Google's New Disavow Link Tool

Caroline Melberg Chief Engagement Officer, Small Business Mavericks

Posted on October 18th 2012

Google's New Disavow Link Tool

Google recently announced a new tool webmasters can use to fight spam or to clean up after a bad SEO campaign. It’s called the Disavow Link Tool.

But this tool does come with a warning.

Google’s head of webspam team, Matt Cutts, said that most webmasters will not have a use for the tool. For instance, if you run a Mom & Pop shop and do your own SEO, you may not need it, especially if you religiously follow Google’s webmaster guidelines. However, if you are a small business that hired an SEO firm to manage your search engine optimization and found out later that the SEO company used questionable tactics that you weren’t aware of and didn’t approve, then the Disavow Link Tool might be very important to you.

That happens more often than any of us would like to admit.

If that has happened to you, be sure that you do everything you can to remove bad inbound links to your website before you use this tool. One of the things you have to do is upload a Disavow.txt document, and in that document you have to tell Google what you have done to remove bad links. It’s possible that Google will ignore your request if they feel like you haven’t done enough on your own to remove those links.

It is becoming increasingly more common that bad inbound links will hurt search engine rankings. That increases the importance of the Disavow Link tool. Even still, webmasters should think twice before rushing to use the tool because you can harm yourself worse by using it the wrong way. At least, that’s what Matt Cutts says, and who am I to argue?


Caroline Melberg

Chief Engagement Officer, Small Business Mavericks

I'm the founder and CEO (Chief Engagement Officer) of Small Business Mavericks, a full-service Marketing Company based in Wayzata, Minnesota. We specialize in Web Design & Development Services, Search Engine Optimization, Social Networking and Social Media Strategy, Implementation and Training. We make online marketing simple for business owners. I believe that marketing is not communication, it's a conversation. I speak frequently about social media and the social web and have been told I have a talent for demystifying online marketing concepts and explaining them in down-to-earth terms.
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Posted on November 15th 2012 at 11:02AM

Finally! We expected that. It's great that google has thought of that! I've had clients who their competitors are doing "Black SEO." This saves us a lot of work! Your article is very well written. An accessible way for readers. She told him quite correctly.


Posted on January 16th 2013 at 10:02PM

It sure does. Now if we can get a tool to remove bogus online complaints, life would be sweet. ;)


Sandy Rowley