In the news: Google Disavows Links

No, not that Link…

Today, Google announced a new tool that will allow webmasters to disavow links to their websites. Websites that have been hit by the Penguin update or have been warned of having unnatural links can now use this tool to disavow links from pointing to them.

The Google disavow links follows the Bing disavow links tool which launched earlier this year.

So why is this important to you?

For the most part, most webmasters don’t need to worry about this tool unless they have received a message from Google regarding linkspam. But it is important to ensure that the correct links are pointing to your site. Backlinks are one of the most important factors that Google uses when determining PageRank and authority.

By removing bad links from your website will protect your site image and won’t set off any red flags with Google or your users.

How to disavow links:

The webmaster should first try to reach out to other websites and ask to remove the bad links, but if that is not possible you can use the disavow tool. The disavow tool is a plain text file with one URL per line to exclude the domains.

From Google Webmaster Central:

# Contacted owner of spamdomain1.com on 7/1/2012 to

# ask for link removal but got no response

domain:spamdomain1.com
# Owner of spamdomain2.com removed most links, but missed these
In this example, lines that begin with a pound sign (#) are considered comments and Google ignores them. The “domain:” keyword indicates that you’d like to disavow links from all pages on a particular site (in this case, “spamdomain1.com”). You can also request to disavow links on specific pages (in this case, three individual pages on spamdomain2.com). We currently support one disavowal file per site and the file is shared among site owners in Webmaster Tools. If you want to update the file, you’ll need to download the existing file, modify it, and upload the new one. The file size limit is 2MB.
How do you know if you need to disavow links?
You don’t want to guess which backlinks are bad and which is good. Google will notify you through Webmaster Tools if any links are unnatural.

Additional Reading:

http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2012/10/a-new-tool-to-disavow-links.html
http://searchengineland.com/google-launches-disavow-links-tool-136826
http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2217602/Google-Disavow-Links-Tool-Now-Available
http://www.searchenginejournal.com/googles-disavow-links-tool-first-impressions/50320/

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