On 16th October, Google launched it’s much anticipated tool called ‘disavow links’. The tool was released by Matt Cutts, head of Google’s web spam team during a keynote at the Pubcon. As the name suggests this tool enables one to disavow links to their site. This tool can prove to be very useful for you if there are numerous ‘unnatural links’ pointing to your site and if you’re notified about manual spam action.
For those who are new in the SEO field a question might arise, Why these links are so important and why to disavow them. The number of sites your site is lined with plays an important role how and where your site is listen in Google SERP. Along with the number of sites the quality of these sites is also a major factor.
Spammers target PageRank because it’s so much important. Thus there might be some sites which might be caught up in the linkspam because of unnatural links pointing to those sites. Google generally sends message to such sites which are caught up in linkspam when there are backlinks present for the site which violate the webmaster guidelines. When such violation occurs Google takes action against these sites by reducing their rankings.
To avoid this the site should remove the bad links directly. This is the best and permanent option one has to avoid action from Google. This also helps users to believe in the site they are visiting if the connected sites to the site they are visiting are reliable and has high content value. It is at this point where the disavow link tool is very helpful to remove the bad links pointing to your site.
How to use it?
Removing links individually can be very troublesome. Thus using this tool is the best option one can have. To use it visit the official page of Disavow links of Google. Once you login you will find the following window where you can select the site for which links are to be disavowed.
After selecting the link for which links are to be disavowed click on the button Disavow Links and following window will come up.
Here one need to upload the file containing the URLs of the links which are to be disavowed. The format of this file is simple in which each link URL is to be mentioned in different line. Make sure all the details and click on Submit and your work is done.
The format of mentioning the links in the file is very simple. According to Google it should be simply written as:
# Contacted owner of abc.com on 8/9/2012 to
# ask for link removal but got no response
# Owner of abc.com removed most links, but missed these
Here in the file the lines starting with ‘#’ are considered as comments by Google. Links on specific pages of a site can also be disavowed. For this the page address should be mentioned as shown in the example above where 3 different pages of same site www.abc.comare disavowed.
Links will be disavowed in a few weeks
It isn’t the case that as soon as you submit the data Google will discount the links to your site immediately. According to Cutts this process can take upto weeks to go into effect. There is also a possibility that Google might not consider the request if it doesn’t feel that its legitimate. Google will assess the links mentioned in the file and will take action accordingly.
The delay in the process also means that if one submitted a good link to be disavowed then it might take weeks before you can reavow it.
Who should use it?
Google Penguin Update impacted the sites which had purchased links or had gained backlinks through spamming. Such sites should use this tool to disavow links which harmed their reputation and rankings.
Google Disavow tool is a useful tool for removing the unwanted sites giving backlinks with a single effort rather than manually requesting each of the sites.