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← Disavow links

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Showing Revision 1 created 10/19/2012 by Amara Bot.

  1. >>Matt Cutts: Hey everybody. We just released
    a new tool called the disavow links tool,
  2. which lets you tell Google which links to
    your site you'd like to ignore. Let me give
  3. you a little bit of context, tell you about
    how it works, and basically fill you in on
  4. the background.
    As Google has gotten better and better at
  5. assessing backlinks, there are some people
    who more or less want to clean up their backlinks.
  6. Maybe you've been doing paid links, or someone
    on your behalf has. You might have been doing
  7. blog spam, comment spam, forum spam, guest
    book spam, you-name-it link spam. Maybe you
  8. paid somebody to write some low-quality articles
    and syndicate those all over the place with
  9. some very keyword rich anchor text. And maybe
    Google sent you a message that says, "We've
  10. seen unnatural links to your site" or "We've
    taken targeted action to some unnatural links
  11. to your site." And as a result, you want to
    clean up those backlinks.
  12. Well, first and foremost, the main thing that
    we recommend is getting those links actually
  13. removed from the web. If a random person looks
    up links to your site, you don't want to see
  14. a bunch of spammy links. It's good to clean
    up for other purposes. You don't want them
  15. to jump to conclusions. It's also good so
    that other search engines won't see spammy
  16. links to your site as well.
    We do recommend that you write to people,
  17. try to get the link taken down, and basically
    get as many of those links as possible. Now,
  18. at the same time, we realize that sometimes,
    it's not possible to get in contact with everybody.
  19. So at the point where you have written to
    as many people as you can multiple times,
  20. you've really tried hard to get in touch,
    and you've only been able to get some certain
  21. fraction of those links down, and there's
    still a small fraction of links left, that's
  22. where you can use our new tool, called the
    disavow links tool.
  23. So how does it work? Well, first off, you
    need to figure out "Which links should I disavow?"
  24. Hopefully, you have a pretty good idea, but
    there's a couple ways you can take a whack
  25. at that. First, you can look at your recent
    links. We will show you, now, Google will
  26. let you download a list of links sorted by
    the date that we discovered them. So you can
  27. look at the most recent links, if you might
    have just gotten a message or a warning about
  28. unnatural links.
    We're working on ways where when we provide
  29. links that we, the unnatural links warning,
    we'll actually, in the text of that message,
  30. give you maybe one, maybe two, possibly up
    to three examples of the sorts of links that
  31. we're talking about.
    Now, this is not a comprehensive list. We're
  32. saying, "These are the sorts of links that
    we're trying to ignore, or that we don't count,
  33. or that we think looks low-quality or spammy."
    And so the message does not mean "Remove these
  34. two or three links and now do a reconsideration
    request." It's to give you a flavor of the
  35. sorts of links, whether it's a low-quality
    article bank thing that you were syndicating,
  36. or whether it's a paid link network, or whatever.
    The sorts of links that we would like to see
  37. taken down.
    So how do you actually use the tool? How do
  38. you disavow links? It's actually pretty simple.
    We want to reiterate that most people do not
  39. need to use this tool. There's been a little
    bit of brouhaha in the last few months where
  40. some people really want to clean up their
    backlinks. But if you're an average Mom and
  41. Pop, if you're just doing normal sorts of
    things, you're not doing really especially
  42. egregious or aggressive SEO with all kinds
    of weird link networks or stuff like that,
  43. this is not a tool that you should need to
    use under any sort of normal circumstances.
  44. So when you load up the tool, you'll hopefully
    see a lot of disclaimers that remind you,
  45. under normal circumstances, you shouldn't
    need to use this. Only if you've gotten a
  46. message, if you really think there's an issue
    with your backlinks, and you really want to
  47. clean it up, and you're a power user, you
    feel comfortable doing technical things.
  48. The first version of the interface that we're
    launching reflects that. It's basically the
  49. ability to upload a text file of links that
    you'd like to ignore. So my site, for example,
  50. is mattcutts.com. Suppose I want to ignore
    a link from example.com/page.html. You simply
  51. make a text file that says "example.com/page.html"
    and you upload that. So the format is just
  52. one URL per line. We try to make it a little
    bit easy. Suppose you have a porn site, pornsite.com,
  53. and it links to you. And you want to ignore
    all links from that domain. You can say "domain:pornsite.com."
  54. You can also have comments, you can have little
    hash signs, you can document your efforts
  55. to try to get links pulled down or provide
    some more context there. And then you just
  56. basically upload that text file.
    Now, it's a single text file for a domain.
  57. So if you have multiple registered owners,
    and you want to add or edit or update that
  58. file, we provide a way to download that file.
