Google’s Disavow Links Tool

Disavow Links tool

Are you worried about spam links harming your website’s ranking? Google is now offering a new tool to avoid this problem. It is called the “Disavow Link tool” and it is live and available now. The announcement was made this week by Google’s head web spam team Matt Cutt at the PubCon conference held in Las Vegas.

 Restore Your Credibility

This new tool is aim to help restore ranking and credibility to those website that have been harmed by spammy or unnatural links. While reading about how to use it, when and who should use it, it was almost as reading about the next steps once you have been diagnosed with a “situation”and might need surgery. Usually doctors will recognised that you have a “situation” for which the solution is surgery, but first he will recommend a treatment to see if the problem could be fixed without surgery and avoid all the hassle, costs and risk of it. Google is like this doctor; once that the unnatural links have been detected, he suggests that you should first try to remove them by working with the site’s owner hosting. This is the best option, because this is addressing the problem at the root. But, if you try this and you do not get a positive outcome of it, then it is time for surgery, I mean disavow. And it is not that the disavowing process is as risky as a surgery, your site won’t die, but it could hurt your ranking, one example Cutt said is “do not to disavow internal links – it can hurt”. Another thing he mentioned is that if you are not sure wether you need it or not, then most probably you shouldn’t use it.

 Spam Spam Spam Spam

But lets say you have contacted several times the originators of your spammy links pointing at your website, and you have not had success with them removing them, then it is time to use the Disavow Links tool. Obviously you have worked hard enough to build your website’s reputation and no one likes having credibility problems because of spam and now that you have the option to remove those unwanted harmful links you are more than happy to do so.

 Getting Started

Surgery room will be https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/disavow-links-main?pli=1 this is where everything starts. You will be first ask to choose your website, from the drop down menu.

disavow-select-website

Then you will be prompted to upload a text file containing the links you will like to disavow and submit. The format is very simple, one URL per line and you can add # for comments.

disavow-warning-message

Below is an example and explanation from Google’s blog post about the tool:

“# Contacted owner of spamdomain1.com on 7/1/2012 to

# ask for link removal but got no response

domain:spamdomain1.com

# Owner of spamdomain2.com removed most links, but missed these

http://www.spamdomain2.com/contentA.html

http://www.spamdomain2.com/contentB.html

http://www.spamdomain2.com/contentC.html 

In this example, lines that begin with a pound sign (#) are considered comments and Google ignores them. The “domain:” keyword indicates that you’d like to disavow links from all pages on a particular site (in this case, “spamdomain1.com”). You can also request to disavow links on specific pages (in this case, three individual pages on spamdomain2.com). We currently support one disavowal file per site and the file is shared among site owners in Webmaster Tools. If you want to update the file, you’ll need to download the existing file, modify it, and upload the new one. The file size limit is 2MB. “

 Patience is a Virtue

It is important too that you are aware that the process of Google discounting the links is not immediate. Again, as when having surgery, allow time for the new file to propagate through Google’s crawling/indexing system, which can take several weeks.