19 October 2012
The new Google Disavow Tool
What is it? – When choosing where your website ranks within search results, Google takes into account all of your back-links. These are links to your website, from another site.
It is very important that these links are from high quality websites, with content relative to your own. If the links are coming from poor quality sites which have nothing in common with your own, then Google can penalise your website and rank it lower that it otherwise would. If your site has undesirable back-links, then you can now use this new Disavow Tool to tell Google to ignore them when deciding where your website will rank.
Do I need it? – There are a number of reasons why you might want to use the Google Disavow Tool. Essentially, anyone whose website contains unwanted back-links could potentially benefit from using this tool. If you have been penalized for bad back-links, or have received bad link warnings in Google Webmaster Tools, then you may find this tool useful. The same goes for anyone who has been denied reconsideration after being penalised, those who have been hit by the Google Penguin update and website owners who have been a victim of negative SEO. You may have used a poor SEO company in the past who thought that the volume of links pointing to your website would increase Google rankings, regardless of the link quality. Or you may have been the victim of a link-based attack. If you fall into any of the above, then we suggest trying out the Disavow Tool.
How do I find my back-links? – There are a number of tools and websites out there which can provide you with a list of your back-links. You can also see this list by logging into your Google Webmaster account. Within the Webmaster Tools dashboard, you can click on ‘Traffic’, and then ‘Links to Your Site’. If you don’t already have an account, then you will need to set one up in order to use this tool.
How do I tell which links are bad? – Ideally, you want to find high quality links with content related to that of your own website. If you see links which are of no relation, are from poor quality websites or are in another language, then you may want Google to avoid these. However, you have to be careful. If you were to over-react and disavow too many of the links, then this could negatively affect your rankings. If you are unsure as to which links need to be removed or ignored and would like some advice, then please do not hesitate to get in touch with the professionals Varn.
How do I inform Google of these bad links? – For this, you will need a Webmaster Tools account, as mentioned above. Visit the Google Disallow page – once you are signed in. Here, you will be able to submit a text file containing the links which you want Google to avoid. Job done! Hopefully, you will see improvements within the ranking of your website over the next few weeks. If not, then perhaps bad back-links weren’t an issue for you. If you’ve taken the steps above, and still have issues ranking within Google, then get in touch with Varn today.