If you have encountered an unnatural links penalty, it is necessary that you upload a disavow file to your Google Webmaster Tools account prior to submitting a reconsideration request. Even if you have not been hit with a manual penalization from Google, you may be the victim of a negative SEO attack or your past SEO may have built links on low quality sites which are now either unresponsive or ask for payment. If any of these situations apply to you, it may be necessary to disavow those bad links and / or websites.
When creating your disavow file, make sure to be very thorough when clipping the URLs. We include this warning as there is a lot of weird URL structure out there with ‘$’, ‘#’, and other symbols that will cause errors with disavow file uploads. Additionally, you want to be sure to ONLY disavow URLs and domains that are unnaturally linking to your site, and avoid disavowing good sites like Google Plus, Youtube, DMOZ, BOTW, etc.
We have put together a step-by-step guide for webmasters like you about how to submit a disavow file!
HOW DO I SUBMIT A DISAVOW FILE
First, follow this link:
Log into an owner-level account (whichever one you use for Google WMT access) and it will show this page:
Select your site from the drop-down and click the RED ‘Disavow Links’ button, which will bring you to the following page:
Click the GRAY ‘Disavow Links’ button which will open a window within the browser:
First, select the new disavow file you wish to upload, then click submit.
You’ve just successfully submitted a disavow file – congratulations! To double-check the success of an upload, you should receive a message in your Google Webmaster Tools account (and associated emails) with a disavow file upload summary.
Please be aware, it may take several weeks or months for a disavow file to take ‘effect.’ Google’s crawlers must re-index the disavowed sites to negate the PageRank from the unnatural links that have been disavowed. Additionally, the disavow tool should be used very cautiously, as you want to avoid disavowing healthy links. If you have doubts about your disavow file, please reach out to us with your questions at [email protected].