We published an article with the heading “Combat negative SEO with Google Disavow Tool”as soon as Google launched the Disavow tool for the webmasters, describing what this tool does and how to utilize that. Later we realized that there is a need of explanation on how to recognise bad links so we can use the tool to remove those. Let’s discuss that here. You must follow a procedure to achieve this goal.
- Know Your Risks : First sign of you needing to use Disavow tool is that you are receiving Google warnings that some malicious links are pointing back to you. It is always advisable to wait till you receive such emails before you think of using the Google Disavow tool. If you are looking to be proactive and remove links, please reconsider. You are yet to receive a punishment if any. Not every site has been penalized. So, don’t be a pessimistic webmaster and don’t risk losing links which might actually been doing good to you and your website. If you suddenly submit a bunch of links to Google, you are just making Google suspicious. Please don’t do it.
But if you have been penalized, then go ahead and use this tool, scrupulously. If you have lost ranking and traffic and thinking of moving to a new domain (ignore this if you are hit by the EMD update) then try this tool as the last measure.
- Unveil The Problem And Understand It : You need to know the reason behind the downfall. What has triggered the downfall? If it is Penguin update then maybe you need to remove keyword stuffing. But if it hit by negative SEO then you need to disavow certain links and use the tool.
You need tools to use in this section and one of the most used tools are Open Site Explorer . Using this tool you can check the anchor texts which are associated with the links to your site. Browse the list carefully and see if anything suspicious or unrelated anchor text is sending incoming links to you. If yes, then please expand to see the link details. There are two options left for you.
a. Try requesting the webmaster to remove the link. (But if this doesn’t work, then)
b.Use Google Disavow tool.
- Use the Disavow tool: Again, don’t use this tool if you have not faced any major problem. If you are hell bent on using this tool then try to find a few worst linkbacks and use this tool to remove those and wait to see the result. In short, if you have time, then move slowly and cautiously.
Anyway, once you have made up your mind, make a text file and add the links there. If you are providing extra information then add a # before the line, Google will treat that as a comment.
# this is just an example
Go to this link, and provide the information of your site and upload the text file. You are done.
During the release, in a video on YouTube, Matt Cutts warned against the reckless use of this tool. If used unwisely, this tool may create mayhem and thus please try not to use this tool or use it with the help of experienced webmasters and SEO experts.