Which is the most effective way to make your website visible on search results and climb the top of SERPs? Any experienced SEO expert will advise you to have high-quality inbound and external links on your site.
Having quality inbound links to your site is a good idea if you’re looking forward to making your website an authority in the industry and, most importantly, driving quality traffic to your website. Backlinks can boost your SEO and make your website more visible than the rest.
While you concentrate on using backlinks as a strategy to improving your website ranking, you should also beware of bad backlinks and how you can handle them effectively. Bad backlinks are links coming from websites with weak domain authority and those with low-quality content. If you want to boost your site SEO, you must find a way to remove these bad backlinks to your site. But how can you achieve this? Google Link Disavow Tool is developed for this work specifically.
Tips for Disavowing Links
Disavow the entire domain
The easiest way to remove bad backlinks on a spammy domain is to get rid of the entire domain. In most cases, many links are coming from this domain but you are not necessarily noticing. When you disavow the whole domain, you prevent those ‘hidden’ bad backlinks from sending traffic to your website.
Unless you have a WordPress or website with lots of sub-domains, you can always use the domain operator in your disavow file.
Use Google Search Console
If you have a Google Analytics tool on your website, you can easily access the Google Search Console feature. This feature provides all the information on your site’s linking structure.
Follow these steps to disavow bad backlinks using Google Search Console:
- Visit Google Search Console and click on the ‘Export External Links.’
- Choose ‘More Sample Links.’
- Export the ‘more sample links’ as your disavow file.
- List all the bad backlinks you want to disavow on a text file.
- Submit the text file to Google Disavow Tool.
Note: When preparing a list of links you want to disavow, you must ensure every entry begins in a new line and with the site’s actual domain. You should drop all quotation marks. The file name is not that necessary when uploading your disavow file on Google Disavow Tool.
In case you want to disavow specific links using Google Disavow Tool, you can browse through all the warning prompts and access a dialog box that enables you to upload a file from your computer. Choose the correct property if you have more than one account. Proceed by selecting the disavow file you created and upload it to the Google Disavow Tool.
Once you’ve uploaded a disavow file to Google Disavow Tool, Google will not use the domains in the file when ranking your website. This happens in a couple of days, and your website is now free of bad backlinks that may be costing your SEO efforts.
Types of Links You Should Disavow
Spammy links from comment and forums
Almost every website has a comment section that creates a platform for users to review the website. Sometimes users can drop links related to content on the comment section.
Google has no problem with that. However, when you visit authority sites and flood the comments with links to your website, Google can penalize your site. Therefore, to be safe, you should disavow all bad backlinks from forums and comments on authority sites.
Dead domain links
An expired domain link from an authority site is useless to your site because Google does not recognize it.
The links may look valuable to you since they come from sites with heavy traffic. However, what Google and other search engines see when you have expired domain links to your website is the fact that it violates their webmaster guidelines. Your website is penalized heavily for having a lot of dead domain links to your site.
Shady and annoying 404s
Another bad backlink you should add to your disavow file is the shady 404 links. This type of link is annoying to most users because it normally redirects to an empty web page when you click on it. It looks like a spammy link with nothing useful to offer your visitors.
These links may also happen when the domain register removes the entire domain. Since the link does not help your website to rank anyway, you should disavow it.
Links from cloaked sites
Cloaked sites are sites that give users one set of results and another different result for Google. That means when you view the website using Googlebot you realize it offers different results from what users see. Links from cloaked sites are low-quality links you should disavow if you want your website to rank up on SERPs.
A malware can exist in the form of a toxic link to your site. These are the kind of links you click on, and your browser shows the red flag of a virus likely to attack your computer.
Having links with malware in them is dangerous to your website ranking, and Google may shy away from your site if it contains many toxic links. Add all toxic links to your disavow file and prevent them from linking to your website.
Removing bad backlinks to your site is not something you take for granted if you want to drive quality traffic to your site. It is a significant action you must take to build an authority site and boost your ranking on SERPs.
Not every link to your website is likely to cost you in terms of rankings. If you know of any bad links that may be dragging you down on SERPs, you must remove them immediately. You can use Google Disavow Tool and other third-party tools like SEMrush to remove bad links and boost your SEO ranking faster.