Having a solid SEO strategy in place for your business is all-important in a world that is increasingly turning to the web for all of its needs. Do you want your business to stand out from the crowd? You’ll need to keep a tight grip on your SEO success.
One skill you might not yet be familiar with is how to disavow backlinks. As we all know, proper backlinking is important to a strong SEO strategy. However, low-quality backlinking can actually hurt your website instead of helping it.
That’s why disavowing backlinks can be so essential. What do you need to know about this process and when to deploy it?
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Why Disavow Backlinks?
Google and other search engines look at a variety of things when deciding what kind of website should show up towards the top of their results. One of the main elements they look at is backlinking, which is the presence of the site in question on other reputable websites around the web.
When other websites link to yours, it serves to be something of a vote of confidence. It makes your site more legit in the eyes of these search engines, and thus, your overall search ranking rises.
However, as Google has honed its algorithm, it’s made special care to try to separate good backlinking from bad. Everyone wants to show up higher in results, and so some people have taken to try and create their own backlinking opportunities around the web.
If Google catches what it feels is not a very honest or genuine backlink to your site, it might flag it and penalize your website. This can actually push your website down in the overall rankings instead of bringing it up.
Google will reach out about unnatural links when this happens, but it’s important to know how to disavow backlinks when this situation arises. Only by disavowing a backlink can you restore your site in the eyes of the search algorithm.
You might also want to use a free backlink checker to see all of the sites currently backlinking to your own. This kind of backlink checker tool can be quite helpful if you don’t know where to get started.
What is a Bad Backlink?
For further clarity, what is the difference between a good backlink and a bad one? Link building campaigns intended to promote SEO sometimes produce the latter.
Footer links, purchased backlinks, and backlinks that exist in exchange for products are likely to get flagged by Google’s strict eye. If there is any sense that the backlinking in question is not organic, you’ll be facing trouble.
The more spam-oriented the original host of a link appears, the more it might end up reflecting negatively on your own website. It’s important to go through your existing links and see what you’re up against.
It can be advantageous to do so before Google penalizes you to avoid the momentary drop in engagement.
How to Disavow Backlinks
Google has put a system in place designed to help users easily disavow backlinks when this kind of situation arises. The disavow tool is what you’ll want to reach for should you get hit with a penalty from the algorithm.
In order to use the Disavow function, you’ll need to create a text file on your computer.
The file itself should be smaller than 2MB and should essentially list out all the website URLs that you want to disavow. Each URL should be on its own line. If you are backlinked on multiple pages of a domain, each URL should be listed.
If you want to disavow an entire domain, write domain: in bold before putting the URL down. If you need to add comments, place a # in the document and write your notes after.
When you’ve completed this task, you can upload the created text file into the disavow tool on Google. It is located within the Google Search Console. You’ll need to log in before you can do this.
Once logged in, you can select the web property you want to assign the disavow file to and click upload. Find the text file on your computer and click it to finish the process.
Things To Remember
When you upload a text file to the Google Search Console, it will replace the previous text file that was uploaded. For this reason, it’s important to keep your text file on your computer as a running list that you add to, as opposed to starting fresh.
It will take a bit of time for Google to get to processing your text file. The results will not be immediate: there is also no direct promise that submitting the disavow will immediately rectify any search result troubles.
You’ll want to keep an eye on your rank and organic traffic to see if a change has occurred after the disavow file has been submitted. Once submitted, you should no longer be penalized by the algorithm, and more organic traffic should return to your site within a week or two.
Once a disavow file is submitted, those backlinks will be gone for good, so be careful that you’re selecting the right sites!
Learn to Disavow Backlinks
If you’re hoping to learn how to disavow backlinks, you don’t have to go any further than the above information. Keeping a close eye on your backlinks is an important task for any webmaster who is serious about their overall SEO strategy.
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