Google kept on changing its algorithm to provide users with a better search tool. In an attempt to improve its search algorithm, it has been continuously penalizing websites that do not comply with its guidelines. However, there are some errors in the algorithm which lead to penalizing sites with spam backlinks which aren’t in the control of the webmaster.
To rescue such blog owners, Google has created its own Disavow Link tool wherein webmasters or blog owners can appeal for reconsideration by submitting the list of spam links pointed to your site (list of spam site URLs where your site is linked).
As per Google “If you’ve done as much work as you can to remove spammy or low-quality links from the web, and are unable to make further progress on getting the links taken down, you can disavow the remaining links. In other words, you can ask Google not to take certain links into account when assessing your site.”
How to Make Use of the Google Disavow Link Feature?
- Login to your Google Webmaster Tools account and then choose the website that is penalized.
- From the left side menu, click on Traffic > Links to your site > More.
- Click “Download this Table” to download the list of URLs or sites that are linking to your site.
- From the list, select the URLs that you think are spammy. Compose a text file (notepad) and insert the spam site URLs that linked to you one link/line.
Note: If you think a complete website is having spam links pointing to your site, then simply use its main domain instead of internal post URLs. Ex: www.domain.com
- Save the text file to something like disavowlist.txt
- Now, go to the Disvow Links tool and choose the website you wish to appeal from the drop-down list and then click “Diavow Links”.
- On the next, click on “Disavow links” again and from the pop-up menu, attach the file with the list of spam links (Step 6).
- Click on Upload and Submit.
That’s it! You’ve successfully submitted a request to Google to ignore spam links that point to your site. All you’ve to do next is to wait up to 1-2 weeks for Google to re-index your website. You can check the status of your site crawl rate from Health > Crawl Stats.
Note: Disavow Links is an advanced feature and should only be used with caution. If used incorrectly, this feature can potentially harm your site’s performance in Google’s search results. We recommend that you only disavow backlinks if you believe you have a considerable number of spammy, artificial, or low-quality links pointing to your site, and if you are confident that the links are causing issues for you.
Here is a 10 minute video detailed about the Google Disavow Links tool by Matt Cutts.