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Goodbye, Bad Links: The Guide to Disavowing

Are you a businessman, a website owner, or someone who work for the internet marketing industry?  Perhaps you have noticed that even after all the proven strategies you have done for an effective SEO marketing, your website seems to sink deeper to the pages which users no longer care to open.

Well, my friend, it seems that you have been struck by Penguin updates.  This means that in between these updates (1.0 happened in April 2012 while the latest one took place last October 4), it may be months before your strategies take into effect and another update may overpower them.

The Penguin updates are actually Google’s way to track down unnatural links and penalize those websites that use this technique. According to Matt Cutts, if you have been monitoring your backlinks and see a strange pattern, then perhaps it is time to disavow or remove those links.

If Google doesn’t want those links, then it is only natural that the way to save our site is to say goodbye to them, right?

How to Spot Bad Links

To have a list of your back links, make sure that you have a Google Webmaster Tool. Download a CSV of your backlinks through the said tool, filter them, and compile the bad links on a .txt document.

So what are bad links? Aside from farm sites and other spammy websites where you have your links on, bad links that are looked down on by Google include x-rated sites or those that have inappropriate content, directory sites that specifically provide backlink or have no specific criteria or focus, non-genuine blog comments,  red flagged sites, and those that clearly look like low-quality sites.

How to Remove Bad Links

Now you come to the bloody part. If you think that filtering your links already took a lot of your time, then removing them may mean double or even triple the time. But don’t worry, there are two ways to do this process.

The first way to disavow links is to manually contact the webmasters where you have found your links. Go to their Contact page, leave a message or get their email address. Make sure that your letter or request is polite.  If you don’t hear from them in a few days, resend your message. If there really is no way to contact them, mark that site on your list and move on.

Of course, you can skip the part of contacting those site owners through the Disavow Tool of Google Webmaster. The second way to disavow links allow you to submit the list of bad links you have collected to the said tool, and send a ‘request’ to Google to remove them for you. But be reminded that since this is just a request, there is no guarantee when or if the links will be removed. Just regularly monitor your backlink history through the Webmaster tool.

Digitalmoz - Webmaster disavow tool

Penguin Proofed

Google updates come unannounced. Or when they do, it could be too late for you to take action. So, even without Google sending you a warning, it is better to be ready and make your website penguin-proofed. Clean your backlink history by disavowing your links, and start doing effective digital marketing strategies.   So, bad links, bye bye for good!


Anna Villena

About Anna Villena

Anna is one of the pioneer employees of Digitalmoz. From an online media specialist to team supervisor, she now spends most of her time designing websites and managing special projects for the company. After reading her blogs, don't forget to add her in your circles in Google and follow her on Twitter!