As you may already know, the latest release from Google is the Disavow Links tool. What this absolutely new webmaster tool enables you to do, is, in fact, to let Google know, which incoming links to your website you want to ignore. This tool was highly anticipated, because hints to its launching were circulating around the Internet for months now. Today, the guys from Webpronews wrote an article about the new Disavow tool.
Naturally, the first question that comes to mind obviously is: How does the Disavow Links tool actually work and how does it help you, as a webmaster?
Throughout its evolution, Google got better and better at the assessment of backlinks. As a following, some of the people who work online saw the opportunity to actually clean up their backlinks.
It is widely known that Google did not and does not tolerate the exchange of paid links, blog spam, comment spam or link spam. So, if a certain webmaster (and there are a lot of them) conducted a number of spam generating actions, he is now likely to try to remove all of those backlinks – this is mainly due to the fact that Google, as the most powerful search engine in the world, is absolutely determined to “clean up” the Internet – something we are all very well aware of.
First and foremost, Google recommends that those spammy backlinks are completely removed from the web. The traditional way to achieve that, would be to try to get in touch with the people linking to you in a spammy way. This may well work, but only up to a certain point, because you definitely will not be able to reach all those who are linking back to your website.
When you are still left with a certain amount of spammy backlinks pointing to your site, you will know that this is the actual time when you can start using Google’s new tool. First of all, you have to consider which of those links you should disavow.
A first feature of the Disavow Links tool is one that will allow you to download a list of your most recent links, as Google discovered them. This is very useful, if, by any chance, you received a message or even a warning about unnatural looking links. Such a warning from Google will contain up to three examples of unnatural or spammy backlinks to your site.
However, such a list won’t be a comprehensive one. In fact, it will only serve as an example and inform you that you need to take action. Google will just point out to the sorts of links that it would like to see taken down. Nonetheless, you might not even need to use this tool, simply because you won’t have to – that is, if you have been one of the “good guys”; but let’s face the truth, most webmasters haven’t always been “good”. The Disavow Links tool was especially developed for them.
The first interface of tool allows its user to upload a text file of links he would like to ignore. Let’s suppose you would like to ignore a link from a site called example.com – you simply create a text file, in which you list example.com and you upload that file. The accepted format is just one URL per line. However, you can always download that file back again and add other domains and links you would want to ignore. Afterwards, you can re-upload it.
Google will treat your request as a suggestion, but not as something that it absolutely has to abide by. As usual, Google will reserve the right to take the measures it considers necessary and not especially those that were suggested by the Disavow Links tool user.
You might also be interested in taking into account, that it may take several weeks until the links you want to get rid of, are actually disavowed. During that time, Google will re-crawl those pages, re-index them and disavow a number of them only after conducting an accurate analysis. Therefore, do not expect immediate results.
This is a power user tool and most people should not have to use it, but if you are realistically inclined to think that you need it, use it without any further delay. Another issue that should be taken into consideration when using this tool, is the possibility of wanting to reavow a certain link or number of links. This action will require even more time than the actual disavowal.
When you choose to disavow a link, do it only after you are completely convinced that you want it to be gone, because if you later issue a request for that link to be reavowed, Google might reject your petition or, in fact, reavow that link, but do so with less importance given to that link.
Once again, only consider the links that resemble the ones that are given as examples in Google’s warning message and the ones that you want to get rid of. It is best, if you try to clean up as much as you can before you start to use the Disavow Links tool.
Proportional to the web, most people won’t have to use this tool. In fact, Google announced that only a small number of people will receive warning messages, such as the ones mentioned above. Again, Google suggests that only the links that look really spammy have to be eliminated.
Nonetheless, do not think that the Disavow Links tool will be the cure to all of your ills in regards to bad search engine optimization strategies. It really does not work like that. The process really is a long one and its sole purpose is to make the Internet cleaner and safer.
How the Internet will look after the Disavow Links tool goes into action? Whether SEO techniques will change for the better or become stiff SEO guidelines that will dictate the webmaster exactly what needs to be done, that is something we are going to find out in the future.
Nonetheless, the question remains: Will the Disavow Links tool actually benefit the online environment or will it just add up to the number of novelties that become disturbing in the shortest amount of time?