Google’s ‘disavow links’ tool can help you to improve the Google rankings of your web pages. If you do not use the tool correctly, you can also damage the Google rankings of your site with the tool. Here are five things that you should know about Google’s ‘disavow links’ tool:
1. There’s no need to disavow nofollow links
Nofollow links do not influence the Google rankings of the linked pages. That’s why you do not have to include these links in the disavow links file that you send to Google.
Google’s John Mueller made it clear that nofollow links don’t have to be
included: “You don’t need to include
any nofollow links […] what happens with links that you submit as a
disavow, when we recrawl them we treat them similarly to other
2. The disavowed links will still be visible in Google Webmaster Tools
Google simply treats disavowed links as nofollow links. Just like nofollow links, the disavowed links will still be listed in Google Webmaster Tools.
Google’s John Mueller confirmed
this in a video. You don’t have to worry if these links appear in the
link list in Google Webmaster Tools.
3. Google ignores comments in your disavow file
You can use comments in the disavow
file but Google will ignore these comments. The comments are only for
your own use. Google’s John Mueller explains this in a video:
“The disavow file is something that is processed completely automatically. If you put a lot of text in those comments in the disavow file, then nobody will be looking at them. Those comments are essentially for you, to help you understand the file a little bit better and those comments are not used by the webspam team”.
4. It can be risky to change your mind
If you think that a link should not be disavowed, remove that link from your disavow file and re-upload the file to Google. The problem with that: if you reavow a link that Google considers unnatural, Google will re-penalize your website and it can be harder than before to get the penalty lifted.
Once again, Google’s John Mueller explains this in a video:
“Links are essentially only disavowed as long as they are in the disavow file. So, if you remove them after some point, then essentially when we recrawl and reprocess those URLs and there is no disavow file for this domain then we will treat those as normal links again.
If you remove them, then essentially you are returning them to their normal state. If they were problematic links in the past then they would be problematic links again.”
5. You cannot harm other websites with the disavow links tool
Your website rankings won’t be
damaged if someone includes your web pages in a disavow link file that
is sent to Google. John Mueller:
“It’s not that we are
using this as a spam report form. So, when you get a message saying,
‘You should remove this link to my website or else I’ll put you on my
disavow file’, that’s not a threat for your website. It’s not a problem
to have your website on a disavow file.”
How to find the links that you should disavow
The disavow links tool is an advanced tool that should be used with caution. You can harm your website rankings if you do not use the tool correctly. It can be difficult to find the links that have a negative influence on your search engine rankings.
That’s why we have developed the link disinfection tool. The link disinfection tool analyzes the backlinks that points to your website and it assigns a risk-score to each link. That makes it as easy as possible to find bad backlinks.
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