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If you have paid anyone for your links, outsourced your web page optimization or done anything that is not under the typical strategies and practices of SEO for your site, you may have acquired some backlinks to your site that you do not want. These may include Spam Links or x-rated sites which link back to your site. The disavow tool allows the web administrator to have a limited control over these backlinks. And while this tool is effective in helping you with such issues, there are many things to understand about Google’s Disavow tool. Here are 7 things you may not know about Google’s Disavow tool.
How to control the backlinks to your site
1. Disavowed Links are still seen in Webmaster Tools
The disavow tool adds the equivalent of an invisible tag to the backlinks. This is not to say that the links get deleted or that they are not there. The links are still present in your webmaster tools the same as your WMTs are present. However, the disavowed links are given a do not follow tag. This means that the next time Google crawls for your site these invisible backlinks will be ignored. They are not deleted, they are simply passed over.
2. There are size limitations
There is somewhat of a size restriction to the disavow tool Granted, most of the backlinks that you will want to avoid will be way under the limit, it does benefit you to understand that if the link goes over 2 megabytes that you may have issues in getting it disavowed. Again, this is the equivalent of 1000 typed pages so you should be ok.
3. Comments are not Comments, but Comments
If you understand how comments work in HTML and in scripting then you will understand how the comments in the disavow tool work. Where it would appear that these “comments” are looked over by the webspam team, they are not. These comments are set up like the comment section in your HTML. It is there to help you out in your organization. That is it. No one will read the comments and so filling up the comment section with your grievances will not do any good to getting a link disavowed or any further actions to take place.
4. If a file is Nofollow you do not need to add it
No followed links do not carry PageRank status. As the disavowed links are treated in much the same way as NoFollow links then it is a bit redundant to post them as links to disavow. Yes, you can add them in there if you want to have that extra bit of assurance, but in all reality you are just adding a nofollow to a link that is already labeled as nofollow
5. Disavowing a link does not have to be permanent
If you disavow a link you can go back and change your mind about the link if you so choose. Now, if a link has been determined by Google to be a harmful link then to reavow the link can cause harm to your site. This is why Google gives you a very strict warning before you use the tool. Only disavow links that you are certain you do not want backlinking your site.
6. Redirects can send bad links back to your site
Depending on how you have your 301 redirects, your site could transfer over the disavowed links. This is due to the redirect transferring all the data. As Google would treat the second site as a web page of its own, then the bad backlinking would follow you to that site and you would need to use the disavow tool again to block those backlinks.
7. No Negativity for the Site being disavowed
Where disavowed links used it is not sending the information to the webmaster as spam. That is a different process altogether. Currently the disavow tool just keeps the backlinks from being associated with your site. However, keep in mind that Google may implement this in the future. If you want to report a site as spam you would need to send a notice to Google specifically addressing that issue. Disavow does not have anything to do with such.
Backlinking is an essential part of SEO and should be reviewed on a normal basis. Where you can use the disavow tool to remove a backlink, you can also ask the site backlinking to remove it on their end. Remember that the disavow tool should be used only if you receive a notification from google of unusual backlinking and activity. Most people will not need to use the tool and if you have not been prompted to use the tool it is best to leave it alone.
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