Google’s Disavow Tool

The new tool was announced by head of Google’s web spam Matt Cutts during his keynote speech at the Pubcon conference in Las Vegas. It has been tested for a number of weeks by selected SEOs and is now live and ready to use.

The introduction of the disavow links tool aims to help webmasters that believe their Google search ranking to have been affected by low quality links from spam sites. Google are quick to suggest that the tool should only be used after alternative methods have been tried, “If you know of bad link-building done on your behalf (e.g., paid posts or paid links that pass PageRank), we recommend that you contact the sites that link to you and try to get links taken off the public web first,” says the updated Google help section. “You’re also helping to protect your site’s image, since people will no longer find spammy links and jump to conclusions about your website or business.”

If your efforts of trying to have a link taken down are unsuccessful you can then go ahead and use the disavow links tool. But be warned, if you disavow a good link in error, it could be a long wait for that link to be reinstated – if ever.

Webmasters will be able to disavow individual URLs, or entire domains in a text file uploaded to Google’s Webmaster Tools. Cutts said that the tool uses the “nofollow” attribute, which allows sites to link to other sites without passing ranking credit to those sites.

If you want to learn more about the tool, there is a video of Matt Cutts talking about Disavow Links here.