With the ever changing Google changes, comes another! I previously told you about the changes to exact match domains and changes to content “above the fold”. Now Google has announced a new tool in its war against spam: The “disavow” tool.

The new tool is aimed at those who receive a warning from Google that “unnatural links have been detected”. Unnatural links are any incoming links that Google feels violate their webmaster terms. So let’s say for example your link is found on a website that is considered a “link farm” meaning its sole purpose is to provide spam links – Google hates this and so, if you have a link from one of these places the disavow tool will help you remove it.

I know I tell you that incoming links improve your search visibility but these bad incoming links harm your seo, so use the disavow tool to remove them if necessary. Google states that the disavow tool should be your first port call of action and they still recommend contacting the site owner to take your link down first before using the new disavow tool

The web development team at Google say not everybody will need to use this tool and to use with caution as once a link has been removed it can takes weeks (it at all) to re-allow the link back to your website should you make a mistake

To access this new tool visit: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/disavow-links-main

2020 Update

A tool still available in Google Search Console in 2020, the disavow tool was a great move by Google.

Thought of originally by many as a way to ‘save’ their websites after they had committed black hat SEO tactics, it did so much more for the world of SEO.

Google does not want to be manipulated and works very hard to funnel out websites that are manipulating it.

One of the big debates in 2020 is whether Google knows the difference between an organic or paid link and more importantly does Google count paid backlinks towards your SEO efforts.

The thing is, with the disavow tool, what many didn’t realise is that it was not just a way to protect their websites, but, in the process act as an amnesty and give the big G a complete list of all websites that sell backlinks.

That’s how Google knows the difference between a paid backlink and a natural backlink – Because the world gave Google all the information it needed.

Further to the disavow tool, a big change that came in to play was the variation in anchor text.

Most people had 100000’s of backlinks with the same anchor text such as web design Coventry which was completely unnatural – Brand now became apart as have the different types of anchor text such as exact match and phrase match and natural or brand.

Brand is where you want to be going – You wouldn’t naturally link to Marks and Spencers, for example, using the anchor text ‘thin slice British made ham” for example, you would more likely than not use their brand name as the anchor text – This is far more natural.