The much anticipated Google Disavow Links Tool has recently been made available through Google’s Webmaster Tools service.
Google’s Chief Engineer Matt Cutts introduced the tool during a recent PubCon keynote, with a word of caution to webmasters and SEO marketeers alike.
Google’s Disavow Tool disavows web addresses linked or pointed to one’s website, considered malicious or spammy in nature. The aforementioned links are later disregarded from being linked to one’s website after a Google review of the flagged web links.
Google uses links between pages as one of the ways to order their corresponding results. This helps a search engine determine what web pages are reputable and informative, relevant to most end users. The system PageRank primarily relies on this system for natural links, formulating its basis for page rankings.
Google notifies users about unnatural links once they receive evidence about paid links, link exchanges or other link-related schemes violating their quality guidelines.
Although Google normally advises uses to manually remove spammy and/or lower quality links from their website as soon as possible, website owners who can’t remove the links completely are advised to make use of the Disavow Links Tool.
Google’s Disavow Links Tool, as explained by Cutts, works by allowing a website owner to upload a text file of the user’s ignored links, with one URL or web address per line, specifying either a full domain or single web page. Google will then review the untrustworthy set of links, a process that can take several weeks for the set to be completely disavowed.
However, Cutts made one particular piece of advice clear during his key note: “Most sites shouldn’t use this tool.” He discouraged website owners from excessively using Google Disavow, as he suggested that webmasters shouldn’t just start disavowing links.
Cutts also explained that Google’s Disavow Links tool is mainly designed for the purpose of helping websites clean up paid links. Paid links can be gained through practitioners of common black-hat search engine optimization techniques or after purchasing a domain with existing SEO problems, on-page and off-page.
You can find out more about the tool in the video below.