The Disavow SEO Tool: everything you need to know

Through our SEO Agency Optimize 360

on the theme : Technical SEO

In the world of natural referencing and search engine optimisation (SEO), there are tools that enable webmasters to effectively manage their inbound links, more commonly known as backlinks. One of these tools is the Disavow Toolproposed by Google.

This article will help you to better understand the very definition of the Disavow Tool, as well as how it works and its usefulness in an SEO strategy.

Disavow SEO Tool

What is the Disavow Tool in SEO?

The Disavow Tool is a tool developed by Google that allows webmasters to manually notify Google of inbound links that they consider harmful to their website. In other words, this allows you to ask Google not to take certain backlinks into account when calculating a site's position in the search results.

Why use the Disavow Tool?

It is essential to understand that not all inbound links necessarily represent added value for your site and can harm your ranking. Google's algorithms are now capable of detecting links that are deemed to be unnatural, for example from link farms or purchased from disreputable services.

Having such links pointing to your site can therefore lead to penalties and a drop in search rankings. This is where the Disavow Tool comes into play: it allows you to notify Google of any of your inbound links that you feel should not be taken into account when assessing the quality and relevance of your site.

How does the Disavow Tool work?

To use this tool, follow the steps below:

    1. Start by identifying the inbound links that are problematic for your site, using the data provided by Google in particular Search Console.
    2. Create a text file containing the list of links or entire domains to be excluded. For each link or domain, add a new line with the instruction "disavow", followed by the URL of the link or domain. domain nameas follows :
      • disavow:
      • disavow:
    3. Go to the Disavow Tool page (accessible via the Google Search Console Help Centre) and select your website from the drop-down list.
    4. Click on the "Send" button and choose the text file you have created.

Once these steps have been completed, Google will take your request into account the next time it sends its indexing robots. It is important to note, however, that the disavow tool is not an absolute guarantee: it is a request and not an imperative directive for Google.

Disavow Tool best practice

Do not abuse the tool

It is essential to use the Disavow Tool with care. Asking Google to disavow a large number of links can be seen as an admission on your part that your backlink profile is artificial.

It is therefore wiser to use this tool only when really necessary, when certain penalties have already been applied or when harmful links have been clearly identified.

Regularly clean up your inbound links

It is advisable to regularly monitor the quality of your backlinks using the reports and statistics provided by Google Search Console. If you notice the appearance of any new dubious links pointing to your site, don't hesitate to update the Disavow Tool text file to include these new URL or areas.

Trying to solve the problem at source

Finally, before submitting a disavow request via the Disavow Tool, it may be worth trying to contact the webmasters of the sites hosting the problematic links, to ask them to remove or modify these links. This is a more permanent solution, which is not solely the responsibility of Google and the search engines.

In a nutshell

The Disavow Tool is a valuable tool for webmasters who want to optimise their natural referencing and avoid penalties due to poor quality inbound links.

It allows you to manually notify Google of backlinks that you think should be ignored when calculating your ranking in search results.

However, it should be used sparingly and judiciously, while regularly monitoring the quality of your incoming links and trying to resolve any problems directly with the sites concerned.

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