Google disavow tool: how to combat negative SEO
In Google’s ongoing effort to ensure the quality of search results, they have provided web developers with another tool to be used in their SEO strategy. Lorena Rudha, an Internet Marketing Analyst, explains how the new Google disavow tool can help combat negative SEO.
However, this new SEO tool should be used with caution and only after you have taken the time to understand what it is and how it works. As with any new product, there is little information available to determine what the full impact of its use will be, so use it at your own risk and only when necessary.
So, what is the disavow tool and when should you use it? The disavow tool is used to alert Google when there are backlinks to your website that you want Google to ignore. It is a valuable tool to be used when efforts to have the links removed by other means have failed and the existence of these links is having a negative impact on your website rankings.
Here are some of the circumstances where you might want to consider using the Google disavow tool:
If you believe your website is the victim of Negative SEO from a link-based attack, this tool is one of the best options you now have available for mitigating the damage caused by the attack. In these circumstances, other means of getting the links removed are difficult or impossible to do with any success. With the disavow tool, it’s a simple process to submit a list of links or domains to Google and have all those links disregarded when calculating the page rank of your website.
Another situation that might require the use of the disavow tool is receiving a bad link warning from Google. This is a clear indication that there may be a problem with the quality of links pointing to your website. The first step is to determine where the problem links are coming from. If you can get those links removed by other means, do so. If not, adding them to your disavow file and uploading them to Google is the best thing you can do.
If you have unsuccessfully tried to fix a bad-link warning or have received a link-based penalty for several months and a request for reconsideration has been ignored or denied, using the disavow tool will help to remedy the situation. However, be aware that it can take several weeks for changes to be applied. The disavow tool will not fix your problem immediately.
Finally, if your site was affected by Penguin and you believe it is because links that used to bring positive results are now being calculated negatively, the disavow tool can allow you to reduce the effect of links that you are unable to remove or change on your own.
The Google disavow tool has the potential to provide significant help to web developers struggling to manage link profiles. However, there is just as much potential for misuse and abuse. If poor links are having minimal effect on your website ranking, it is better to get them removed by other means or simply leave them alone.
Using the disavow tool to remove every link that you suspect might be bad for your website could end up hurting you or the other website. The disavow tool should be a weapon of last resort, used only when necessary and all other options have failed.
Lorena Rudha is an Internet Marketing Analyst at ClickMinded, an online SEO trainingcourse for startups. You can learn more about other things that can negatively impact your rankings at ClickMinded.
This guest post was edited by Kat Prescott.
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