In the works for some time, Matt Cutts at Google finally gave out the URL webmasters can use to disavow back links to their sites. At the keynote address during lunch on Tuesday, Matt detailed what the Disavow Link feature is, how to use it and most importantly, when to use it. He gave a presentation on not only how to use the new tool but also under what conditions.
What is the Disavow Link Feature?
As I said in an earlier post, the tool will allow webmasters to remove back links to their websites. If a website has received an unnatural links detected notice or if rankings have dropped due to a Penguin or Panda update, the Disavow Link tool will “unlink” the back links and eliminate their negative value.
How Does the Disavow Tool Work?
First off, go to this link shown by Matt at the PubCon keynote:
In case you can’t read that, it’s http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/disavow-links-main. Once there you can choose your domain and upload a text file with a list (one URL per line) of back links you wish to disavow. Each site is only allowed one file, so make sure you have all the links in the file you feel you want to disavow. Use notations where possible to detail why each back link should be removed. For instance:
When Should You Use the New Disavow Link Tool
If you have exhausted every possible way of getting a back link removed through actions like contacting the website owner, ISP or through legal actions and you are absolutely positively certain the link is hurting or negatively impacting your website, you should use the Disavow Link Tool. However, and this is extremely important, word around the SEO campfire is that you shouldn’t use the tool unless it’s an absolute last resort and even then maybe you shouldn’t use it then. Use of this tool can have major, negative results. If you use it incorrectly you could end up penalizing your website even further. Please be very careful with this tool. Once your file is uploaded it should take a few weeks to take effect and you should either see a change in SERPS or you should be then able to resubmit your website for inclusion if it was penalized.
Here’s Matt’s description of the new tool:
Again, please be careful with this tool and it’s always best to get a professional SEO’s opinion on whether use of the tool for your website is truly necessary. Email or comment with questions. Good Luck!