Introduced in 2012, disavow is a tool that enables you to ask Google to not count specific links that point to your site.
Why is the Google disavow tool important?
It’s no secret that Google’s algorithms are constantly evolving. As such, it’s more important than ever to do regular link audits to ensure there are no ‘spammy’ links pointing to your site. A poor quality directory of links pointing to the site can harm your performance and take time to remedy.
In some more serious cases, others have been found to deliberately build bad links to your site, leading to a negative SEO impact. Using Google’s disavow tool helps keep your bad links in check.
How to use Google disavow
This is a two-step process. First, you’ll need to download a list of links to your site. Next, you’ll create a file containing only the links you want to disavow, and upload this to Google.
To get a list of links you want to disavow you should download your link profile from Google’s search console ‘Links to your site’ section.
How to download links to your site
1. On the Webmaster Tools home page, click the site you want.
2. On the Dashboard, click Search Traffic, and then click Links to Your Site.
3. Under Who links the most, click More.
4. Click Download more sample links. If you click Download latest links, you’ll see dates as well.
It’s also well worth visiting Majestic, Ahrefs, Open Site Explorer, and other link audit platforms. The more link data you can gather the better as no one platform contains every link to your site. Majestic and Ahrefs contain the largest indexes.
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