ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Insider Tips on the Google Disavow Link Tool

Updated on October 11, 2014

Matt Cutts, head of Google Webspam Team

What is it?

The Google Disavow link tool was designed by Googles Webspam team to help webmasters "disavow" bad quality links. To disavow just means that while the links may still be online, they won't count against the site.

Low quality links are those that have thin content, or are from disreputable sites, or that appear to have been built exclusively to trick the Google search engine into giving the site higher rankings.

The need for the tool is especially apparent when you understand what Negative SEO is. Negative SEO is a process an unscrupulous competitor will use against somebody else, for example they could easily create thousands of very low quality links to a site, with the sole intention of getting it dropped in the Google rankings.

Also, some webmasters have hired cheap and low quality SEO providers in order to get rankings up, only to find that any temporary gains are lost eventually, and the site drops when Google determines that most of the links are low quality. In this case, the webmaster needs a way to get those links removed.

Case Study 1

Example of loss of site rankings and recovery after use of the Google Disavow Tool
Example of loss of site rankings and recovery after use of the Google Disavow Tool

What Google says about it

Google has put out plenty of great information about the tool, including videos included in this hub. A couple of points they make are of critical importance for webmasters:

1. Try to get bad links removed first. Getting the links permanently removed is in your best interest.

2. You will not be punished for using the tool. When it first came out, Webmasters feared that the tool was a sneaky way for Google to identify spammers. In other words, if you used the tool, aren't you just admitting you did black hat SEO practices in the past? The answer is a clear no, and the combined experience of thousands of satisfied webmasters who have reclaimed rankings backs that up.

3. Learn Google's best practices for earning rankings. From it's earliest inception Google has had one simple goal: to rank the best site for a given keyword at the top of the rankings. It's a simple premise really, and one that isn't worth fighting. Learn how to make your site the "best" for the keywords you are fighting for.

What if I don't have a manual penalty from Google?

How to use the tool

So, here's where the rubber hits the road. If your site has lost rankings, and you want to use the Disavow tool, you have to do the following:

1. Create a list of all the links to your website

2. Analyze the links and identify those that are harmful

3. Create a text file of the links you want disavowed

4. Upload the file to Google's Webmaster Tools

5. Wait! It may take a few weeks for Google to act on the file.

Common Mistakes

Case Study 2

Case study 2, recovered rankings after disavowing
Case study 2, recovered rankings after disavowing

Take aways

If you have a website that used to rank, and now it doesn't, chances are you should use the Disavow Tool. In my experience, it works well, and we even use it on sites that have not received a manual penalty, but have lost rankings.

Of course, best practice is to make sure your site if of high quality, with great content, and provides link bait for attracting links, and gives users a great user experience.

But... if there are 30 great sites in your niche, the ones that will win are those that have the best SEO in place, so don't overlook the Google Disavow tool as a potential ranking-raising option, especially if the site used to rank well but has dropped over time.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)