By Nicolas Pustilnick

The Google Disavow tool – Are we in charge of our own link profiles?

It all commenced with Bing: yes, Bing launched the same tool around 3 months ago and the whole SEO world went mad.

After reading many posts (please find the list below) and attending many webinars, particularly one from SEO Samurai co-hosted by the SEO legend Leslie from SEO Fast, we have a few things to say about it.

First of all, what is the disavow tool?

It is a tool within the Webmasters platform that lets site owners disavow or disassociate external links pointing to their websites.

And it looks like this:

disavow_tool

Basically, after Google launched Penguin back in 24th of April, targeting:

1. Aggressive exact-match anchor text
2. Overuse of exact-match domains
3. Low-quality article marketing & blog spam
4. Keyword stuffing in internal/outbound links

the whole game was changed. Link building was one the most used techniques and anchor texts were the most effective and fast ways for increasing rankings. Now the technique was under threat.

What happened? Google realized this was spamming the whole index and getting the most relevant content outranked by garbage.

But this wasn’t the only problem. Unfortunately, spamming other people’s domains has become increasingly common (not yet more than 10%, experts say, but increasing). Basically, creating crappy links using automated tools pointing to a domain to decrease their page authority was considered a strategy.  With this scenario unfolding, Google decided to empower website owners by letting them determine which links they want to be identified with and which they don’t.

A few considerations:

Remember, Google’s algorithm is becoming more intelligent every day. With a network of more than 1 billion computers worldwide and an incredible power of indexation, it is very obvious Google recognizes low-quality pages. So now the SEO community is asking: do they want us us to accept that we did create crappy links and to ask for forgiveness, or are they going to blacklist us? What impact it will it have if I start disavowing obviously low quality links? Can the disavow tool become the next spamming technique, as allowing me to disavow my competitors’ links? Speculation aside, we need to go slowly, test, wait and read what the community is posting about the subject.

In what scenarios is the tool best be used?

Below is classic post penguin Google Webmaster’s message.  We suggest using it in this case, because the website has been penalised.

Is important to the entire link profile, order them by anchor text and presumably start disavowing the obvious low quality ones, and then wait a couple of weeks and test the results.

disavow tool 2

If you haven’t receive the message is because your website hasn’t been penalised  so don’t hurry up and start disavowing as Google have more than 300 hundred variables to categorise a link and not any one single software can tell you 100% if the link actually is harming you.
Having said that, it is still a great move from Google and for us webmasters as it will let us ‘’apparently’’ disassociate the website from low quality links which in the past took ages and a lot of time and sometimes many to des index.

So get into webmasters and start playing test and error, and keep yourself updated by reading the usual suspects SEO blogs and news, which will have more news about this issue in the near future.

Some interesting articles about Google disavow:

http://searchengineland.com/google-disavowing-links-removal-138149

http://www.seomoz.org/blog/googles-disavow-tool-take-a-deep-breath

http://www.seobook.com/google-disavow-tool

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