The importance of ranking on a major search engine like Google cannot be underestimated. And this is common knowledge amongst SEO experts and digital marketing enthusiasts. Several factors contribute to ranking on Google’s top page and the importance of backlinks cannot be underplayed. Getting backlinks to rank on Google can be tedious but sometimes, there is a need to get rid of such links.
Why should one be concerned about disavowing links that were once stressful to get? How can backlinks be disavowed on Google? When should one disavow a link? Here is all you must know about bad links and how to disavow links in Google.
Disavowing a link in Google: What it is
Disavowing a link in Google simply means that you are instructing the search engine to neglect certain links when your website is being crawled.
Why disavow links in Google?
Some links do not offer any positive results to your SEO. They simply hurt your ranking result. Also, Google still penalizes bad links. Although many persons assume link penalties are in the past, that is not really the case. And because of the penalties meted by Google over a bad link, it is important to constantly audit links associated to one's website. This will ensure the link profile remains clean.
There are even more reasons why you should disavow links in Google. Low quality or spammy links should be disavowed. Sadly, a lot of websites are culpable and fall victim to several forms of backlinks.
Good backlinks result from organic backlinks. That is exactly what Google wants, a backlink to great content that is frequently referenced. Such links build the reputation of your website albeit slowly, it becomes an authoritative and trustworthy source eventually.
What about a bad link? In contrast to good backlinks, bad backlinks are often inorganic. Links to spammy websites, websites that are set up for the generation of links, links that are found in spam comments, and backlinks from websites based in non-target countries can all result in bad links.
You also must note that having a link from a website with low domain authority or low-traffic does not make the backlink a bad one. It may not contribute as much individually but it is not a bad backlink either.
Your Page Authority (PA) and Domain Authority (DA) scores stand to be raised when you have good backlinks to your website. This will increase your search visibility on Google and eventually increase your ranking on the platform. This is not the case with bad backlinks. It is worth noting that Google views a backlink as a vote for your website's quality. Hence, your SEO is hurt when you have bad backlinks to your website, resulting in a decrease in your search ranking. And this why SEO’ers embark on disavowing links on Google.
When should you disavow a link in Google?
As a result of the effect of having a bad backlink, one might simply rush into disavowing a link in Google. But you should not rush into disavowing your link. There is a warning from the search engine giants- Google- on using the disavow tool. And you can find this on their support page. Such a warning gives you a second thought when you have to disassociate a bad backlink from your website.
Well, you should not break a sweat over this. All Google is trying to do is to ensure that you are not disavowing the wrong backlink. Disavowing a link is a serious step that can impact on your website either for the better or adversely. The disavow tool is tucked away under the advanced option of Webmaster tools. One will have to go past three warning screens before being able to upload any disavow file. All these go on to show that care must be taken before disavowing a backlink from one's site. You must be sure that the link affects your website negatively.
How to disavow links in Google
Google Search Console makes it possible to disavow a bad backlink with ease as it contains every information about a website's structure. And every person who has a Google Analytics tracker can access Google's Search Console. Here is what you must do:
Perform a link audit using Google Search Console’s Link Report Page.
Click on the “Export External Links” button. You can find this on the top right of your screen.
Select “More Sample Links.” Choose your preferred file type and export.
Once you have embarked on the audit of your website, you can isolate your bad backlinks by listing every link found in the ".txt" file. You will submit the text file to Google's Disavow Tool. The format to list your links must be exact:
Enter each entry on a separate line
Begin each entry with “domain:” without having to insert the quotation sign
Listing each URL in the text file can be tedious. So, it is often recommended to blacklist the entire domain containing the bad backlink. Also, it is only in a few cases one would have to disavow only a few links from a website and still allow other backlinks from the website to continue.
Move into Google Disavow Tool, click through every warning prompt. When you arrive at the dialogue box letting you browse through your folders, choose the disavow file already created. Upload the file to the tool.
Google stops considering the listed domains when ranking your pages in about a day after disavowing the backlink.
Can a link disavow be undone?
Once a backlink has been disavowed, Google ignores such a link to your website. It will not be considered when ranking on the search engine platform. However, Google is not obliged to honor your disavowal request. Google's documentation highlights this point. It states that disavowing a backlink is only a suggestion. It further mentions that the disavow tool is meant to fix poor SEO practices and fix bad linking. So, there is a high chance of getting your bad backlink disavowed.
What if you want to undo a disavow? Well, you probably can. But it is not certain if a copy of the deleted disavow file is held by Google or whether the search engine reinstates the disavowed links immediately. And that is why you must take the disavow link process seriously. You should not experiment with it unless you are sure the link is bad.
Disavowing a bad backlink will save you all the hassles associated with a bad link. However, this process should be a last resort in solving the issues associated with backlinks. This article on how to disavow links in Google will help you navigate Google Disavow Tool. When done right, your SEO ranking will come off better.