Google Disavow Tool
The Google Disavow Tool was developed by the search engine and is used to devalue potentially harmful backlinks. As a result, these links will no longer be considered by the crawler and will no longer be assigned to your link profile.
Since the first major Penguin update in 2012, Google has consistently cracked down on search result manipulation. Since then, the algorithm puts a lot of emphasis on significant linking.
But since Google doesn’t remove every low-quality link, the Disavow tool was created. This tool has now been around since 2012 and was followed up by Google, as the search engine Bing had released such a tool shortly before.
Google announced in November 2020 that it was moving the Disavow tool for devaluing backlinks entirely to the new Google Search Console. According to the company, this is accompanied by a number of improvements.
Besides a facelift it is now possible to download disavow files in text format. Also, error reports for uploaded files are no longer limited to ten errors.
advantages and disadvantages
The Disavow tool mainly brings advantages, but it also has disadvantages.
A big advantage is that it does not require a lot of effort. The validation of the corresponding links is fast and easy to handle.
Another advantage is that entire domains can also be invalidated.
One associated disadvantage is that too many links may be devalued, harming the link profile and consequently the ranking.
Using it is quite useful if you have received a penalty from Google. If there is a suspicion of spam and you cannot remove the malicious links, this is a case for the Disavow tool.
Handling of the tool
Prerequisites for using the tool are a Google account and a Google Search Console account . The domain that contains bad links must be entered first.
After that, a .txt is uploaded. All links are then entered into this text file. You have to distinguish between single links and a link of a complete domain. This file is then sent directly to Google Webmaster Central.
Here’s a link from Google about exactly how to do it:
The following link will take you directly to the Disavow tool:
After sending the file, the links are edited and disavowed. However, this can quickly take a few weeks or months, depending on the situation.
However, the tool should be used with caution, as it can happen that webmasters harmthemselves with the Disavow.
Only experienced webmasters and SEO specialists should use the Google Disavow Tool. This is because incorrectly devaluing links can result in extreme ranking losses.
If you decide to devalue without the support of a professional agency, you should check the links thoroughly to see if the page looks “spammy” and if it is relevant to the topic. It is advisable to get a second opinion from an experienced online marketer.
Google always points out that the use of the Google Disavow Tool is only useful in very specific cases. For example, if you fear a Google Penalty for unnatural links, or if you don’t trust Google’s algorithms for devaluing links.
In other cases, you can assume that Google simply ignores dubious links.
Relevance for SEO
The tool is a useful gadget for webmasters who know exactly which links offer them no added value or even harm them. Nevertheless, the tool should be used with caution. If handled incorrectly, it is possible that not only low-quality links will be disavowed and thus harm the SEO of the domain.
Finally, here’s an educational video from Google Webmasters about the Disavow Tool:
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