Saturday, March 29, 2014

How to Get Rid of Bad Links: Part Three

Step Three: Create the Disavow File

Step Three is creating the disavow file of the links you haven`t been able to remove.  You'll submit it to the disavow tool.  Don't worry, it's not hard.

What You'll Need
  •  A simple text editor like Notepad or, for Macs, TextEdit with plain text selected. 
  • The spreadsheet of the links you downloaded and imported into Excel or Google Docs and used in Parts One and Two 
  • Access to the disavow tool within Google Webmaster Tools.  Don't use Word or other more elaborate word processing application since the documents they create won't be accepted by the disavow tool.   Find all the bad links you have identified as bad for your site's ranking but have been unsuccessful at removing. 
Open your Notepad and Type
Now that you have the links, type them into Notepad, one link or domain per line.

How to Format the Disavowel of a Page
It's better to disavow an entire domain instead of pages but if you want to disavow a single page you just format it like this:

How to Format the Disavowel of a Domain
If you have several links from one domain or if you are unsure how many you have and want to make sure you remove all of them, disavow the entire domain. Unless there are links from a domain you want to keep, disavowing the domain is the wisest choice. Disavowing the entire domain, looks like this:

Making Comments
You don't have to make a comment for each link, as some experts claim, but if you want to make a comment for your own use, type the number sign ahead of the comment. This comments out your words by telling the tool to ignore the text that follows.  Here's how comments are formatted:

#I emailed the owner two times to ask for removal but haven't received a response.

Example of Disavow File
Here's an example of one of my disavow texts for a client.  I've only disavowed domains here. There are no comments. Check out the formatting:

Now here`s one with comments and links as well as domains.  See how it's formatted:

What I've Learned
The above is how I used to format the disavow file in the past.  I wrote comments as if I was making an argument to some poor Googler, convincing him or her to disavow the links. Yet now I`ve learned that no human reads the comments, so since then I make it much easier on myself by not spending a lot of time on them.  Keeping the text uncluttered with comments also makes it easier for the the disavow tool to read the list of links to be disavowed and ensure greater accuracy.  Now when I disavow, I make all the pages into domains and leave out the comments.

The other posts in this series are:
How to Find Bad Links
How to Remove Bad Links Part One - Ask for Removal on the Site Itself
How to Remove Bad Links Part Two - Use Whois to Find the Owner
How to Remove Bad Links Part Three - Create the Disavow Tool Text

Ducktoes Search Engine Optimization can help you disavow your bad links and recover your ranking.  We are an SEO firm in Calgary.