteria should be used to asses if a backlink is "spammy, artifical or low quality" and therefore be disavowed?

What is your workflow for assessing backlink quality?

  • This link to an answer I wrote does not directly answer your question, but may be interesting none-the-less: webmasters.stackexchange.com/questions/83825/… – closetnoc Oct 24 '15 at 23:06
  • As you correctly state in your post, which is related to the topic, "toxic" is not a terminology that Google uses. Still, are there quantifiable criteria that can be used to objectively assess if a backlink is "spammy, artifical or low-quality"? – user57132 Oct 25 '15 at 21:33
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    It appears how Googles sees spammy and low-quality has changed lately and I am sure no-one really knows anymore. It used to be any site that is clearly deceptive or thin, however, I am seeing sites that are legitimate being hit these days. It seems the bar has been raised and I am not finding anything actionable or definitive. Or even finding anything that fits past metric models. I posted the link for general interest and not an answer. Sorry. – closetnoc Oct 25 '15 at 21:37
  • Well, let's keep it open than and see if we can validate and substantiate this topic over time as this is surely a question that many SEOs face. – user57132 Oct 25 '15 at 21:40
  • I agree. It seems that Google is not just saying a site is bad or junk, but becoming more subjective just like MSN/Bing. This, to me, is a mistake. There is no longer a seeking of a natural curve and allowing each site perform as it should, but picking winners and losers. I am finding the SERPs being over-optimized toward the popular and less toward the purely informational. – closetnoc Oct 25 '15 at 21:44