Disavow links tool brings a relief to those who were helpless sorting hundreds of unnatural links pointing to their sites. These links could either be the result of negative SEO and something out of their control to fix… or their own link building mistakes. But indeed this is pleasing  from Google to finally introduce this tool which can help Google discard
the unnatural links.

Links are one of the most important factors out of 200+ signals Google uses to determine rankings and search results.This tool is equally prominent for link spammers as well as genuine webmasters.

Just to recall here, if you have received a linkspam notification in your webmaster tools account about “unnatural links”, this tool is for you as a huge help.

What could be linkspam or unnatural links

A dofollow link that’s coming as a result of following and violates Google’s quality guidelines.

  • Paid links
  • Link exchnage
  • Blog networks
  • Link farms
  • Unrelated pages

If you have received any notification about link schemes, it is better to clean up as many links as possible before you use disavow link tool.

Steps to clean up link profile

  1. Download a list of latest links from your webmaster tools.
  2. Download the list of links from opensiteexplorer.org if you have an account at SEOmoz
  3. Figure out the good and bad links. A good link will come from a relevant page which is offering good value to end user, have lesser but quality outgoing links, strong backlinks, preferrably talking about your niche/industry in a sensible context. Whereas a bad link will give you no clue as to how it connects to your website and why?
  4. After you have removed all bad links under your control and still left with some links that seem to be out of your control, use disavow link tool.
  5. Select your website for link cleanup and upload the file with urls you’re getting links from. You only need to add the urls one in each line. If you have any comments to add, it can begin with a #.
Google disavow links

Below is given an example format.

[sws_shortcode width=”450″ float=”none”]

# Contacted owner of blahblah.info domain on 7/12/2012 to request link removal but no response yet.

http://www.blahblah.com/spampage1.html
http://www.blahblah.com/spampage2.html
http://www.blahblah.com/spampage3.html

# I have lost the login details of these directories created 5 years ago.

http://www.deaddirectory1.com/spampage.html
http://www.deaddirectory2.com/spampage.html

[/sws_shortcode]

How long to see if it worked

It may take several weeks to see the impact and whether you recovered. Secondly, you can not be sure of a positive response always because Google reserves the final right to judge and decide in your favor. Your disavowal file will act only as an indicator to help Google decide.

Contradiction

However, Google team is still unclear whether webmasters should disavow links they didn’t build at all. How about those thousands of comment spam or profile links that any sick competitor can fire? Google says that one should disavow links you made currently not under your control.

On their FAQs, See this

[sws_blockquote_endquote align=”” cite=”” quotestyle=”style02″] The primary purpose of this tool is to help clean up if you’ve hired a bad SEO or made mistakes in your own link-building. [sws_highlight hlcolor=”FFD966″] However, if you’re worried that some backlinks might be affecting your site’s reputation, you can use the Disavow Links tool to indicate to Google that those links should be ignored.[/sws_highlight] [/sws_blockquote_endquote]

and on other FAQ, it seems to be contradicted.

[sws_blockquote_endquote align=”” cite=”” quotestyle=”style02″] Q: I didn’t create many of the links I’m seeing. Do I still have to do the work to clean up these links?
A: [sws_highlight hlcolor=”FFD966″] Typically not. Google normally gives links appropriate weight, and under normal circumstances you don’t need to give Google any additional information about your links. [/sws_highlight]A typical use case for this tool is if you’ve done link building that violates our quality guidelines, Google has sent you a warning about unnatural links, and despite your best efforts there are some links that you still can’t get taken down.[/sws_highlight] [/sws_blockquote_endquote]

It means if you use this tool to disavow links, you just confirmed that you were involved in bad link building (willingly or unwillingly.. whatever). It does not seem to protect you from negative SEO.

Possible misuse

This tool can be a good undercover in case some of the techniques do not work or caught under spam, one can use this tool to disavow links. Either Google team has to be very active and alert attending these disavowal files or it may end up ignoring such files at all.

Next few weeks will be good to see the impact of the tool.

They have created this video to help understand and use this tool better

How to use Google disavow link tool

What are your thoughts about disavow links tool? Would be happy to hear you.