The Google Disavow Tool – What You Need To Know

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Last updated on October 19, 2023

Part of any SEO strategy is having other sites link to your site.

This is a major part of building authority on the Internet. The more credible links you have pointing at your site, the higher Google will rank your pages.

However, there are also bad links. And bad links can damage your ranking.

If Google believes you have “bad” websites linking to your page or links not generated naturally, they will penalize your site, and your rankings will tank.

If this happens, your site will be severely damaged, even if your other SEO efforts are perfect.

What Are Harmful Links, And Where Do They Come From?

There are several forms of harmful links. In most cases, links that can get you penalized by Google will come from:

  • Guest posts on spammy sites
  • Spam comments on blogs or forums
  • Sites that have no relevance to your business, products or services
  • Link farms: sites that are only built to sell links

In many cases, people new to SEO will come across an Internet service that claims it can help boost your rankings by generating more links to your site.

Many of these providers are using blackhat link-building techniques.

Google has caught on to these services and will penalize any website that uses them to generate links for their company. Learn more.

Suppose you want to generate links for your site. In that case, there are many more reputable ways to create links, or work with a legitimate Internet marketing company that provides link building as one of their services.

Check out our Link Building Service.

Before You Use The Disavow Tool

If you’ve noticed a drop in your traffic and website rankings and are unsure why, it’s probably time to check your website’s backlink profile in ahrefs.

You may have been penalized.

The first thing you must do is a comprehensive review of the links coming to your site. Some of the sites will be easy to recognize as good links. Some of you may have to conduct a little research.

If you have found bad links, the first thing you should do is contact the site owner and ask them to remove your links.

This will sometimes work, and the site owner will remove the links.

If you do not get any response from the site owner, you will have to use the Google Disavow Tool.

Google encourages people to use this tool as a last resort. This tool will block the links you enter from your site and mark them as spam.

You need to use this tool sparingly to ensure you don’t block good sites.

It Takes Time To Bounce Back

Once you remove the bad links, you may assume your rankings and visits will automatically improve. After all, you removed the bad links that earned you the penalty.

Sadly, it doesn’t work that way.

It takes time for the Google bots to reevaluate your site.

When it is your turn, you might be “rewarded” for not having bad links, and your ranking will improve.

Depending on where you are in the Google cycle, this could take anywhere from a few weeks to several months.

So, what do you do in the meantime?

While waiting for Google to reevaluate your site, you should be working on all of your SEO practices, including seeking out new links.

The more authoritative and natural-looking links you have pointing at your site, the better your ranking will be when you are reevaluated.

Of course, you are also encouraged to work on other SEO techniques to improve your site.

SEO is always an ongoing practice; removing bad links is just part of the procedure.

Work With An Internet Marketing Professional

If removing links with the Google Disavow tool sounds like something that will give you more of a headache than a positive charge, then it may be time to work with an SEO professional.

Marketing specialists know exactly what to look for in bad links and know how to use the disavow tool most effectively.

You won’t have to worry about making mistakes and blocking the wrong links or not removing enough of the bad ones.

Don’t blame yourself. Bad links happen, even if you did not pay for a sketchy service to build links for you.

This is the Internet, and it can be a tough battle. The best way to address this problem and help boost your rankings is to work with a marketer specializing in website SEO enhancements.

Further reading: The Ultimate Massive Anchor Text Best Practices Guide

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