Google’s Disavow Tool: The Solution to Bad Links?

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For some time, webmasters and SEO’s (search engine optimizers) have called on Google to offer a way for them to respond to the notice of unnatural link building notifications sent out by Google. After quite some time it seems Google has granted this request. It released it’s disavow links tool. This tool which is part of Google’s webmaster tools suite, is now available to any webmaster that believes he or she has been the victim of negative SEO (people deliberately creating bad links to a website without the approval of the website owner.) or has received the warning of unnatural link building from Google as some have done. The Google Disavow Tool may be critical to your Melbourne, Fl SEO.

How It Works

The tool requires the webmaster to create a file containing the bad links. The tool is currently accessed from the “root” or “owner” level in Google. Once there, input the URL of the disavow tool. Once you are at the disavow tool you will be asked to upload the file containing your list of links. The tool currently supports three commands within the file you create. The # symbol precedes comments before each item as necessary. For links, the full URL is stated each one on a line by itself in the file. Finally for websites the syntax is “domain:” followed by the root URL or sub domain if applicable. The contents of the file will look something like this:

# This is a strange link, bad link
http://www.anexample.com/ bad-link-page.html
# This website has a lot of very bad links
Domain: badbadwebsite.com

Having said what the tool is for, care is essential when using the tool. If the file submitted to the tool is setup incorrectly or the wrong links are put into the file, the effect on the users’ website may be negatively affected. When a domain is listed in the file all links from that domain, good and bad will eventually get eliminated.

When to Use the Tool

The tool is best used when the webmaster is certain that a negative SEO attack has occurred, or wants to eliminate potential harmful links. If the website is experiencing bad backlink issues with Google and the webmaster has tried to correct the situation in conjunction with the referring webmasters, then the webmaster can use the disavow tool to remove as many unwanted or problematic links as possible.

Most of the time confirming that a negative SEO attack has taken place is not easy. A good starting point is the websites ranking. Has there been a decrease in rank or even web traffic? Did Google change its algorithms at that time? Why these questions? Simply that there may be other, simpler explanations for the change in websites ranking on the search results.

Effect on the Rankings

Unless the webmaster has a very good reason as mentioned in the previous paragraph, using this tool may not help improve the websites ranking. Google has not given anyone any specifics on how it plans to use the files webmasters upload to it. It’s possible that it will simply accept the contents of the file and remove the links from the websites link profile, it also says that nothing is automatic and that it can at its discretion review manually any links submitted and come to its own independent decision.

The disavow tool is certainly a useful tool when used correctly. Considering the harm that may ensue if the tool is used wrongly, webmasters are better advised to consult an SEO professional and not attempt to put this tool to use by themselves.