As all SEO practitioners will know, when Google released its Penguin update, the internet search giant began to get a whole lot tougher on what they classified as bad links. Anything seen as being an example of spamming or indicative of purchased backlinks led to the search ranking of the website being demoted by Google.
We discussed negative SEO in our recent blog post “Negative SEO Rears Its Ugly Head Again“. Basically, some site-owners are worried that devious SEO practitioners are creating bad backlinks spamming their website with the intention of damaging their search rankings. Fortunately, Google’s new disavow links tool will help concerned site-owners communicate to Google which links they feel are malignant spam.
The Google Disavow Links Tool
The video above is of Matt Cutts, head of Google’s Webspam Team, as he discusses the new Google Disavow Links Tool. It is essential viewing for SEO practitioners and site owners, especially those who have found themselves penalised by Google.
Using the disavow links tool, you can highlight the links you would like Google to ignore. However, remember that Google may take some time to process your disavow request, as it will take a while for them to analyse the links you have suggested are bad. In the aftermath of the Penguin update, it’s safe to say that the disavow links tool will be receiving some heavy usage.
Are There Considerations To Be Made Before Using the Disavow Links Tool?
Yes, particularly if you have been using white hat SEO techniques consistently and haven’t used spammy methods like guestbook spam, forum spam, blog spam and comment spam to automatically generate backlinks. If you have used these techniques in the past, you may have been heavily penalised by Google and be in need of the Disavow Links Tool. Afterwards, you should clean up your SEO strategy to stay on Google’s right side in the future!
Matt Cutts clearly states in the video that you should only use the Disavow Links Tool if you have engaged in some aggressive spamming as part of your past SEO strategy. Your website may have suffered from poorly executed SEO work, in-house or outsourced, which can hopefully now be rectified.
Google has given site-owners and SEO practitioners the opportunity to clean up their backlinks with the Disavow Links Tool, which should hopefully steer them toward white hat SEO techniques in the future that meet the requirements of Google’s stricter algorithms. It’s important to get the right SEO professionals to carry out this work.
Of course, the Disavow Links Tool will be useful for anybody who genuinely believes they have been the victim of negative SEO. The jury is still out as to how much of a threat negative SEO really is, but the Disavow Links Tool at least provides a ray of hope for anybody monitoring their links that sees a malignant pattern of bad links having an adverse effect on their search ranking.