The last few months Google has made the internet a mess and if you haven’t noticed Google doesn’t look to kindly on those that have spammy links pointing at their sites. Some of you may have received a warning message in your Google Webmaster’s Account informing you of bad links pointing at your site others have gone ahead and removed these links before Google had to tell them to. However, this process is a painstaking so Google has decided to “help” us out a little with their new ‘Disavow’ tool.
What is This Magical Disavow Links Tool?
The Disavow tool is a new Google Webmaster Tool that allows you to ask Google to not consider certain links to your website that may interfere with your website’s ranking.
This is a very big deal as we’ve all acquired low-quality links over the years – some of you may have even purchased a link (shame on you). You’re going to want to remove these links before Google puts two and two together and your sites at the bottom of the barrel. Sadly, it doesn’t seem like this tool is working retroactively so if you’ve already been penalized for those links then there’s nothing you can do.
Curious To Know How to Use Google’s Disavow Links Tool?
Great! We’re going to explain it to you!
Step 1: Log in to your Google Webmaster Tools account. When logged in, you’ll see your website in the gray box. Click the red box that says, ‘Disavow Links.’
Step 2: Click ‘Disavow Links’ again. You’ll see a warning here that using this feature incorrectly can harm your site’s performance in the SERPs. Because, obviously, disavowing links that are beneficial and carry weight will hurt your site.
Step 3: In this step, you’ll upload a file of links that you want removed. Click ‘Choose File’ and upload a plain text file (you can create this in Notepad) with a list of links that you want to disavow. Only one URL per line.
Then click the blue ‘Submit’ button. Then, Done.
If you’d like to disavow an entire domain, you have that option as well as just disavowing one link. You can also add notes to Google explaining why you you’ve requested to disavow links.
It’s important to note that Google only supports one disavowal file per site. If you want to update the file in the future, you’ll need to download the existing file, modify it, and upload the updated one.
Should You Even Care About This?
If you have a dirt history of link building or have done some not so honest white hat techniques you should certainly care. Or if you have been a victim of negative SEO then it might be worth your while to take a gander at this little tool.
Keep in mind that this is also not a guarantee removal. Just because you asked doesn’t mean they will actually remove the links. It’s a strong possibility that they will but you have no idea when.
Protip, if you accidentally disavow links that turn out to be good, you can undo the process by downloading the file and re-uploading a new one with those good links removed. Just keep in mind the time it takes to remove and then re-add could be months.