Taking Advantage of Google's Disavow Links Tool
Some webmasters were hurt after recent Google updates left them scrambling to cover competitors' attempts at negative SEO. It's a dirty tactic. We all know that Google (and other search engines) hate it when you manipulate their search results. After Google's Penguin update, some sites mysteriously got hammered in the search results. Webmasters started appearing on forums complaining that competitors were using paid links, and other spammy tactics, to drag down their search rankings. How could this be possible?
Well, when major search engines, like Google, notice questionable backlink profiles, they may interpret the offender as the website the links are pointing to. After all, it's pretty common knowledge that everyone from small bloggers to large corporations plant links all over the web. No one writes a blog post and waits - hoping someone will find them. People promote their site.
The fact that Google released a disavow links tool speaks to the idea that enough webmasters were being affected by negative SEO that something had to be done.
Who Should Use The Tool?
If you've been penalized by Google after the Penguin update, you're a prime candidate. You might have gotten an email from Google that landed in your Webmaster Tools account warning you about an unnatural link profile. If you did, include yourself on the list of people who need this new tool.
How To Use The Tool?
Step 1: Go to this site: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/disavow-links-main?pli=1
Step 2: Follow the instructions on the page. This is basically going to set off a nuclear bomb on your link profile. Make sure you really want to do this.
Step 3: Upload a text file containing the links you want to disavow.
This tool is basically an advanced marketing tool that should be used by your SEO company to help restore your ranking (if it was affected). Don't go crazy with it. You might lose some legitimate links. For example, if your text document contains the following:
then you are basically telling Google to disavow all links pointing to your site. On the other hand, you might have thousands of spam links across hundreds or thousands of sites that need to be cleaned up. This can be incredibly difficult to do. What you're supposed to do is list each site, and the location of the link. For example:
You can also include comments in the text document using hash tags like so:
#Contacted spammy site owner of http://www.spamdomain1.com on 10-17-12 to
#ask for link removal. No response.
#Contacted spammy domain 2 and got all links removed.
What Does Google Say About Its Tool?
It sort of sounds like Google wants you to use the tool as a last resort. First, you should contact the site where your link is found and try to get it removed. If that fails, use the tool. The assumption is that you've made some bad mistakes in the past with your SEO (which may or may not be true), and now Google is giving you the opportunity to clean up your link profile. Google doesn't often hand out second chances like this, so take them up on their offer.
If you've really been the victim of negative SEO, here's your chance for justice. Hire someone to gather up all of the spammy links and organize them into a text file for you. Before you know it, you'll have your ranking back.