Do you ever feel like your site is being held hostage by bad links? When you’re trying to clean up your inbound links and you find one that you just can’t remove, and then websites ask for exorbitant fees to remove them, it can feel a bit like you’re in a hostage situation and negotiating for the reputation of your site.
Fortunately, there’s a tool for that. Just disavow those links.
“But Google doesn’t like it when we disavow links instead of getting rid of them!” you protest. Hey, don’t worry about it. Sure, Google would rather you remove links. But the disavow tool is made for situations where you are trying to get rid of bad or harmful links and you just can’t manage it. Or, for example, the site that linked them asks a few hundred bucks as a removal fee.
In a Google hangout, spokesman John Mueller said the following in response to a question about paying to remove links:
“Personally I’d recommend not going down that route. If this is something that you want to have removed just for Google’s indexing and crawling then probably it’s ok to just list it in the disavow file. On the other hand, if it is something you want to have removed from the web completely and you don’t want to have this reference on the web for your website then maybe you can talk to those webmasters to see what you can do about having those things removed. But, essentially from our point of view when it comes to unnatural links to your website we want to see that you’ve taken significant steps to actually remove it from the web but if there are some links that you can’t remove yourself or there are some that require payment to be removed then having those in the disavow file is fine as well.”
Charging for link removals (which can be only $20 but sometimes runs up to $500 per link) is a suspect practice at best. They’re just trying to make a profit off of your desire to do the best for your company, and it seems hardly fair to cave into that pressure. So use the disavow tool instead; that’s what it’s there for. Don’t worry, Google understands and you won’t be penalized for some other site’s money-grabbing practices.
So don’t let bad links make a dent to either your rank or your bank – disavow the links and let your site free.