Friday 21 December 2012

Google's Disavow Tool: Use With Caution

Google Disavow Links Tool
Google launched its new Disavow Link tool on October 16, 2012. The new tool allows webmasters to ask Google not to consider specific in-bound links when ranking a site. Disavowing links can help sites recover from Penguin penalties. Overuse of the tool could also cut a wide swath through your search engine optimization results.

Penguin and Link-Building

Google's Penguin algorithm targets artificial and aggressive link-building tactics. Sites with large amounts of low-quality, spammy or artificial-looking in-bound links took serious hits to their search engine ranking and traffic because of Penguin. Such links suggest paid links or attempts to manipulate page rankings through links.

Websites hit by Penguin receive a bad-link warning and ranking penalty. Webmasters can appeal Google's decision by removing poor-quality links and then asking for reconsideration. This usually involves contacting other websites and asking them to remove the link.

Stubborn Links

Unfortunately, not all websites remove links on request. If the site doesn't receive regular attention, your request may not reach the webmaster. If the site benefits from the link in some way, it may avoid complying with your request.

Low-quality links you never requested may be a sign of negative SEO, where a competitor uses spammy links to damage your Google standing. Such attacks are very rare but do occasionally occur.

Disavowing Links

If low-quality links continue to plague your SEO, you can use the Disavow Link tool to request Google ignore the link when the search engine evaluates the site. Google notes that the tool is not a cure-all; you should still work to have unwanted in-bound links removed.

The Disavow Link tool does not ensure Google will ignore the link. You're asking Google to ignore the link, not demanding. Google will consider such requests but will use its own judgment when reviewing disavowed links.

Not so Fast!

Think of the Disavow Link tool as a band saw. The tool is powerful, useful and if used incorrectly you're going to wind up missing a limb.

Most websites won't need to use Disavow Link at all. Only consider disavowing links if you've been hit hard by Penguin, received a bad-link warning, or been penalized by Google for poor link quality.

Why be cautious? Even low-quality links can improve your SEO. Unless you're working closely with an SEO company, you could disavow links that actually help your page ranking. Overuse of the Disavow Link tool could damage your SEO as much as low-quality links, so pick the links you disavow carefully.

One last warning. Whatever you do, don't disavow internal links. Doing so will really confuse Google, as you're saying your own pages provide low-quality links and should be avoided. Like trimming fingernails with a band saw, that's not going to end well.

About The Author: Carl Glasmyre is an aspiring writer. He's passionate about a variety of subjects including technology, marketing, and anything Internet-related. He's constantly striving to strengthen his writing skills and is continuously grateful that the Internet allows him to share his thoughts with the world.

Did you find this article helpful? Have you used Google's Disavow Link tool? Please let Carl and myself know by leaving us your valued comments below.

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Related Articles:
5 Helpful Tips To Recover From Recent Penguin Update
Cowboy Internet Marketers: Beware Of The Mighty Penguin!

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1 comment:

  1. With receiving a warning from Google about low quality links to my website, I used the new disavow tool as I was unable to receive a reply from the webmasters of those sites.

    As you stated in your article, do use caution when using this tool as the consequences could be dire to your SEO.


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