Since penguin launch, Negative SEO has increased a lot. Many companies generates tons of spam links for their competitor sites to lower down their ranking and believe it or not, it’s working for many. One of my sites (WphostingDisocunt), was heavily bombarded with Spammers and it got almost thousand of links from Spam sites and forum. I was keeping an eye on all those links and technically Emailing thousands of forum and Blog owners to remove links is not possible. It’s not only time-consuming but also there is no guarantee that all 100% link will be removed. Due to this one of my blog page which was ranking at number one pushed out to no where. The only way to stop such kind of link spam is by controlling which link will pass link juice to our site and which link should not.
Yesterday, Google launched most awaited Google Disavow link tool, using this tool you can report spam incoming links to your site and Google will devalue all such links. Specially, if you are one of those who got hit by Penguin update, this new feature in Google Webmaster tool will help you to recover from Penguin penalty. In this guide, I will be sharing exact method which I used to find all such links and how I reported it to Google. I’m using Ahrefs service to create a list of backlinks, but you can always use any other online Backlink checker tool to create your list of spam backlinks. Though, Google recommends to use Google Webmaster tool link feature to find all links, but I find ahrefs to be much better and accurate. Before, I share my complete guide to use Google Disavow link tool, here is a quick video, where Matt Cutts talk about this tool.
Do note, this feature should be used with extreme caution. In most of the cases, you might not require to use this tool but if your site is affected with penguin update, this will be your last resort. You can use Penguintool to check if your site is affected by Penguin update or not.
This link could be used by anyone as long as you have a verified site in Google Webmaster tool. If you have ever used any shady ways to create tons of links to your site or someone ended up creating spam backlinks to your site, Google Disavow link tool will help you to ignore all such links. The process is simple and all you need to do is, create a Text file containing all spam incoming link URL/line and upload it to Google Disavlow link page. If you ever need to update the link, you can download the uploaded file and add new links.
You can refer for official guide and FAQ here and below I will mention the exact steps I have taken to report links using Google Disavow feature.
Go to Ahrefs and create an account. It’s a paid backlink checker tool but free account will let you manage one blog and if you have multiple sites, you can opt for any paid plan. So, here is a quick link report for one of my affected domain.
Click on image to see the full version and notice the anchor text for all links. The good thing is all such spam links are pointing to only one page and this made my work a lot easier. If in your case, you have links pointing to all your pages, you might need to spend more time creating spam link text file. So, I simply added the link which is getting spam backlinks in URL field and Ahrefs showed me all backlinks pointing to this page. You can check all links pointing to this page here.
Click on Export and export the file in Excel format. Now, delete all other column apart from referring page URL and export it in notepad file. I used Google docs import and export feature for this. Now open the exported text file and start analyzing every link. This is going to be time-consuming but it’s worth as you might not like to devalue any quality backlinks pointing to your site. So, here is final version of my text file:
In my case links are coming from multiple domains, but if your site is getting spam links from one domain only. Instead of adding individual links, you can use domain:spamdomain.com in your text file and Google disavow link tool will devalue all incoming links to your site from spam site.
So, now you have a Text file with all the spam links listed in it. Now, go to Google Disavlow link page and select your domain name and click on Disavow links.
On the next page, click on Disavow links button again and it will give you an option to upload the file. Browse and upload your spam link text file which you created at the above stage and click on Submit. It could take 7-10 days to see the effect of reported link and specially if your site is affected with Penguin, this will help to get rid of all such spam backlinks.
Though, I’m repeating again: Use Google Disavow links tool with caution and only if it’s necessary. In most of the cases, Google by default devalue the links coming from spam sites. This tool will be life saver for many Bloggers who are affected with Penguin updates or a victim of Negative SEO. I’m still waiting to see the effect of reporting such spam links, and I will be sharing an update after a Week. For now, if your site is affected with link spam, you can consider using this tool and get rid of all low quality and spam links.
How many of you are using this new feature and do you think by launching this tool, Google indirectly confirmed that Negative SEO exists?