On October 17th, Google announced the much anticipated “Disavow Links” tool in Google Webmaster Tools.
This tool finally gives webmasters the much-needed ability to tell Google to “ignore” specific links and domains from poor quality link-sources.Google’s new Disavow Links Tool allows any site owner to upload a list of URLs, with the promise that links from that site will be excluded from ranking algorithms within a matter of weeks.
This is what the interface looks like:
If you have been a Penguin casualty, and can’t seem to recover, then you can use this new Link Disavow tool to essentially “delete” the poor quality links that are poisoning your website.
Matt Cutts reveals in this video that it may take a few weeks for any links that you wish to be disavowed to take effect in the rankings.
This essentially gives people the power to report link or spam detection.
We all know what happens when the people are given such power, no control. Millions of webmasters will be submitting long lists of low-quality or spamming sites, which Google can then use in its algorithm to penalize not only the sites that are providing these poor quality links, but also those that are linked to by these sites. This spells disaster for any site that makes it too easy to get a link back to your site. Popular sources of links have been: Blog comments, Forums, Article Directories, Web Site Directories (I am guilty of this), Social Bookmarking Accounts etc.The sites that give out too many links, too easily will most likely see poor pages or even their entire domain get penalized. What’s worse is that a penalized domain may also penalize other sites that it links to. Much of what I’ve mentioned is speculation on my part at this point, but with this additional data, Google is free to incorporate these kinds of reports into its ranking algorithm. This data has never been available on this scale before. So it stands to reason that Search Engine De-Optimization will continue. So, what does Google Want from a Link? How do you differentiate from poor quality links and high-quality links? Google genuinely wants links to be a vote of confidence for a site. Google wants links that are true measures of citation. Here is a good guideline: Good links are those which an actual human being took the time to approve (the link or content containing the link). Bad links are links that can be created automatically with no human intervention or quality review. By reading or re-reading the Google Webmaster Guidelines you will get a feel of what they consider good and bad links. They’ve recently updated it to include a range of examples to make this distinction clearer.As a website owner you need to do the following immediately. If you have any form of link-exchange plugin or system on your website, remove it immediately. If you participate in any form of poor quality link-building system then stop immediately. Most people shouldn’t need to use this tool at all.
Resources you need to check:
The official Disavow Links announcement – Google Webmaster Central Blog
Penguin was the first salvo against link-spam, now this Disavow Links Tool has changed the SEO game once again. This is perhaps, the most significant change in the history of SEO.
Hope you enjoyed this post.
Please leave any suggestions and share if you like it.