In the wake of the Penguin update, which was released to penalize high ranking sites with low quality spam-links, Google has just released their latest webmaster’s tool, “Disavow Links.”  This feature, announced on October 16, 2012, is aimed at site owners who believe that low quality links are harming the performance of their website.

The Benefits of Disavow Links

Back when it was considered best practice to purchase links, or even in the case of malicious intent, there are sites that have spam-links pointed to their website from all corners of the web.  After the release of Penguin, many of these site owners experienced a rapid drop in their rankings, and need a tool to disavow links to their site.

How to Disavow Links to your Site

This is an advanced feature and it should only be used if the site owner is absolutely positive that they have bad links pointing to their site.  Disavow links can take several weeks to take affect and any changes could re-start the process.  It is recommended that publishers remove the unnatural links, if they can, before using disavow links.

To use disavow links visit Google’s Webmaster Tools for the feature and enter your site.  You will be prompted to upload the files containing the links in question.  The format is a plain text with one URL per line.  If you would like to comment about efforts that have been initiated to have the links removed precede it with a pound sign (#). The “domain:” keyword will communicate that you would like to disavow links from all of the pages on the particular site.  You can also disavow links on a specific page to give your site a fresh start and help it to regain its rankings.