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Q: How to use the disavow tool in Google?

+12 votes
I have a web designing agency and due to the recent Google Panda and Penguin updates some of my clients' sites lost rankings. I want to get them back to the first  #3 top positions. My question is how to use the disavow tool in Google web master tools? Do you have any positive experience with it and can you give some suggestions? Thank you, Rich
asked in SEO category by user richard8502

7 Answers

+4 votes
Using the disavow tool in Google is not a guarantee that your rankings will recover. First you have to make a deep analysis of the backlinks pointing to your site or your clients' sites. For this kind of research you will need special program which will find the backlinks which have NO VALUE pointing to you. These can be - comment backlinks, forum profiles backlinks, low quality backlinks with a big outbound links number (a lot of links pointing from a certain page).

The program I am using for discovering all these backlinks is SEO Spy Glass which can be found here -  http://www.seo-spyglass.com/ - I am using the professional version which costs around $99. There is also an enterprise edition.

Also you can take advantage of these backlinks discovering tools:
SEO Moz - http://www.seomoz.org/rank-tracker
Majestic SEO - http://www.majesticseo.com
Ahrefs - http://ahrefs.com
Raven Tools - http://raventools.com

Once you know the 'low quality' backlinks - extract them to a text file (.txt format). Make sure to check the backlinks numerous times as you can disavow a link which can be helpful for your rankings! To extract only the URLs, not other texts I am using this simple and free program called Guru's URL Grabber - http://www.download3k.com/Internet/Email/Download-guru-s-URL-Grabber.html

Once all is done simply go to the disavow section of your site and upload the text file. You are now ready and just wait. Hopefully the results will come back! :-)
answered by user golearnweb
edited by user golearnweb
+2 votes
Great question Richard! A lot of people are interested in this topic! Here is my experience:

When you have the backlinks, you must upload a list of the links to disavow. Here how you do this:
1. Go to the disavow links tool page.
2. Select your website (you might have more then one - so be careful!).
3. Click on the "Disavow links" button.
4. Click on "Choose file".

You can always remove or change the text file you've submitted. Here's how:
1. On the Webmaster Tools home page, click the site you want.
2. On the Dashboard, click 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.

Download the text file, change it's content and upload again! Make sure that you put the right backlinks! A lot of research is needed prior to using the disavow tool!

Google also give an option for the text you are going to upload. You can add this type of information:

#example.com removed most links, but missed these
http://spam.example.com/stuff/comments.html
http://spam.example.com/stuff/paid-links.html
# Contacted owner of shadyseo.com on 7/1/2012 to
# ask for link removal but got no response
domain:shadyseo.com

So, as you can see it is advisable to contact the site's owner with a request for link removal. This can be very hard as a lot of developers simply have no time. And no other actions can be taken - so by using the disavow tool you can hope that Google will re-gain your ranking and good SERPs positions!
answered by user mitko
+1 vote
Here is one video for Google disavow tool and other SEO and Google updates related topics:

answered by user hues
+1 vote
Here's Google's Web Master Tools YouTube channel response to disavow tool and unnatural links:

answered by user nikole
+1 vote
one very interesting discussion about the disavow tool on google's group forum  - https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/webmasters/X3ErEwg5yoE/discussion
answered by user Jolie Ann
0 votes
Another answer from Matt:
answered by user mitko
+1 vote
golearnweb has explained it very well.  Maintaining your site's reputation online is must. So, avoiding links that are responsible to take your site down is good. Its a very good option given by Google to use disavow tools to remove bad links of your site. This will help maintain your website authority on web. If your website authority increases then your website worth which is good in terms of your website ROI.
answered by user Brayden
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