If you’re confused when, why and how to decline links – you’re not alone.
We all know that backlinks are crucial to your SEO success, but the quality of those backlinks can make a difference in that success.
This post will help you understand when and how to submit a Google opt-out file, which is important for protecting your domain.
Let’s dive in – but first, what’s the denial tool?
What is the opt-out tool?
The Disapproval Tool gives you the option to ask Google to ignore low-quality backlinks to your website.
When you submit a denial file to Google, you’re asking them to ignore certain links pointing to your domain. They have no obligation to respect your request, but if they do, these links will not be used to rank your search results.
However, it’s important to understand that refusing backlinks won’t remove them from your backlink profile.
Do you really need to use the opt-out tool?
Google has made it clear that they want you to use the opt-out tool only if you need until.
They recommend that you use it if you have a manual spam penalty or if you have knowingly participated in link-building practices that may harm you.
In 2019, Google Webmaster Trends analyst John Mueller spoke about the opt-out tool Google Webmaster Central opening hours.
He says, “I don’t think you need to use the opt-out tool for most of the websites on it, and for the vast majority of them. which everyone should use. “
Mueller says: “[The disavow tool] is really something you really need to use only in extreme cases. “
To determine if you can benefit from opting out, you need to analyze your backlink profile, which you can learn more about below. However, if you knowingly participated in the practice of considering a backlink as unethical, it would be likely that a denial would be helpful.
What is considered a bad backlink?
Before we tell you how to opt out, it’s important to understand what makes a backlink bad.
Google considers any link that is designed to manipulate PageRank or the ranking of a website to be a bad link. They want you to work on creating great content that is, of course, linked!
If you’ve intentionally participated in any type of link building campaign, chances are you may have bad backlinks.
This may include:
- Purchased links
- Link schemes
- Product for backlinks
- Link exchanges
- Footer links
You can look at your links in different tools and see a lot of spam-like links and think you need to get rid of them – but you don’t have to worry about them.
Google understands and ignores spam to some extent.
As an example, here are some links from a website at Ahrefs. These are all spam and none of them have DR ratings:
I don’t bother rejecting them because they’re probably links to many websites, and Google is smart enough to know that we didn’t create them to manipulate our backlink profile.
When should you discard a file?
Google has stated that most websites do not need to reject links and should only be used under certain conditions.
Below are some examples of when a refusal may be recommended or necessary.
1. Manual action: unnatural links to your site
This is a time when you definitely want to refuse. If your website has been manually penalized due to its linking practices, the denial of links must remove that penalty.
If your website is connected to the search console – and it should be – you will be notified when your website has been manually manipulated.
At this point, you should begin analyzing the links in the search console and try to find any links that may be in violation of Google’s guidelines.
If you find infringing backlinks, the first step would be to contact the owner of the website on the backlink and ask them to remove it. If that doesn’t work, you can try using a denial file.
If you’ve removed or disabled the links, you can select the “Request a review” button in the manual action report and ask them to remove the action.
2. Link schemes
If you knowingly participated in link schemes, you may find it helpful to include them in your opt-out file. These are links that you or someone else you have paid for. These can be links to a private blogging network (PBN) or even guest posts on websites that don’t matter to your niche.
It was a long time ago to add profiles to any directory that had a link to your website with your “money keyword” because the anchor text was very furious. Maybe you are to blame for this or your hired SEO is – but these are the links that should be removed. If you can remove them manually, it’s best to add them to the opt-out if we can’t remove the link.
Another old tactic was to spam comments on other blogs and add keyword-rich anchor text to the comments box or even the name field.
If you have backlinks from comments, directories, or editorial links with anchor text, such as “buy red gadgets” or “best tennis”, it’s a good idea to add them to your opt-out file if the link can’t be removed or changed. This type of link usually assumes your first name or brand name.
Find all your backlinks
To create the most accurate analysis, you need to get as much backlink data as possible and understand how to analyze that data.
You can use a variety of tools to review the link links, and you can choose to upload them all to a spreadsheet for manual review, or you can analyze the tool directly.
Here are some options for finding backlinks:
1. Google Search Console.
In the Google Search Console, you can go to the links area and click the export external links button, then click More sample links to get a complete list of links to your website.
2. Semrush, Ahrefs, Moz or your preferred tool.
Export the list of backlinks and associate it with your Google Search Console file or analyze your data in the software.
3. Link audit tool.
There are some tools that can really help you minimize your time when auditing your link readings LinkResearchTools.
Semrush is also a backlink audit tool that shows all your backlinks and gives them a toxicity score based on a variety of factors. You can work directly from the control panel to evaluate the links and determine if they are really toxic or not.
If they are, you can then add them to the opt-out tool. Once you’ve reviewed them all, you can download a formatted disavow .txt file and submit the tool.
Although it is a useful tool, not all of your backlinks are in its database! However, you should also review it manually using other tools.
Create an opt-out file
Once you’ve finished evaluating your links, you can create a disavow.txt file to upload to the Google Search Console.
Create a disavow.txt file
Below are some Google instructions file creation.
- The file name must end in .txt
- The file size cannot exceed 2 MB and 100,000 lines
- Each URL should have its own line
- If you want to disable the entire domain, you should start the line domain:
- If you want to decline a URL, you can simply enter the URL
Below is a sample portion of the opt-out file I created recently as an example.
If you add # before the text, you can add comments, Google will ignore these lines.
If you want to test your denial file before uploading the file, you can use the file Opt out of the file testing tool created by former Google engineer Fili Wiese.
Upload rejection file
Once you’ve finished your opt-out file, you can upload it to the opt-out tool in the Google Search Console.
Here are some simple steps to upload a rejection.
- Sign in to the Google Search Console
- Go https://search.google.com/search-console/disavow-links
- Select the attribute to which you want to add the denial file
- Click the upload list upload button and locate the .txt file you want to add
If you uploaded the previous disavow.txt file, your new file will override it. If there are problems with your file, you will see error messages and be asked to upload a corrected version.
While there is no guarantee that submitting a denial file will help, it has progress reports when using it.
It takes Google to process the information you upload, so you need to be patient.
There’s no way to know if a disavow.txt file is doing what you want, but keeping track of your rank, organic traffic, and impressions can be a good indicator.