13 Tips How to Use Google’s Disavow Tool Correctly

13 Tips How to Use Google’s Disavow Tool Correctly

The internet is too wide a place to achieve total dominion over any one aspect. However, with effort and the right tools, it is possible to gain significant control over incoming links. The instrument that makes this possible is the Google disavow tool which actualizes the power to nullify poor quality and harmful links that can hurt SEO ranking. The 13 tips below will shed more light on how to use this tool correctly for optimal results.

List all links

The process commences with listing all the links. There are third party tools that can help with this. Listing will facilitate auditing to determine the links that are worthwhile and those that should be discarded. Listing also aids in organization and keeping track of linkage so as to measure influence. The more quality links one has, the higher the popularity and consequently, the SEO ranking.

Manual link listing

For those with a penchant for thoroughness and distrust for tools not used before, manual link listing offers a viable alternative. It is painstaking, but it activates the assurance that no link has been missed. The links should be input and well organized in a spreadsheet document for ease of manipulation.

Conduct a comprehensive link audit

With a list of all links at hand, effect an in-depth audit to weed out poor links. This essentially means that every link has to be followed and its host site inspected for quality and relevance. There are several pointers to look out for to determine the quality of a link. As is evident, the process is labor intensive particularly for big sites. Therefore, one has to be sufficiently prepared mentally before commencement.

Some of the things to be on the lookout for

Links from spammy sites, poorly set up and cluttered sites, shallow sites full of errors as well as websites with poor content and scraped content should be added to the disavow list. In deciding which links should be disavowed, be very careful to avoid tossing away potentially helpful links.

Sort the list

In the spreadsheet document, mark all the links due for disposal. Then, sort the list so that all the links to be disavowed are grouped together. Once done, open another spreadsheet and copy all the links specified for disavowal.

Review the disavow list

Review the deny list to be sure that all the included links are unworthy. To properly sift through and classify links accordingly, prowess is needed – it is, therefore, advisable that the person who undertakes this procedure have significant SEO experience.

Do not disavow unrecognized links

Do not disavow unrecognized links outright. Again, this highlights the importance of being SEO savvy to avoid discarding helpful links. If a link is not recognized and you are unsure about it, let it be in the meantime.

In determining link fraud geared towards gaming search algorithms to get the top spot in SERPs, Google considers active involvement which will be lacking in such a case. Thus, you will be sufficiently safe.

Hire a professional

SEO experts are aplenty and often inexpensive. Thus, it is recommended and wise to outsource link disavowal particularly for the first time. One can then take up subsequent link checks since they are not as labor intensive as the initial disavowal. If going solo, having an SEO guru on call is still prudent in case any technical issues arise.

Disavow at domain level

Proper link disavowal should be at the domain lever rather than the URL level. This is because once a link is curtailed at the domain level, the related URLs which can be quite many are also terminated thereby increasing the reach and efficacy of the exercise.

Add comments to the disavow list

Add comments explaining why a link was disavowed, date of disavowal, etc. It will help in organization, easy identification and classification in the future as the list grows. The comments will not affect how Google treats the links submitted for disavowal since the process is automated.

Convert the list into a .text file

Google’s disavow tool only accepts .text files. Thus, the spreadsheet file containing the links singled out for disavowal has to be converted. To do this, open a Google document and paste the spreadsheet document. Once successful, download the document and a .text file. There are other ways to convert files into .text format, but the above method is among the easiest.

How to submit the list and handle any errors

In the disavow tool, click the provided disavow button to arrive at the upload file option. Navigate to where the .txt file developed is located and upload it. Follow the prompts to complete the process. If you come across any errors, edit the related links being careful to ensure that they do not have unacceptable characters such as colons and attached ports. Also, If the file is not in .txt, an error will occur.

How to re-avow links

It can so happen that a link is submitted wrongly. In such a case, revise the link in question by removing it from the disavow list. Then, re-upload the list. Whenever one makes a correction and re-uploads a list, the disavowal list in effect is overwritten such that if initially there were 200 disavowed links and the revised list adds 20 more links for disavowal and 10 for re-avowal, the sum of disavowed links becomes 210.

Link disavowal is not a one-time thing. To enjoy optimal results, implement the process once a month or more. You can set up notifications using Google Alerts to immediately know when another site links to yours. Once you submit a list, Google starts the disavowal process immediately. However, processing the whole list might take some time.

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