So much of the time when building a website for your business, the focus is on driving traffic to it using search engine optimization or SEO. Your focus is also likely on how to build the number of inbound links or links from other websites to your site. But what if certain sites link to yours that you don’t want to do so?
That’s where the Disavow Links tool comes in handy. It’s a part of the Google Webmaster Tools and is quite useful for streamlining your site and making it as search engine friendly as possible.
Your first step should be to manually remove as many links to your site on spammy sites as possible. You can do this by emailing webmasters and asking them to remove the link. If they don’t remove them despite your repeated asking, you can use the Disavow Links tool that Google provides.
To begin, you need to look at your recent links at Google. If you’ve received a message from Google that said you had spammy links, you need to evaluate your links based on the samples they provide you. The samples they send indicate the kinds of backlinks to your site that you need to clean up.
After you’ve emailed the offending sites and if they don’t honor your request to remove the links, you can use the disavow. Google is adamant that most people don’t need to use this for SEO. However, should you find that you do need to use it, all you need to do is make a text file and list the direct URL to each page that links to yours that you want removed, then upload this text file.
Once Google reviews this file, they will use the links you provide as suggestions. This means they won’t automatically remove the links but they will consider it very seriously. Should they decide to remove the link to your site, they will crawl those pages and remove them from connection to your site.
This is an excellent SEO tool but it shouldn’t be used all the time. It’s a last resort tool, really, and meant only for those that are very familiar with the web and websites. Most spammy links can be removed manually. The Disavow Links tool is for advanced Google users. Still, it is very useful for those who need it and can be an effective way of restoring your site’s rank.