Google’s Disavow Tool: Protect Your SEO From Spammy Backlinks

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Backlinks are a cause for celebration. 

Each and every link that you gain from a good website on the internet helps your site in a number of ways. 

According to that, it should be clear that, the more backlinks of your site over the internet, the better! 

Not really. 

Some links can actually cause harm to your website’s SEO if they don’t get removed. As Google has created an extraordinary complex algorithm over the years which can detect a spam/unnatural link, it can punish your website too if some of those links point to you. 

That’s where the Google Disavow Tool comes into use! 

The simplest disavow links meaning is to tell Google that it doesn’t have to count that specific link as a backlink of your website. 

Now let’s dig deep into what is it? why do many businesses do it? Is it even important after the recent updates of the Google algorithm? And finally, we’ll look up to which links should be disavowed and how you can do it easily. 

And Here We Go!

What is the purpose of Google’s disavow tool?

The Disavow tool is a feature of Google Search Console (previously Webmaster Tools) that allows websites to reduce the value of inbound links, hence avoiding link-based penalties. The disavow tool is a crucial asset for websites at risk of being penalized by Google’s war on link spam, which puts certain online businesses at risk of organic search penalties.

Why do many owners/SEOs of website disavow links? 

The main motive for someone disavowing links is to protect their website from a bad link that can harm the website’s reputation and rank on SERP.

The cause of a bad link can be many for instance, competitors can make a site’s bad links to get ahead in the race, the user might have made them himself accidentally while talking about their website on an unsavory site or Google might have changed its algorithm that can turn a formerly useful link into a harmful link. 

Whatever the reason be, harmful links can hurt a ton and the Google link disavow tool can make it easier to stop the harm from continuing.

When Should You Use Link Disavow Tool? 

Bad links can be formed from many places including, 

  • Pages that are formed only to gather links
  • Links in spam comments
  • Spam sites
  • Backlinks on sites that are not included in your target country(e.g. a link from the USA won’t help when your business solely operates in India). 

As Google says: “The links on your pages are proof of the quality of your content and website.”

These negative backlinks make use of disavowing links tool necessary. 

Positive backlinks can boost your Domain Authority (DA), Page Authority (PA), visibility on SERP, and of course ranking.  

Whereas negative backlinks are their exact counterparts. They damage your website’s SEO and make your site fall on ranking. 

But but but, a big warning: Don’t invalidate a useful link while trying to clear out trash. Useful links can work great for referrals, brand awareness, and engagement. 

Google even gives a warning to the owner of the website on its Google Disavow Tool page:

But the problem doesn’t end here, the question of whether you’re doing the right thing or not is still here. 

The most likely answer should be ‘Yes, if you’re having a massive traffic drop due to a link penalty, invalidating the negative links can surely make you rise again. 

Disavow links tool just reminds you not to disavow the wrong link, not that you’re invalidating a wrong link. Now comes the biggest question: What is “okay” or “normal” for a page? 

Is there still a need to disavow links after Google’s algorithm update? 

The question does make people think about whether to disavow links or not. As Google keeps updating its algorithm and becomes smarter with every update, is there any need to invalidate bad links from your end? Can’t Google disavow links by itself? 

When Google first launched the Disavow Tool, Google Penguin (the algorithm that was released to measure backlinks) was upgraded a level and came up with a feature according to which it should have had ignored/devalued spam links. Well, the update surely removed some fear of bad backlinks but in the end, it’s still an algorithm. As no algorithm is perfect, there still are some bad backlinks that can devalue websites.  

Even after new updates to the algorithm, Google does not puts penalties on links by itself as much as it once did after the launch of disavow tool. Now, many of the times employees of Google review a website’s backlinks manually and decide to put up a penalty or not. 

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Which makes Google’s Disavow Tool a necessity! 

Now let’s continue with the big question, 

Which links should be invalidated? 

As it could be a long and complex process and I’m currently in the mood of writing a boring story. 

So, here’s what a rough process would look like:

Use Spam Score to focus your search on the links that cause you the most worry.

Prioritize some links for manual evaluation using Excel, Google Sheets, or anything similar (if a site links to you 10,000 times, you usually only need to study a dozen to get the concept!). Remember to remove any nofollowed, expired, 404ed, or otherwise non-passing equity links at this point.

Now go through the found links and think what could be the reason that the author had placed your website’s link there. If you don’t get the reason other than financial incentives or if the security of the site is not being managed properly, you would want to use disavow links tool to invalidate that link. Now, if all the links from that specific domain behave the same, you could disavow the domain. 

Now that you know how to find the links and domains that you want to disavow, let’s move to the next step. 

How Can You Disavow Links Using Disavow Google Tool? 

Now that you’ve already faced a lot of trouble facing the ranking and audience harm and then finding the bad links that are causing them, Google has made disavowing a link pretty simple. 

So, grab your list of backlinks that are harming your website, and let’s get going. 

  • Then you’ll notice the warning we mentioned before. Don’t get caught off guard; you’ve taken the necessary precautions to protect yourself, and now it’s time to take action.
  • Google provides you with another warning to make sure you’re sure. You’re also prepared to dismiss this one.
  • Select the correct.txt file containing the faulty backlinks by clicking “Choose file.
  • Then press “Send.”

That concludes the procedure. Your request will be processed by Google. In a few days, the links should have been declared invalid.

You can also take Google Search Console Help

You’ve completed the task.

Conclusion

Backlinks are no doubt one of the most helpful SEO factors but there are always two sides to a coin. Good links can uplift your website whereas bad links are drag you down. 

Invalidating the harmful link is surely a risky measure to take but letting it go is riskier. Finding out the judas (harmful link) in the mist could be a tiring process but it needs to be done to save your website from a massive downfall.

Make sure you do all the steps clearly and you will get to the positive ending. 

I hope you have found all the answers you were looking for but still if there’s any query/doubt that you want to clear, the comment box is wide open for you or you can mail us your query at [email protected], we will be more than happy to help you.

If you’re having issues finding and disavowing the bad link, you can contact us and our specialists will get through the process to save your website for good. 

And thanks a ton for reading along, it means a lot to us. 


Mr. Json

Json is a forever intern writer of ItsGeekynerd (this way we don't have to pay him. He is tremendously skilled in the fields of SEM, Content Marketing, Graphic Designing, Partying and sleeping during work. The only reason he is with us is that we got no options.


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