October 23, 2012 Richard Hartley

Google Disavow Links Tool Arrives

Google has taken a huge step in helping those web masters and SEO noobies who have found themselves at the wrong end of Penguin. If you have not received any communications from Google saying that your website has been suspected of unnatural links then you probably don’t need the Google Disavow Links Tool. In fact Google’s own Matt Cutts has specifically warned against anyone using the tool other than as a last resort.

I am sure I do not have to rehearse the history behind Google Penguin and the depth at which this anti spam update ripped through the online world. How many SEO horror stories have we read about previously successful websites having their search engine rankings decimated.

I have to say that I have little sympathy for some of those website owners who have used nefarious and Black Hat SEO techniques to manipulate Google and get an unfair advantage. They are the very reason why Google created Penguin and to them I say good bye and good riddance. All they have done is force the tightening of regulations within a world that was meant to be without boundaries. Their cheating ways have just made it even more dificult for the rest of us.

There are a huge swathe of web site owners stuck in the middle. Those who have been sold a pup from so called SEO Companies that have concentrated on cheap back link services; and those who have followed some of the dreadful and out of date advice on the web. For these guys, Google has raised a sympathetic hand and introduced the Google Disavow Links Tool.

The major issue that has arisen from Penguin is the damage that can be caused from having bad back links. It does make me smile that only a couple of years ago the SEO mantra was “get as many back links as you can.” Those trying to manipulate the system purely concentrated on quantity, not caring for quality. They hammered anchor text, with little or no diversity and without a care about the reputation of the domain that the link was coming from. For a time this worked but after Penguin was launched what they woke to were lower rankings and a warning that their website had shown an “unnatural link” profile. The big problem was that many website owners had employed so called SEO companies who employed these same tactics but without letting their clients know or understand the risks they were taking.

Here spawned a new albeit temporary SEO side industry, that of getting bad back links removed. A job easier said than done. Website owners had to physically check their website’s back links and assess which were good and which were bad. When a bad back link was discovered then administrator of that website had to be contacted and the website owner requesting that the back link be removed. Of course the administrator could ignore that contact and many of them did.

Google has realised the problem that has been left in the wake of Penguin. Admittedly a problem not actually caused by Google but one that they have crystalised.

The Google Disavow Links Tool is like an invitation to an amnesty. Google knows, or suspects that your website has had some unnatural link activity and has told you as such. The Disavow Links Tool allows you to indicate to Google certain back links that you want them to ignore. This way you are letting Google know that you do not want to be associated with that back link anymore.

Google’s own Matt Cutts has produced a short video on the subject which we hope will give you a better insight into this new Google tool.

If you wish to use the Google Disavow Links Tool then please click the link and sign into your Google Webmaster Account.


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About the Author

Richard Hartley Richard Hartley is Head of Strategy at the Digital Marketing Agency, Big Red Rocket. Richard is a an expert in Digital Marketing for professional organisations, such as Solicitor's Firms, Barristers' Chambers, Accountants and Architects. He is a key exponent of content driven digital marketing and his commentary work is regularly published under the soubriquet of "wiredbarrister". Richard is a significant, prime mover in Content Driven SEO and specialises in the creation, publication and distribution of content though a number of media channels and social networks; such as Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus. Richard has worked for a number of household names and has a loyal band of professional clients who retain his services. Richard can be contacted at Big Red Rocket by calling 0161 410 0351 or your can send an email by clicking here.