The disavow tool, or more correctly, the google links disavow tool, should be used judiciously. This is a useful tool for those who rely on backlinks and Google PageRank as an important aspect of their SEO. However, it is essential that it be used as intended by Google.
Anyone seriously involved in search engine optimization (SEO) should register their websites with Google Webmaster Tools (GWT). It’s easy to do – just search Google for the term and you’ll be informed. The webpage teaches you a lot about many Google tools, including copyright, the G+ button, and the disclaimer.
Good and Bad Backlinks
During the life of your website, it can attract many backlinks to different pages on your site, either by chance or design. Useful backlinks are those where the content on the linking page links to the content on your own page. These provide what is colloquially known as “link juice”, or refers to Google’s PageRank system.
PageRank is mistakenly associated only with web pages, as it is named after Larry Page, who founded Google along with Sergey Brin. Developed in 1996, and Google published in 1998, PageRank has been an integral part of the search engine ranking system. It comes down to the number of links from other web pages to your site – the more the better.
The idea was for people to link their web pages to those that provide good and relevant information in the same niche. The more such links there are, the more reliable the linked pages should be. However, Google realized that many links could be created artificially.
Here are some of the ways other web pages can link to your page, many of which are artificial rather than real links between niche domains.
- Other websites provide a link to your web page which may or may not be relevant to their particular niche. They can do this without your knowledge.
- You pay for links from services that offer a large number of backlinks for cash payments.
- You agree to the interlinks between your web pages and those of other websites. They link to you if you link to them.
- Use of reciprocal linking programs. There is a program where reciprocal links are suggested that you can accept or reject.
- Links from article directories and other content sites. This can help with great SEO, but your articles can be listed on websites completely separate from your own.
- Keyword Research Software: This is keyword oriented. For example, it finds an article with the keyword apple, and publishes it on a fruit site, when your page refers to Apple computers. That’s right – it’s already happening, and it hurts your ranking.
You are not asked for permission for many of these links back to your web pages, however they can damage your Google ranking to the point where your web page or even your entire domain can be dropped from Google listings. By exercising PageRank in this way, Google customers who were searching for information were given too many bad and irrelevant web pages in their search results.
Google cracked down on this, and many web pages disappeared from Google listings overnight. This is known as a “Google slap”. The algorithm updates known as Panda (or Farmer) and Penguin were the culmination of Google’s war on game links created solely for SEO purposes.
The disavow tool is intended to enable webmasters to remove these links to their web pages. One of the problems with negative links is that they cannot be removed unless the webmaster providing them agrees.
Use the disclaimer
The Google disavow tool, or link disavow tool, allows you to provide the URL of a link that leads to your website and tell Google to ignore that link. You can access the Disavow Link Tool on your Webmaster Tools account. It’s easy to use – just follow the instructions.
However – there is a requirement. You should first try to remove your links manually. To do this, you can use the Webmaster Tools site to find the links that lead to every page on your site. You must then send an email to the webmaster relevant to each of these links and request that they be removed from their website.
If that fails, you can use the disavow links tool. It’s not known for sure, but it’s likely only valid if you get a notification from Google of “unnatural links”. If you receive this, you should try to determine if it affected your ranking.
Impact of Google Disavow Links
You should find links that appear to be unrelated to your pages and use the disavow tool to request that they be ignored. You must then submit a “Request for Reconsideration” through your WMT account. Google may then re-evaluate your website and the links to it.
Reconsideration requests sometimes work and sometimes they don’t. They should only be used if your unnatural link notification was sent, or if you believe your page has been included in a dropdown due to your linking strategy. Reconsideration only works if you have reason to believe that direct action was taken against your website for some reason.
The disavow tool was recently launched and made available to the public. Its effects are not yet confirmed, and the more it is used, the more we will know about it.