Compare The Best Website Builders of 2018

What Does It Mean to Disavow a Link

By Michael Benninger

 

Does your website have unwanted inbound links from less-than-reputable sources? If so, these connections to your site could be harming your SEO in more ways than one. Fortunately, you can disavow those damaging links and enjoy all of the traffic your site deserves. But what does “disavow” mean, and how can it help your site? Here’s an overview of what you need to know.

 

Disavow Definition

 

What Does It Mean to Disavow a Link?

If you crack open a traditional dictionary or visit any of the online alternatives and look up the word “disavow”, definitions will largely be along the lines of denying involvement or responsibility for something in particular. Armed with that knowledge, it’s not too hard to figure out disavow’s meaning with regard to undesirable links. To disavow a link means to tell search engines—namely Google—not to include the referrer’s connection to your site as a factor when determining your site’s ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs). Makes sense, right? But what’s the best way of going about disavowing a dangerous link?

 

Disavow Meaning

 

How to Disavow Bad Links

Once you’ve identified an unwanted link, the first thing you should do is attempt to contact the offending site’s webmaster and ask for the link to be removed. Depending upon who is running the site with the link, this could be a fruitless effort. If that’s true in your case, the next best thing you can do is use Google’s Disavow Links tool to request that the search giant exclude the offensive link when calculating your site’s position in search. One thing to keep in mind about this tool, though, is you’re simply asking for Google to devalue the link, but the company is under no obligation to actually do so.

 

Getting Started with Google’s Disavow Tool

Google Search Console, formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools, is an extensive suite of utilities for website owners. After setting up an account on the console, it’s easy download a list of all links to your site, then examine it for hyperlinks that could cause you headaches. After compiling a collection of links you want removed, you can send that file to Google by using their Disavow Links tool. Any changes Google decides to make won’t be instantly apparent, but after a week or so, you may start to see a difference in your site’s rank.

 

Manual Actions and Reconsideration Requests

Sometimes after setting up an account on Google Search Console, you might receive a Manual Action alert instructing you to make some mandatory changes to your SEO in order to remain listed in Google Search. In these cases, Google will offer some guidance as to next steps. And once you’ve completed those actions, it’s advised that you submit a Reconsideration Request to Google, so that the search engine can crawl the most recent version of your website and give it a new ranking based on current factors.

Now that you understand the ins and outs of disavowing, take some time to find out if your website has unwanted links. Looking to learn even more? Explore our growing library of articles for webmasters.

 
 
 
 
 
Disclaimer: We work hard to offer you valuable and reliable information about all of the products and services we review. In order to provide you with this free service, we use links on our site that provide us with commissions for referring you to the seller's site. We guarantee that this does not influence the material we present, but may influence the positioning on our site, and only supports our efforts to offer you the best and most relevant information possible.

Advertising Disclosure

This site is a free online resource that strives to offer helpful content and comparison features to its visitors. Please be advised that the operator of this site accepts advertising compensation from companies that appear on the site, and such compensation impacts the location and order in which the companies (and/or their products) are presented, and in some cases may also impact the rating that is assigned to them. To the extent that ratings appear on this site, such rating is determined by our subjective opinion and based on a methodology that aggregates our analysis of brand market share and reputation, each brand's conversion rates, compensation paid to us and general consumer interest. Company listings on this page DO NOT imply endorsement. Except as expressly set forth in our Terms of Use, all representations and warranties regarding the information presented on this page are disclaimed. The information, including pricing, which appears on this site is subject to change at any time.