Matt Cutts, head of the Google Webspam team released this video today discussing some of the most common mistakes people make when using the disavow tool in Google webmaster tools.
Google launched the disavow tool last October. It’s primary goal was to help website owners who were impacted by Google’s Penguin Update, an update which focused on paid and spammy links. Another use for the disavow tool was to combat negative SEO – to help innocent webmasters targeted with paid links by competitors.
Matts video today focus’s on the main mistakes Google see:
- Upload a plain TXT file only as files can be rejected when people upload Microsoft Word and Excel spreadsheets.
- On first request users are often too specific with links, trying to disavow a link from a certain page on a website when they should disavow links from the whole website, this can be done by using domain:nameofsite.com
- Wrong syntax in the TXT file upladed. When using domain:do not use https or www. just “domain:sitename.com”
- Do not describe the context of the links you want to disavow in the TXT file. You can use the reconsideration request form for this.
- Manually try to clean up your links without the use of the disavow tool as well, don’t just try using the disavow tool as a short cut.