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How to Remove Spam Backlinks using Google Disavow links Tool

How to Remove Spam Backlinks using Google Disavow links Tool

Google Disavow links tool is one of the most awaited and talked feature after Penguin update. Before I talk about this latest addition from Google Webmaster team, lets do a Time-travel. Back in April, When Google launched Google Penguin update, which is one of the major update after Panda algo change, it storm the whole SEO blogsphere and it cleaned the link spam by Private blog networks, bulk link buying or link spam in any possible ways. Though, at the same time it created a new problem and that is negative SEO.

Since Penguin was targeted to penalize site using spam methods to generate backlinks and manipulating search engine ranking, people started abusing this system and started creating spam links for legit sites, to lower down their ranking. Some of them succeed and many brands were unaffected via negative SEO campaign. Though, this lead to one major problem and that is controlling the backlinks pointing to your site. Bing understood the situation of Webmasters and launched Bing Disavlow links tool after penguin update.  A Similar link Disavow tool was highly expected from Google and today, Matt Cutts announced the launch of Google Webmaster Disavow links.

What is Google Disavow link tool?

Let me explain this in simple words: If you understand the above concept of Negative SEO, you would know that negative SEO is one of the dark side of SEO and specially when Google made it clear about the penalizing sites involved in any kind of link spam. Anyone can go to sites like Fiverr and use those bulk link building services to generate 10000-20000 links within a day or two-day time, and can affect any site search engine ranking. It’s not necessary that your site will be hurt with such links spams, but a well planned SEO attack can completely take down a site ranking.

So how a Webmaster controls such link spam?

Earlier there was no direct and easy way to control such link spam apart from Emailing the Webmaster and asking them to remove the links. Specially when such links are created using for spamming purpose, in most of the cases you will not be able to reach the Webmasters or your request will not be entertained.

Google Disavow link tool is an attempt by Google to give power to Webmasters to report and submit such links to Google and if they got hit by negative SEO or any Penguin update, this will help them to quickly get out of it. Technically, Google by default spot spam links and spam sites and in most of the cases such links will not harm your site performance. Though, this is not necessary and many Webmasters have seen getting affected by such spam links and number is rising with each Penguin data refresh and update.

This is what Google official page for Disavow links says:

If you’ve done as much work as you can to remove spammy or low-quality links from the web, and are unable to make further progress on getting the links taken down, you can disavow the remaining links. In other words, you can ask Google not to take certain links into account when assessing your site.

In short, Google will not value links from any such domains, which you have reported using Google disavow links tool.

How to use Google Disavow link Feature?

First of all, this feature is not for everyone to use. If your site is affected by spammy links and beyond your control, Only then use this feature to get rid of such spam links. Specially for Websites which is affected by Penguin updates, you should consider using Google Disavow link feature right away. Though, the hardest part is creating a list of links which you wish to disavow. You can use Google Webmaster tool to Download a list of backlinks pointing to your site. Though you can use any 3rd party backlink checker tools and my favorite here is Ahrefs which not only monitors old links but you will be able to see the list of all new links and dead links.

Google Disavow link tool

Now create a text file and write one links/line which you wish to disavow. If you wish to ignore a complete domain which is sending too many spammy links to your site, you can simply use domain: example.com in that text file to ignore links coming from entire domain. Once your list is ready, simply go to Google Disavow links page here, select your domain from dropdown and click on Disavow links.

Disavow links

On the next page, click on Disavow links again and it will open a pop-up and you need to browse and upload the spam links text file you just created in the above step. Click on upload and submit and that’s it. You have successfully reported all spam links to Google.

Here is a detailed video by Matt Cutts, where he talk about Google’s new disavow links feature and before you use this feature, I recommend you to watch this video.

Also, when you want to add new links to your Disavow link text file, Google give you an option to download and add, remove links from existing file. To see the effect of uploaded file, it may take up to 1-2 Week, as Google will reindex and recrawl those pages. As mentioned by Matt Cutts, this is just the initial phase of this tool and in coming days we can expect a better version of this feature.

My suggestion is to use this Feature only when you know what you are doing else let your SEO guy do it for you. Getting any wrong link disavowed might lead to drop ranking for your site. Also, if you are one of those who have received spam link warning in Webmaster tool, it’s time to cheer up and give a nice rebirth to your dead sites which got penalized by Link spam. You can read more FAQ regarding disavow tool here.

Though, Google should consider adding this tool in more visual form as it will not only help them to find more spam sites but will give a quick access to this tool. Right now, whole process of finding links, creating a text file with links you wish to disavow, seems to be lot of works. Though, none the less, this feature is something every Webmaster have been waiting for and finally it’s here.

Do let me know how’s your experience with using Google Disavow links? Which tool you used to find the spammy links pointing to your site?

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Article by Harsh Agrawal

Harsh has written 1060 articles.

