What Does Disavow Mean?
Disavow is the process of instructing Google to ignore unwanted backlinks in order to positively impact ranking in SERPs. This can be done using Google’s Disavow Tool.
Why Is It Important?
While you may think that collecting any backlinks is great for your website’s SEO, that’s not true. There are some backlinks you should stay away from.
These backlinks fall under the category of black hat techniques. These include:
- Links to spammy websites
- Links to sites created purely for backlinks
- Links from countries outside your targeted demographic
- Links that are bought
- Private Blogging Networks (PBNs)
These low quality backlinks will undermine your domain authority, and can lead to a Google manual penalty, or algorithmic penalisation leading to a drop in ranking. You should disavow these backlinks.
How Do You Disavow Backlinks?
When you know what to look for, it’s not hard to amend the situation. Below are the steps you need to follow in order to discover and disavow backlinks.
- Keeping a constant eye on your links will help you avoid any sticky situations. To do this, conduct a high-level link audit. This will help you pick up on any dodgy looking links. If you feel like this won’t cut it, go one step up and perform a full-link audit
- Once you have found the links you want to disavow, you need to format your new disavow file (there are tools to help you with this)
- Once you have submitted your disavow file, you should monitor the effects. It may take a while to have an impact, as the Google crawlers need to recrawl your site
When Should You Use It?
While this is a useful tool, you shouldn’t overuse it. Here’s when to use the disavow tool.
1. If You’ve Taken a Big Hit to Your Traffic
When you notice a significant drop in traffic and your ranking in SERPs, and you have singled out bad backlinks as the issue, you should use the Disavow tool.
But, only if manually removing the links hasn’t worked.
2. When You’ve Been Hit by Negative SEO
If you’ve been caught up in a negative SEO attack, then you should consider disavowing the bad backlinks.
3. When You’ve Been Slammed With a Manual Google Penalty
If you have been flagged up due to unnatural links, you should disavow them. You can check your status in the Google Search Console.
4. You Have Been Involved in Creating Bad Backlinks
If you know that you or a company you have employed to work on your SEO has been involved with black hat link building, disavow them, before you get hit with a Google penalty.
What Tools Are There to Help You?
There are tools out there to help you get insight into your website’s health and check your domain authority.
Other tools include: Ahrefs, Cognitive SEO Tool, Monitor Backlinks, BuzzSumo etc.
How Can We Help?
Think you’ve got some dodgy backlinks scattered throughout your site and need a hand dealing with them all?
Give us a call and we’ll set you up with a team that are well versed in managing SEO issues and helping you come back from any hits you received in the meantime.