With its consistent efforts to deliver high quality content to end users and build better and more relevant links between websites, it is not surprising that Google has provided web masters and website owners some tools that can help them eliminate low quality links that could be hurting their websites and avoid penalty altogether. One such tool is none other the Disavow Tool.
Disavow tool in brief
First rolled out last year, the disavow tool’s main purpose is simple: clean up unsavory links that are messing up with your profile. The tool allows you to send a list of sites that you think are harming your website’s rankings. Although Disavow will not automatically eliminate the links, it will inform Google that you would like those bad links to be ignored so that they do not affect your website’s rankings.
However, take note that this particular tool should be used with great caution. According to Google’s head spam fighter Matt Cutts, the tool must be used only as a last resort. That means, before you actually utilize it, you must first identify the sites that are linking to your website and launch an outreach campaign. That is, you need to reach out to them one by one through an email request, saying that you would like their links to be removed from your website. Ideally, you should try reaching out to the sites at least three times.
If you have done exactly the aforesaid steps, but the owners of the websites linking to you are not receptive and you are doing all efforts to recover from a Penguin penalty, then you may proceed using the disavow tool. Here are three steps to use it wisely.
Do a Link Audit
The first thing you would like to do is to know all the sites or pages that are linking to your website. Luckily, you don’t need third-party backlink tools for this task because Google Webmaster Tools got your covered. Simply login on Google Webmaster Tools; select your site; click “search traffic;” then go to “links to your site;” and finally choose “more” under “Who links the most.” After this, review your file and figure out which among the links should be removed. If you are having trouble analyzing the data, you can follow Google Webmaster Tools’ “How to Conduct a Link Audit” guide.
Document in a .txt File
Once you have identified the links you would like to disavow, document them in a .txt file. Google did not actually specify what you should name your .txt file, so your safest bet is to just name it in the lines disavowal.txt or maybe your website. Then, list down the web pages or websites you want to disavow and include a brief comment as to why you would like to disavow them. Be sure to use proper comment tags and be honest with your reasons.
Use the Disavow Tool
When you are through making the list, the next step is to upload the file in Google’s disavow links tool page. To be able to do that, you should be logged into your webmaster tools’ account. You will encounter three pages of warnings before you can actually upload your file. Just do the necessary steps that go along with the warnings and you are done.
Be aware that the Disavow Tool is not the cure all for problem links that you do not want to be associated with your site. Again, evaluate your website first and manually remove as many bad links as you can before using this tool.
About the Author
Sherry Sims is an avid writer with a strong interest in social media, technology and search engine optimization. She also regularly writes for www.guestblogspost.co.uk. During her free time, Sherry enjoys reading novels and searching for interesting blogs.