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{ 21 comments… add one }

  • Hacerneto

    Harsh i am regular reader of ur site..i have one problem in last one month.google has blocked my website for spamming blog 2 times in last one month..then i send request ,waiting one day next day i received mail ” mistakenly ur website “..and restore my website.. whats my doubt is “why this happende my site ?” am not spamming anything from site..google locked my site 2 times in last one month..(my site trsffic :daily page 8500)..one day they locked my site means i lost 3000 visitor..what can i do how to prevent this ? PLEASE HELP ME !!

    Reply
  • Arjun

    Good post Harsh,

    But still I doubt that Google Disavow links Tool is a solution for removal of spammy links. I had worked with many webmasters but I had hardly heard from them that Google Disavow Tool worked for them.

    To this do you have any thing to say.Also I would like to know when Google say, Google is banning all the domains that are involved in Black hat SEO, then why doesn’t google completely remove all these domains from Google index.

    Dont you think this step of Google will help a lot to all the webmasters.
    I know to some extent my discussion is out of topic, do excuse for that.

    Arjun

    Reply
  • martin

    Good information! Thanks!

    Reply
  • Mariyam Ismail

    Thanks Harsh, I did it according to your advice. Now I want to ask that these spamy backlinks decrease the site ranking in search engines or not??? :-)

    Reply
  • Qaisar Abbas

    Thank you Harsh Agrawal, my site is linked in 3 or 4 too much spammy sites. And they are harmful too. I want to completely remove my site links from there. Please help me to remove those links. Those links does’nt even exist in my site (i.e when users come from there my site gives 404 not found error.) But I want to remove those links.
    please give me a .txt file format then i will replace the spamy domain names. and I want to know that in text file I have to put that spammy site link or backlinks urls???
    I much worried about it Please help

    Reply
  • Brian

    Thanks for the post harsh, it helps me lot to remove my websites penalized back links by using disavow tool.

    Before reading this blog i don’t have awareness about the removing back links of our website.

    Reply
  • Satya

    Thanks for the nice info. But how do I know which link is spam and which one should be removed through disavow tool ??

    Reply
  • astrasatria

    Harsh, thank for your information about Google Disavow links Tool, never heard about this before

    Reply
  • jeyaganesh

    harsh,

    Recently my site got more number of back links from the sites like rmsql.info and updowner . Should i disavow these links ? My site was not performing well since last week.
    Please suggest.
    Thanks.

    Reply
  • Al-Amin Kabir

    It will be very much helpful for less technical bloggers! Google releases the tool on the right time!
    Thanks for the update Harsh. :)

    Reply
  • vicky

    I had not heard of this tool and it seems to be useful specially for Penguin update hit sites. Still I have many doubts as you said it ay be dangerous to use if we do not require it and may affect our rankings. Is it possible that if I find spammy links which were not so then it may be penal for my site?

    Reply
  • hrmehrotra

    i like this tool too much…….Google really made SEO more easy………..one of my site is for bookmarking but i am not able to work on it so just shut it down and after penguin lots of users are sending me mail to remove their links this was really hard to work on all of those request so from now its breath of relax for me………….

    Reply
  • gaurav

    hey bro,

    i m doing seo from last 3 years but no knowledge to promote a blog, now i m planing to start a blog, i need your help regarding keywords, like i saw many blog’s backlinks on delicious and other sites having title the same of the blog post which has no searches on search engines.
    plz help me suggesting keywords by given one of your blog’s post example
    (like which kind of keywords you are using for the above post).

    and second thing is where to promote the blog to get maximum benefit well i guess to promote a blog on forums, social bookmarking and blog directories sites but what do you think.

    waiting for your ans

    thanks…….

    gaurav heera

    Reply
  • Navin

    Thanks for this update Harsh, this is most awaited feature in webmaster tools.

    Reply
  • Shan

    Thanks Harsh for informing us . This is long waited tool , and many of us now relief from the pain for sending link removal request to webmaster , for most of the case we never heard from them back.

    I now have to try it for one of my blog.

    Regards
    shan

    Reply
  • K Bharath

    So the bloggers who are buying spammy links doesnt remove the links, they going to effect their sites SEO and loose rankings when ever there is a new update of Panda/Penguin. this is going to effect the spammy link builders now, a great move by Google.

    Reply
  • Anil Agarwal

    Surely Harsh that’s a great addition. It will be easy for us to report those links that are spammy and being created against our wish. But the hard part will be identifying which links you need to point and which one you actually need to ignore. But any way now we have something you can use as a weapon to fight against spammers.

    Reply
  • Gautam Doddmani

    a great tool no doubt though this should have been first released by google and then by bing, lol. i have not been affected by penguin update as such but will remember this method in case i have a lot of spammy links pointing to my site in the future. thanks for the info :)

    Reply
  • Radha Krishna

    That is a very intelligent move by Google. I’ve implemented it on all my blogs. Thanks for the update Harsh.

    Reply

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