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Google’s Disavow tool to improve your website rankings. Will it Help?

Posted on by Brad Jacobsen

There has been a lot of talk about the quality of links to websites these days. In 2012, Google released some updates to their search algorithm known as Penguin against link spam and unnatural links.

Penguin targeted links that were considered of low value only to boost the rankings of any given website. Now that Google has penalized links that were considered of little value, a new tool called the ‘Disavow’ tool was released this mid October 2012 and was included in the Google webmasters tools.

This tool allowed a web master to eliminate a link that they believe is harming their website. It may seem like just the ticket for those links that cannot be removed even after many requests for removal. It can also harm a website, so before just jumping right into this tool, let’s have a look at the Video below with Matt Cutts talk on the new Disavow tool.

Remember, Links are a large part of the off page optimization with Google in the ranking of websites in search results. When links are pointing to a website, Google and other search engines look at relevancy of a link and how reputable a page is point back to a webpage. Google’s Page Rank is built on these factors including an additional 200 signals that determine the rank of a page. If you use Google’s webmaster tools and have ever had a message of an “unnatural link warning” from Google, this is supposed be a useful tool in the process of cleaning up links where Google just is told to just ignore them.

Matt Cutts mentions Blog Spam, Forum Spam, Guestbook spam, or if someone was paid to write low quality articles, this tool is just for those who want to clean up their back links.

image of a webpage to webpage connectionAlthough Matt Cutts, says most Web Masters don’t need to use this tool, it could also cause damage to your site where this tool tells Google to ignore links that are mistakenly considered bad. This is the clincher. Google doesn’t tell you which links are good and which are considered detrimental to your website. Matt Cutts indicates that a message may give some examples of the links found that could cause a problem, but I don’t believe it goes far enough. I can see many webmasters using the tool, only to find out that it has harmed their site. Even in Matt’s Video, it doesn’t give confidence to use this tool.

To use the Disavow tool, it’s explained as straight forward. Simply use a text file entering one URL per line. Then you upload the file in your webmaster tools but it is not immediate. Google has to re crawl and re index the website and it could take several weeks. My initial thought about this tool was about the malicious use for Negative SEO purposes. Google explains that they have algorithms to prevent Negative SEO and the vast majority of webmasters don’t have to worry about Negative SEO.  Negative SEO is the anything malicious someone does to harm your site’s rankings. Time will tell if using the Disavow tool can be used for Negative SEO purposes.

For a detailed explain on the New Google Disavow tool you can go to Google’s webmaster blog. Any comments or feedback is appreciated. What do you think about the Disavow tool?

About Brad Jacobsen

Brad has been a Web Developer for the last 8 years and an Internet Marketer for 7 years. He has a wonderful family of a son aged 10, a daughter aged 9 and a great wife. His passion is computers but enjoys spending time with his family, occasionally playing the violin, sports such as hockey, soccer and football. He is a loyal Vancouver Canucks Hockey fan.
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