Hit by Negative SEO, Google Disavow is the answer
SEO or search engine optimization is a process through which you strategize the content on your website so as to increase its search rankings on search engine results. Then there is negative SEO which is a weapon used by rivals to bring down your website by attaching bad links to your site. In 2012, Google cracked down hard on negative SEO practices.
Hit by Negative SEO?
A large number of useless pages had been over optimized in order to rank high on search engine results and something had to be done about it. As a result, Google has to ban or de-rank many webpages. A large number of genuine websites also suffered because they couldn’t battle negative SEO at that point.
The very first thing to do is to actually clean up all the bad links from the actual webpage. You don’t want the viewers of your website to see a bunch of irrelevant links. This might damage your website’s reputation. This will also protect you against getting blacklisted with search engines. The next thing to do is to contact Google and they will permanently get rid of that link for you. That link might have been planted there by a competitor who wishes to discredit your site.
Many webmasters have been into link generation and link building for a long time now. This, however, attracted a lot of negative SEO. A penguin or negative SEO was pretty much untouched till now. Now, Google geeks have come up with a tool called ‘Google Disavow’ to battle negative SEO and it actually works. Earlier, people had to contact webmasters to target and bring down irrelevant links. Now, with Google Disavow, users just need to upload all the bad links in the form of a text file. This will effectively get rid of any link that might be causing damage to your website’s reputation. However, the standard uploading format is one link per upload.
However, Google encourages only those people who are deeply involved in link based aggressive SEO tactics to use this tool. If you are an average blogger or even a regular content professional, it might not be necessary for you to use Google Disavow. This is also mentioned in the disclaimer of the tool. For those who plan on using it, Google Disavow also allows you to block links from particular domains. If you have an inappropriate link or links from a particular domain, you can upload a text file mentioning the word domain and then the link.
One very important thing to remember is that once you disavow a link, it is very difficult to undo that. The process might take a long time and hence, one should always make sure that they really want to get rid of that link. Google is already overwhelmed with the number of links that need to be disavowed. As a result, the links that need to be re-avowed might be put on a backseat. So Google really encourages people to review their actions again and again before they submit their links to Google.
It is pretty much clear that this tool is a complicated once. SEO experts, black hat and white hat alike, will soon be figuring out ways to beat this tool by finding loopholes in the system. While this move is inevitable, Google will be working its way around it and will be bettering the tool with time and experience. Meanwhile, you can use this tool to protect your website from unethical competitors. This tool is here to stay and is the best thing to happen to webmasters who have battling negative SEO for a while now.