Is the New Disavow Tool Good for Your Analytics?

October 25, 2012
125 Views

Just last week at PubCon, Google’s own Matt Cutts announced the release of their much-anticipated Disavow Tool. Since then, there’s been around the clock chatter about the efficacy of the product and whether it’s good, bad, or ugly for the average website owner.

Just last week at PubCon, Google’s own Matt Cutts announced the release of their much-anticipated Disavow Tool. Since then, there’s been around the clock chatter about the efficacy of the product and whether it’s good, bad, or ugly for the average website owner.

The fact is, the jury is still out. There’s a lot that people don’t exactly know yet and a lot of the bigger SEO and digital marketing firms are running test trials before doling out any official reviews. While some have come out and suggested that there is hope for leveraging it effectively, most are strongly urging webmasters and site directors to use it sparingly. In fact Cutts himself declared, “Use caution. Don’t just start disavowing links. Please start slow.”

Disavow tool

Essentially, Disavow allows sites to cut out links that are out of date, dead, or simply bad.  For sites that have been hit by bad links from black hat SEO and other illicit digital marketing tactics, this is especially good news. It means that there’s finally a way to clean up your link profile of those links that negatively impact your relationship and ranking with Google. For anyone who has received the dreaded Google bad link warning, this could be a saving grace.

For those who have leveraged aggressive link-building tactics in the past with over the top use of unnatural anchor text and were subsequently hit with Penguin earlier in the year, Disavow may be your chance to pay the piper and cross over from the dark side without serious penalty.

So how does it work? You can click here to get started and test it for yourself. It’s really about as simple as it comes. After determining your risk level and if there are links on your site that need to be kicked to the curb, you’ve got to isolate the links and create a .txt file, listing one domain or URL per line. On alternate lines you can incorporate comments such as “This link is dangerous” by starting the line with “#” sign.  After saving the file under a name of your choice, it’s time to head into your Google Webmaster Tools with “Owner” access.

From your Google Webmaster Tools navigation, you’ll need to submit your site URL to the disavow links page. Now be forewarned, when you hit “submit,” a warning will appear. Hit “submit” again and another warning will appear, but this time with a “Choose File” option. Click “Choose File” and upload your .txt file of bad links. From there, all that’s left to do is take a deep breath and hit “Done.”

Although you’ll likely be expecting some fairy godmother or leprechaun with pot of gold to magically appear at this point, the fact is, nothing happen. At least, not yet. It will reportedly take weeks for Google to actually disavow the links you’ve submitted, which is precisely why so many are preaching stringent caution with the tool – it’s only been out for roughly a week, so no one knows exactly what the effects of using it will be.

In short, if you’re suffering from negative links, whether by your own doing or someone else’s, know that this may be a viable solution. However, until more studies have been done and actual results have been produced, we’ve got to approach Disavow great restraint.