How to deal with Google’s Disavow Links Tool & Unnatural Links Warning

Thousands of webmasters and site owners are going through a very difficult phase of their life from past several weeks. More precisely, after the Panda update and the unnatural links notification sent via the webmaster tools accounts. There were no clues or supporting articles published on how to deal with these unnatural links warning or the possible penalty.

The only guideline was:

We encourage you to make changes to your site so that it meets our quality guidelines. Once you’ve made these changes, please submit your site for reconsideration in Google’s search results.
If you find unnatural links to your site that you are unable to control or remove, please provide the details in your reconsideration request.

What could be an Unnatural Link?

According to Google:

Examples of unnatural linking could include buying links to pass PageRank or participating in link schemes.

Possibilities are:

  • Links from known free/paid backlink networks
  • From a single domain, there is a huge number of links exclusively pointing to your domain.
  • Huge number of links pointing to your site using a single link anchor text – i. e. high anchor text density
  • Fake forum/social media links
  • Paid blog networks

Submitting a Reconsideration Request

Several webmasters has removed those possible unnatural inks and submitted a reconsideration request is webmaster tools account.

Most of them got a reply saying:

We received a request from a site owner to reconsider http://www.EXAMPLE.com/ for compliance with Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

We’ve reviewed your site and we still see links to your site that violate our quality guidelines.
Specifically, look for possibly artificial or unnatural links pointing to your site that could be intended to manipulate PageRank.

Examples of unnatural linking could include buying links to pass PageRank or participating in link schemes.

We encourage you to make changes to comply with our quality guidelines. Once you’ve made these changes, please submit your site for reconsideration in Google’s search results.

If you find unnatural links to your site that you are unable to control or remove, please provide the details in your reconsideration request.

So mean. It’s obvious that Google don’t share the EXACT list of links which they consider as unnatural. The webmasters are supposed to confess their guilty and submit the list by themselves to get saved from the so called penalty.

The play gets into a loop here.

The new Google Disavow Tool

Here comes a possible helping hand from Google. Now, they have introduced a new tool called ‘Google Disavow Tool’ for webmasters who are frustrated with dealing with these unnatural links warning. In other words, you can ask Google not to take certain links into account when assessing your site. Google says,

If you’ve done as much as you can to remove the problematic links, and there are still some links you just can’t seem to get down, that’s a good time to visit our new Disavow links page. When you arrive, you’ll first select your site. You’ll then be prompted to upload a file containing the links you want to disavow. The format is straightforward. All you need is a plain text file with one URL per line.

Warning: This is an advanced feature and should only be used with caution. If used incorrectly, this feature can potentially harm your site’s performance in Google’s search results. We recommend that you disavow backlinks only if you believe you have a considerable number of spammy, artificial, or low-quality links pointing to your site, and if you are confident that the links are causing issues for you. In most cases, Google can assess which links to trust without additional guidance, so most normal or typical sites will not need to use this tool.

How to Use the Google Disavow Tool?

  1. On the Webmaster Tools home page, click the site you want.
  2. On the Dashboard, click Traffic, and then click Links to Your Site.
  3. Click Download.
  4. Next, you’ll create a text file containing only the links you want to disavow – one link per line – and upload this to Google.
  5. Go to the disavow links tool page.
  6. Select your website.
  7. Click Disavow links.
  8. Click Choose file.

It may take some time for Google to process the information you’ve uploaded. In particular, this information will be incorporated into our index as we recrawl the web and reprocess the pages that we see, which can take a number of weeks.

References:

Google Webmaster Tools Blog: http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.in/2012/10/a-new-tool-to-disavow-links.html

Google Support: http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=2648487

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