Using the New Link Disavow Tool
You can now legally divorce your bad links with Google Webmaster Tools link disavow tool, but the warnings that come with this good news, make it sound as though you’re in for a messy one. Unfortunately, due to the warnings, which we have yet to fully understand, it doesn’t sound like an easy $250 divorce with a mediator. You first have to make every effort to remove the bad links manually (like marriage counseling) and save this shiny new tool to use as a last resort.
Too much partying back in the day spinning hundreds of articles and you now find yourself linked from a bunch of link farms? 4,000 directory links for $5 at Fivr? You’ve got your work cut out for you. Not every website has a contact page and many that do, don’t have responsive webmasters. If the link farm went down the tubes, there’s not much in it for its webmaster to have to exert an effort on your behalf. He’s got bigger problems.
When you’re talking hundreds of hours to remove spammy links or paying thousands of dollars to a company to do the clean-up, a quick file upload sounds like the easiest solution. But, if Google has the option to choose whether or not to listen to your disavow suggestion, it does sound like they don’t want to grant your request so easily. So, you’re left wondering what factors come into play in determining whether your disavowed link request will be honored. Will they look at sites with long lists of bad links and expect a manual removal first, thus determining they aren’t letting you off the hook so easily? Reminds me of family court where no matter what the law is, what actually happens depends on the judge and the judge’s mood that day.
If you’ve received an unnatural link warning in Webmaster Tools, it seems pretty safe to say that your website should benefit from using this tool. But, webmasters should tread carefully before disavowing a bunch of links that may actually be beneficial. I think the safest thing to do would be to limit the disavowing only to those links which you know to be blatant spam, and then wait a few months to see what happens. You can always update the text file submitted to include more urls if you’re not satisfied with the results. But, it’s safer to remove less so you don’t overdo it.