Google releases a ‘disavow links’ tool: who should use it and what does it do?

With the release of the Penguin update, Google started to count bad links as a negative ranking signal. Websites that purchased backlinks or gained backlinks through spamming (blog comment spam, forum profile backlinks, etc.) were penalized by Google.

Many webmasters worried that other people might create bad backlinks to harm their website rankings. The new disavow link tool enables webmasters to tell Google that particular links should not count.

What exactly is the link disavow tool and what does it do?

The disavow links tool allows you to indicate to Google which links you would like to disavow, and Google will typically ignore those links. Google’s Matt Cutts explains the new tool in a video:

When you inform Google about bad links, Google sees this as a strong suggestion rather than a directive. After submitting your links, it will take several weeks until Google processes your request.

If you’ve received notice from Google that you have a manual action on your site then you still have to file a reconsideration request. Just submitting the links won’t help.

Who should use the tool?

The tool is for people who used spammy methods to promote their websites. As an example, Google Matt Cutts names blog spam, comment spam, forum spam and guestbook spam. In general, all tools that automatically create backlinks are spamming tools. If you used such a tool in the past, you should try to get rid of these backlinks.

If you followed our advice in the past, then you do not need the tool. If you used spam-free methods to promote your site then you don’t have to worry about this.

You should use the tool with caution!

Google’s Matt Cutts says that you should think twice before using the tool:

“So don’t just immediately think, ‘Disavow is the answer for all my ills!’ You’re also going to want try to remove stuff off the web first. And this is a power tool.

It’s something where it is possible, in the process of telling Google to ignore links to your site, to make mistakes. So I would approach it with caution. I wouldn’t just jump in.

If you are a Mom and Pop, if you haven’t used your own SEO, if you haven’t used random link networks that you found on SEO Forums, this is probably not something that you should be using. I just want to try to reiterate that. Hopefully, everybody can remind everybody else of that people are talking about it on forums or conferences or whatever.”

You should only use this tool if you actively spammed Google in the past. Google’s official announcement can be found here. Google also offers a help page. The tool is available here.

Use spam-free SEO methods to get lasting results

To make sure that your web pages get high rankings that last, use search engine optimization methods that are compatible with Google’s requirements.

The advantage of white-hat SEO methods is that they lead to high rankings that are not affected by Google’s anti-spam ranking algorithm updates. Use SEOprofiler to make sure that your website gets the best possible rankings.

SEOprofiler only uses white-hat SEO methods that lead to lasting results.

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SEOprofiler is the right tool for you if you want to get high rankings in the USA, the UK, Australia, Germany and many, many other countries. If you haven’t done it yet, create a free SEOprofiler account now:

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Tom Cassy

Tom Cassy is the CEO of SEOprofiler. He blogs about search engine optimization and website marketing topics at “”.