This article will tell you everything you need to know about the Google Disavow Tool.
What is the Google Disavow Tool?
This Disavow Tool is a free part of the Google Search Console (for web masters) that allows you to upload a simple text file to tell Google links from those pages are not something you asked for and not something you want them consider when calculating your Page Rank.
What is Google Page Rank?
Google Page Rank (aka PR) is just the number Google assigns to your pages. Google does not disclose the exact formula for PR but the core requirements have been the same for years:
- Make useful and current content
- Have as many RELATED links from other peoples websites, point to your pages
- Have links from your website to other RELATED peoples pages
- Have your pages load fast
- Have your pages look great on different devices (i.e. be mobile friendly & desktop friendly)
- Have related pictures / graphics in your articles with all the meta data fields like ALT TEXT populated
Are Quality Links Really That Important?
Yes! Links from other related websites to your site, are absolutely necessary for Googles algorithm to figure out how useful your website is. Links from garbage sites to your site, let Google infer your site is either trying to game the system or is just junk itself. Link schemes do not make Google happy and you really need to remove bad links from Google.
What is a Link Audit?
A link audit is a service provided by real SEO (Search Engine Optimization) companies that shows all links to your site from other sites? MANY companies can proved you with a link audit but we have happily used IntelliGiants-Team.com (No, they did not pay us for that link, but given the content of this page and our site in general, it is very good link for them!)
How to Tell Which Links Are Bad?
Companies that perform link audits will usually compare all of your sites links to know bad sites and then produce a list they suggest you disavow. You will need to review all of those links, mostly making blanket judgments but periodically manually checking those suggested garbage links to remove the ones that are good.
What is a PBN?
PBN is an acronym for Personal Blog Network which is nothing more than a website (or sites) which is setup with for the express purpose of gaming the Google algorithms by providing links back to other sites (i.e. back links).
Isn’t The Disavow Tool Old & Useless Now?
To be honest, we thought the Disavow Tool was dead in 2021 because Googles algorithms are now smart enough to ignore crappy links. However we checked with a few SEO people we know and we asked what other pro’s thought in different Google web master forums and we were told repeatedly and clearly that Google still uses data submitted in Disavow tool, so you should use it.
Can The Disavow Tool Harm Your Website?
Well, the Disavow tool will not harm your site but it can definitely hurt your site traffic. If you disavow links that Google thinks are valid you will be reducing the number of quality links to your site and that will negatively affect your Google Page Rank?
What is a Negative SEO Attack?
A negative SEO attack is simply someone trying to get your Page Rank reduced usually by doing things to crush credibility like:
- Adding thousands of links from garbage sites to your site
- Adding thousands of unrelated links to your site
- For example, if you have a tech website, Google will be confused when they see thousands of Viagra related web pages link to your site
- Getting your links removed from good sites
- For instance, we receive requests several times a week to change a link from one website to another
- Creating fake social media profiles and trying to destroy your reputation online
- Copying your cool and unique content to other websites
What are the Parameters of the Disavow Tool?
- The file name must be a UTF-8 or 7-bit ASCII text file that ends with .txt
- Text file must be less than 2MB in size and 100,000 lines (including blank lines & comments)
- Only one URL or domain to disavow per line
- Domains must be prefixed with “domain:”, i.e. : domain:CrappyDomain.com
- URL length must be less than 2,048 characters
- Comments are allowed but they must be prefixed at the start of a fresh line bu the # sign
Can URLs be Undisavowed?
Yes, you can either remove the entire disavow list or just replace it with a different list.
How to Use the Disavow Tool?
It is pretty easy to use the Disavow tool:
- Create a plain txt file with each domain or URL on a separate line
- Surf to https://search.google.com/search-console/disavow-links
- Select the “property” (website) the disavow list relates to
- Click UPLOAD DISAVOW LIST
- Have a nice day!