Negative SEO Techniques: Here’s How To Protect Your Site – Case Study
The same applies even in the field of Blogging. If your fellow blogger is more successful than you are, you either get inspired with the work or you get jealous and dirty and try to get him down. One such easy way of getting the other blogger down is by bringing his blog/ website down. That is the reason many bloggers try to keep their blog secret and not reveal it. They are afraid of their own kind of people, “The Bloggers”.
As you have seen in the previous case study, a site "All India Youth" was performing absolutely great in all its categories making more than 8 Million Page Views months ago before it got some bad links.
You can see from the below screenshot, the number of links and referring domains to All India Youth.
What to do when this happens with your Blog?
Firstly, you need to consistently keep an eye on the number of sites linking to your site. We are actually lucky that we were aware of whats happening before it had adverse effects on the blog.
Having backlinks to your site is really good, but the quality of the links also matters a lot. Higher the number of quality links better is the authority of the site. But what if there are a huge number of bad quality links to your site or from an adult or gambling site? These irrelevant bad quality links will definitely hurt your rankings.
So, for this reason, Google released a Disavow Tool which enables you to tell Google not to consider or count specific backlinks. This tool helps you to remove certain domains or URLs and does not consider those as a ranking factor.
The working of this tool is simple, you just need to list out the URLs which are linking back and submit it. But you need to be very careful while performing this task, as removal of even good links will affect your site and make the rankings go down.
Understanding the Disavow Tool
Before using the Google Disavow Tool, understanding it completely is important because a small mistake or negligence may act as self-destruction of your own site. Google itself shows a disclaimer when it comes to submitting to the Disavow Tool. It basically puts up this warning because disavowing links before an attempt to remove them is dangerous. The below screenshot shows the caution in support.google.com.
When should you use the Disavow Tool?
The Disavow Tool can be used for various reasons. It’s not only when someone does harmful link building to your site. Here I have put forwards a few reasons to use the Disavow Tool.
- Use it when your site receives a manual penalty.
- When you are worried about Negative SEO.
- When you see link bomb attack and afraid if it hits your site.
- When your site receives an Algorithmic penalty.
- When you find that someone has built toxic links to your site.
Manual penalties are the main reason why Google developed the Disavow Tool. If you receive a manual penalty then you definitely have to use this tool.
How to use Google’s Disavow Tool?
Request for Removal
Before using the Disavow Tool, try to remove the low-quality toxic links to your site. This is one of the most important factors to consider. Try to message or contact the bad bloggers to remove the links, once it is unsuccessful then you can go about to disavow the links. If the links were built by someone manually out of ego, then removing them is practically not possible. So you can go for the Disavow Tool.
Create a Disavow File
The first thing you need to do is to create a Disavow File. The file must basically consist of all the links you want Google to Disavow. So collect the links from Google Webmaster Tools or any other tool like ahrefs.
Using ‘#’ at the beginning of the line will be taken as a comment. This should be mentioned so as to let Google know that you have already tried to remove the unwanted toxic links before submitting the disavow.
You will often be rejected with the file you submit. So, you have to follow few steps to submit it successfully.
- It should be a .txt file.
- Each URL should be placed in a new line.
- If you want to disavow links from the entire domain, then you should add “domain:” in front of the line. Eg: domain:example.com
Submit Disavow File
Simple Steps to be followed to submit the file to Google Disavow Tool:
- Go to the Disavow Tool
- Select the site which got affected
- Click “Disavow Links”
- Upload the file you created
- Click “Submit”
Once you have successfully submitted the file to the Disavow Tool, you need to just wait till Google takes action and clears all the toxic links. Generally, Google says that it takes a few weeks or sometimes even more.
Follow all the steps correctly and you can submit the disavow file to the tool. The Disavow Tool will not help you to increase your rankings in search engines, but it offers a remedy to a sudden penalty on your site either manually, by other idiotic bloggers or due to some algorithm.
Our experience is a warning to all you fellow bloggers, reminding that tomorrow there might be an attack on your site. Keep an eye on all your blogs. Beware of the Blogger dogs in this Blogosphere.