Google’s New Disavow Link Tool

Written by Dylan Thomas
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How it works and what it means

Yesterday Google announced the launch of its new tool that allows you to disavow links to your site. What this means is that if you’ve been notified of manual spam action based on ‘unnatural links’ to your site, you’re able to request Google (or any other search engine) reject or ignore them when crawling your website.

Usually, when notified of these ‘unnatural links’ it’s a laborious process of manually going through each page of your site and removing any linkspam that has been directed to your address. It is important to remove harmful links as they impact greatly on your PageRank and your overall search engine rankings. Even once you’ve done all you can to remove linkspam across your site, there is more often than not remaining links that you’re unable to remove – this is where the Disavow Link Tool steps in.

Found at Google’s Disavow Link page, this tool will initially request you identify your site:

disavow link 01 Google’s New Disavow Link Tool

Then you need to upload a file of all the links you wish Google to disavow. This file can be up to 2MB in size. Keep it simple – just a plain text document with one URL per line is all this new tool needs to identify the pages and links you want considered for rejection.

For example:

disavow link 02 Google’s New Disavow Link Tool

By beginning a line with a hash (#) indicates to the Google algorithm that this line is a comment, not a direct request to disavow the link.

You can request to disavow links across the entire site by beginning a line with the keyword “domain:” or alternatively, you can request individual pages be considered by simply listing them on individual lines.

The disavowal file you upload is shared amongst site owners in Web Master Tools. While currently only able to support one file per site, you are able to modify your file by downloading it, amending it and then re-uploading it.

Google’s disavow link tool is a great weapon in fighting linkspam, however it should only be used in circumstances that absolutely require it, and operated by advanced users of Web Master Tools. It is not a quick fix to your site’s spam links, but more of an advanced option to clean up the remaining linkspam that you’re unable to manually remove.

Don’t risk your site being penalised in the future for spammy links – remove all your harmful linkspam manually and then rely on Google’s new Disavow Link Tool to clean up the remaining links that you want ignored, and work on building quality authority links into your website.

Have you used Google’s new Disavow Link Tool? We want to hear your review in the comments section below!

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Posted on October 18, 2012

About the Author: Dylan Thomas

Dylan Thomas is the Content Manager at roi.com.au. He has experience writing SEO content for a wide range of industries, carefully balancing optimisation with conversion to deliver the best possible results.

He is also well versed in SEO strategy and likes to remain up to date with the latest industry news. In his spare time Dylan enjoys surfing, snowboarding and watching his beloved Melbourne Demons.

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To find out what Dylan Thomas can do for you, contact ROI today!

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