Since the release of the Google Panda algorithm update in 2011, which can harm a site’s rankings if there are too many spammy or low quality links, webmasters have been trying to find a way to remove links to their site from outside sites. Up until now all you could do was ask the other site to remove the link or make it a no-follow, but that can be a hard battle to win since nobody wants to admit their site is low quality.
Google just announced the release of a new functionality in Webmaster Tools that will allow you to disavow a link to your site. It is still a best practice to try and remove the links manually, but if that fails you now have another option. It is not exactly the same as a no-follow tag, but is very, very close.
Matt Cutt’s warning:
Do not use this tool unless you know what you are doing and you are sure that you need it. Do not be the guy (or gal) who accidentally disavows every link going to your website. If you are that guy, you should not use this tool.
Here is the URL for the new Google Disavow Link Tool: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/disavow-links-main?pli=1
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What to do:
- Create a text file with one URL per line – to ignore a domain use domain:url
- Upload your file
- Review the warnings to make sure you really want to proceed
This process will not be immediate so you have to be patient as you wait for Google to re-crawl your site. As Google re-crawls your site the links you’ve uploaded will get annotated. This process could take a few weeks to avoid webmasters from turning links on and off in real time.
This will be a great way to get rid of those links that you have not been able to remove up until now and allow us webmasters to focus on acquiring those high-quality links that Google is looking for.