SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the most pressing concern for every website owner and developer. Getting organic traffic can make all the difference in expanding and growing your online business.
If you are someone who knows quite a lot about SEO, then you probably know the importance of ‘Backlinks’. However, if you don’t have much knowledge about it then let us understand its importance.
What are Backlinks?
Backlinks are nothing but links to an external website. There are 2 types of Backlinks: good and bad. Good Backlinks are very important and have a significant effect on the keyword rank of your website.
Search Engines rank your website based on several different factors, including backlinks. If more websites link to your own, the search engine sees this as a vote for credibility. It tells Google that more websites trust your content and that your website is worth the time of the visitors.
A good backlink is one which comes from a relevant website. If the website linking to you deals in the same niche, it will be considered as good backlinking. The more these relevant websites link to you, the more organic traffic you get. This allows you to bring natural and organic traffic to your website.
On the other hand, a bad backlink is one which comes from an irrelevant source. If an unrelated website is linking to your own, it will be considered as an unnatural way of getting traffic to your website.
In order to deal with the people building links using the same content from low-value directory and article sites Google released a major search algorithm update in 2012, called the Penguin Update which detects sites that try to spam the search results through unethical means, like buying links to boost ranking.
Thus, sites need to be wary of bad
backlinks if they do not wish to get caught by the penguin!To solve the purpose
of bad backlinking, Google introduced the Disavow Links tool in October 2012.
With the help of this tool you can ask Google to ignore and not count certain
bad backlinks that link to your website.
What is Google’s Disavow Links Tool?
Now that you know what backlinks are, you will understand that Google pays close attention to a websites backlinks. It puts in extra efforts to make sure that no external sources affect your website adversely.
How does Google know which sites are not to be counted while ranking your website? You have to create a list of all the domains and URLs in a .txt file and submit it to Google.
This might seem the easy way out, however, you must know that using Disavows incorrectly can do more harm than good for your website. According to Google, you must only use the Disavows tool as a last resort. This is because Disavowing a link indicates that the website backlinking to you is actually a threat to you, which might not always be true. If you disavow links this way it might affect your ow SEO rank.
Google Disavow Links Tool Guide
Here are the steps you need to follow in order to correctly use the Google disavow links tool correctly.
This is not exactly a part of using Disavow links tool, however, this is the first thing you need to do in order to use the tool.
You can use an online backlink analysis tool which will automatically list all the websites that have a link to yours. You can search through all of the results and see which ones you find suspicious.
Tools that can be used to get links are:
of detecting backlinks is by performing a links audit on your own.
Go to Google’s webmaster tool.
Click on Search Traffic on the Dashboard
Now select the ‘Links to your Site’ option
There you will find ‘Who links the most’ option, click on ‘more’
Now, select the ‘Download more sample links’ option to download the links to all the websites.
This list contains both good as well as bad links. Your job is to find the bad ones after exporting the list of backlinks. You can save yourself the trouble of going through each link separately by using a link analysis tool.
Try removing these links:
The best practice to remove bad backlinks is by doing it manually.
If there is possibility that these links can be removed without the use of
Google, you should try it first.
You can find contact information
of these websites by visiting them.
Once you find the contact email
address, send a request asking them to remove the backlink.
You can also reach out to the
webmaster to request removal.
If the webmaster or the website in question replies back and complies to your request, you will not need to go ahead with the disavow tool at all.
However, if you do not get any reasonable response, go to the next step
Create a Disavow File
Once you have sorted out the good and the bad backlinks and taken the necessary steps to contact and remove low value backlinks, it is time to create a disavow file.
A disavow file contains a list of all the URLs and websites that you want Google to ignore while ranking your website.
You need to
include the efforts that you took to remove these links in this file in the
means of screenshots or other proof. Google wants to ensure that you have taken
the effort of getting the links removed before opting for this last resort.
There is a
certain way you should format your website or else it might get rejected by
Google. Keep the following things in mind:
The Disavows file is text file
which has the extension txt
You must encode in 7-bit ASCII
code or UTF-8 format
Include only a single link in a
The proof of removal request that you add in the file must begin with ‘#’ sign on every line. Each line that is not a part of disavowal, like proof or comments, must begin with ‘#’.
Submitting Disavowal file
Using the Google
Disavow Links tool is very easy.
Go to the Disavow Tool website
where you will see Disavow Links button
Select the website you want to
use and click on Disavow Links
You will now see a warning
which is the same as that on Google’ support page
Click Disavows Link to continue
with the process
You will see another warning,
you can ignore and continue
To upload file select ‘Choose
Now select the Disavow .txt
file that you created
Click on ‘Submit’ to finalize
Your work here is finished. Let Google review and process your request. Google will disavow your links in a matter of days.
The Google Disavow Links Tool should only
be used as a last measure to safeguard the SEO rank of your website against bad
backlinking. However, it is not the only cure to solve this problem, as you can
attempt to remove such links by yourself. Also, disavowing links that are not
harmful and dangerous will harm your reputation too.
It is essential to
follow the right guidelines in order to create a Disavowal file. If you don’t
follow these, your request might get rejected.Disavowing and
eliminating bad backlinks will not only help increase your search rank but also
increase the flow of natural and organic traffic to your website. This is why
this Google Tool is very useful for website owners and developers and should be