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Disavow tool. What is it?

7 minutes of reading
Disavow tool. What is it?
Category SEO

If you’re a website owner or an SEO expert, you’ve probably heard of the Disavow Tool. But what exactly is it, and why is it important? It is a powerful tool that helps protect your website from harmful links, which can hurt your rankings. In this blog post, we’ll explain everything you need to know about the Disavow Tool, including how it works and why it’s important for positioning strategy. We’ll also discuss the pros and cons of using the tool. Let’s get started!


How to plan a good natural link strategy?

Link building is essential for any website as it helps improve your visibility, page authority, and domain authority, as well as build trust with search engines. It involves finding and creating relevant links from other websites to your own, which helps boost your website’s rankings in search engines like Google.

Links can be divided into internal (a network of links within a given website) and external (links located on other domains, directed to our website). Both types are an important ranking factor, affecting the visibility of the page in search results. Thanks to internal links, the website becomes friendly in navigation for the recipient and gives the ability to moderate traffic in various parts of the website. In turn, external links increase the credibility of the site and improve its popularity against the competition. As you can see, this is an important element of website positioning.

Natural link building is a diversified strategy of links and their attributes that meets the requirements of search engines, algorithms and web robots. However, sometimes things don’t go our way. An unnatural link is any link from a domain that Google has determined may be manipulative or misleading. Those links will hurt your site’s ranking in Google search results.

However, they can be remedied.

What is the Disavow Tool?

How does it work?

The Disavow Tool is a feature offered by Google that allows webmasters to signal to the search engine which links they would like excluded from its index. It was introduced in 2012 as a way to help webmasters clean up their backlink profiles and protect their sites from the effects of negative SEO.

Using the Disavow Tool requires webmasters to submit a text file containing a list of the URLs they would like Google to disavow. After submitting the file, it is reviewed by the search engine and, if approved, the listed URLs are removed from Google’s index. This prevents them from counting towards your site’s link popularity and can help improve your search rankings.

The Disavow Tool should be used with caution, however, as it can have serious consequences if misused. Using the tool incorrectly can result in legitimate backlinks being removed from Google’s index, which could adversely affect your website’s rankings. It is important to ensure that you thoroughly research the backlinks you intend to disavow to make sure they truly need to be removed from your site.

Pros and cons of the tool

The Disavow Tool is a way to tell Google that you do not want certain links associated with your website. By submitting a list of all of the domains or URLs that you want to disavow, you are telling Google that you do not approve of these links and do not want them counted as part of your website’s ranking factor. It can also help protect your website from malicious activity. If you notice any suspicious links or activity on your website, you can submit them to the Disavow Tool and have them removed so that they do not have any further negative impact on your website.

However, this tool is not free of flaws. It can take a long time to process. If you’re dealing with a large number of spammy links, it could take several months for Google to crawl and review all the links and make changes to your site. This can be frustrating for website owners who want to see quick results. Another con of the disavow tool is that it isn’t 100% accurate. You may think you’ve removed all the bad links, but there could still be some that Google hasn’t caught yet. It’s important to regularly check your backlinks and make sure none of them are still pointing to questionable websites.

What are the risks of using the Disavow Tool?

The primary risk of using the Disavow Tool is that you could unintentionally block legitimate backlinks from good sources. This can happen if you incorrectly identify a link as being malicious. If you disavow a link from a good source, you’re essentially telling Google not to trust that source and therefore not to consider its link as part of your overall link profile. This can lead to decreased rankings and traffic.

When should you use the Disavow Tool?

Using the Disavow Links Tool requires an understanding of the way that search engine optimization works and if you only know the basics of how to use it, there’s a good chance that it will negatively affect the page. It is worth using the tool for reporting unwanted links only when you receive a notification about unnatural links.

How to choose links?

You can use a tool like Ahrefs or Majestic to find out which links are pointing to your site and which ones are considered bad by search engines. Once you have identified the links, it is important to assess each link individually and make a decision about whether to keep or disavow it. If the link does not seem harmful and it is from a website with a good reputation, then you may choose to keep it. However, if the link looks spammy or comes from a low-quality website, then you should probably disavow it.

When considering which links to disavow, you should also take into account the quality of the content on the linking page. If the content is low quality or contains irrelevant keywords, then this could be seen as a signal of link manipulation and should be disavowed. Additionally, consider any additional context surrounding the link, such as whether the link is embedded in text or is simply part of a sidebar or footer navigation.

Checklist. How to use this tool correctly?

When considering whether or not to use the Disavow tool, it’s important to know the basics of how it works.

Step 1: Identify any backlinks that may harm your website’s reputation (such as links from link farms, low-quality websites, or websites with malicious intent).

Step 2: Determine which links you want to disavow. Remember, you don’t need to disavow every link that is considered bad – only the ones that are likely to negatively affect your website’s position in SERPs.

Step 3: Use a link analyzer tool to download the list of links that you want to disavow.

Step 4: Generate a text file with the list of links you want to disavow and upload it to Google Webmaster Tools.

Step 5: Monitor your backlink profile periodically to ensure no new bad links are added.

Tip: Keep your disavowed link list up to date with any new links that need to be removed from your website.

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Bottom line

When it comes to SEO, the disavow tool is an invaluable resource for website owners. It allows you to prevent your website from being penalized by Google for link spam and other negative practices that could harm your online presence. With the right strategies, you can successfully employ a disavow tool to protect your website from potential issues. However, be careful!

Aleksandra Pietrzak
Curator at the National Museum in Poznań, graduate of Art History at the Jagiellonian University and Contemporary Art at the Pedagogical University of Krakow, curator of exhibitions and author of scientific and popular texts. A lover of contemporary art, literature and travel.
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