    Then you would be able to edit it. You can
  59. add another link to ignore, or anything along
    those lines. If you wanted to, you could empty
  60. that file out, and then you can reupload that,
    and we will process that in turn.
  61. Now, how will Google actually treat it when
    you say, "I'd like Google to ignore this link"?
  62. We treat it as a very strong suggestion, but
    we don't treat it as something that we absolutely
  63. have to abide by. And before you get nervous
    or worried, that's the exact same methodology
  64. that we use for rel="canonical." So we have
    seen some guys where they will have a website,
  65. and they say, "Oh, I'm going to rel="canonical"
    over here," and that's a 404, and they can
  66. shoot themselves in the foot. So we do reserve
    the right to look at things and say, "Oh,
  67. we think this is something that the user didn't
    intend to do." But in normal circumstances,
  68. we will take it as a very strong suggestion,
    and basically treat it a lot like 'nofollow'.
  69. Drop that link out of our processing.
    We do expect that it will take probably weeks
  70. once you upload your list of links to disavow
    for all those links to be disavowed because
  71. we have to recrawl those pages, reindex those
    pages, and reprocess them in order to attach
  72. the attribute that says, "Okay, this link
    we would like to no longer treat with the
  73. same weight. We would like to treat it with
    zero weight."
  74. So it does take a fair amount of time. If
    you're doing a reconsideration request, I
  75. would explicitly mention, "Hey, I have disavowed
    links," just so that we can go and try to
  76. check up on that whenever the manual web spam
    team is investigating.
  77. The other thing I would say is this is a power
    user tool. We don't want people to go overboard
  78. with this. Most people shouldn't need to use
    this. Really only use it if you have good
  79. reason to think that you need to. In particular,
    somebody is sure to ask, "Well, what if I
  80. want to undisavow a link, or reavow it?" And
    the answer is, "That will take even longer."
  81. So I would say, once you disavow a link, make
    sure that it's a link that you really want
  82. to disavow, that you don't want to have it
    count anymore, because it will take a lot
  83. longer, and we might not give it the same
    weight if we start to allow it to be reavowed.
  84. So only take a look at the links that were
    either provided as examples or the links that
  85. you think are truly spammy, and those are
    the ones that you really want to disavow.
  86. Try as much as you can to clean things up
    beforehand, and then use the disavow tool
  87. afterwards, if you feel comfortable.
    The last thing I just want to reiterate, and
  88. I want to really get this across: most people
    should not need to use this. We build our
  89. algorithms and we look at our spam processing
    such that in most cases, we handle things
  90. just fine. A very small number of people are
    getting these unnatural links warnings. Proportional
  91. to the web, most people do not need to be
    using this tool.
  92. It's also an advanced tool, just like with
    rel="canonical." If you rel="canonical" to
  93. somewhere that doesn't exist, it is possible
    to shoot yourself in the foot. So be carefully.
  94. Don't just go in willy-nilly and submit a
    ton of files, and you're like, "Okay, I'm
  95. changing a whole bunch of stuff every single
    time." You really want to maybe do an audit
  96. of your backlinks and try to get an idea of
    the ones that look truly spammy, or the ones
  97. that, according to recent stuff, look like
    they are not what links that they should count.
  98. Those are the links that you might want to
    think about disavowing.
  99. I realize, even if I tell everybody this,
    there will still be a lot of people who just
  100. run for the disavow link tool. But again,
    whenever we're doing reconsideration requests,
  101. we are going to look at the set of links that
    existed before. And then we're going to be
  102. doing spot checks. We're going to be look
    at "Are those links off the web?" So don't
  103. just immediately think, "Disavow is the answer
    for all my ills!" You're also going to want
  104. to try to remove stuff off the web first.
    And this is a power tool. It's something where
  105. it is possible, in the process of telling
    Google to ignore links to your site, to make
  106. mistakes. So I would approach it with caution.
    I wouldn't just jump in. If you are a Mom
  107. and Pop, if you haven't used your own SEO,
    if you haven't used random link networks that
  108. you found on SEO Forums, this is probably
    not something that you should be using. I
  109. just want to try to reiterate that. Hopefully,
    everybody can remind everybody else of that
  110. if people are talking about it on forums or
    conferences or whatever.
  111. But we are pretty excited to be able to offer
    this because we do hear from SEOs who try
  112. to do clean up. There's an entire niche for
    people, for SEOs, whose job it is to clean
  113. up backlinks. And this is a tool in that arsenal,
    after you've done all the other cleanup that
  114. you can do. So we're really happy that we
    are providing this option. And thanks for
  115. all the feedback for the people who asked
    for it. Let us know what you think of it,
  116. and then we'll continue to iterate and look
    at other ways to improve. Thanks.