What You Need to Know About Google’s New Disavow Links Tool
The SEO community is buzzing about Google’s latest tool aimed at helping the webmasters get rid of low quality links.
Who is this tool for?
- Anyone who was heavily affected by the Google’s Panda updates should definitely take a look.
- Websites who have received unnatural link warning emails from Google.
- If you submit a reconsideration request it would be a great idea to identify bad links and make comments. My personal opinion is that this could be seen as a good show of faith gesture.
Who should not use this tool?
Google has been very specific in stating this tool is for experienced webmasters only. Once you get the hang of it, the tool is quite simple but if you do this improperly you could easily ban quality links by mistake.
If you do not have a “considerable number of spammy, artificial, or low-quality links pointing to your site, and if you are confident that the links are causing issues for you” DO NOT USE THIS TOOL. That is a direct quote from Google.
How do you use it?
The tool is located in Google Webmaster Tools. You must have an account to access it here https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/disavow-links-main
You simply need to upload a plain text file that includes the url of the website you wish to disavow.
You can disavow an entire domain like this domain:whatever.com or a single page like http://www.whatever.com/somepage.html.
- Each domain needs to be on its own line.
- You can also put in a personal comment by using the # sign.
# This domain is maliciously scraping our content and linking to us
# This forum page is linking to us in a spam post by a bot
You can watch Matt Cutt’s video on the tool below.
You can also read the official Google Blog post, which has a nice Q&A section http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2012/10/a-new-tool-to-disavow-links.html.
The most important thing to remember is that this tool should not be used by most people. If you currently rank just fine I would not bother using this tool. Simply keep attracting quality links through Content Marketing and you should be fine.
This tool is not an instant fix to everything that ails you. Google has stated it can take weeks for the links to even disavow so do not expect instant results.
Be very careful disavowing subdomains! Google says it should be fine if it’s a major subdomain like WordPress or Tumblr. However, “If a freehost is very new or rare, we may interpret this as a request to disavow all links from the entire domain”.
This is a nice tool to have in your arsenal and could help people who are submitting reconsideration request. Just make sure you have a very good reason for using it and that it is implemented properly.