It’s become a tangled web where SEO seems to be getting more confusing by the minute. The Google Disavow Links tool can help. But, it needs to be approached with caution…
Google and the other search engines use complex algorithms to help them determine how to rank webpages. One factor in that equation is links. Places your webpages point to tell Google about you. But links pointing to your website pages tell Google a lot about you, too. Sometimes the links pointing to you don’t tell an accurate or adequate story.
SEO algorithm updates like Google Panda and Google Penguin have meant that SEO needs to be treated more strategically, rather than site owners doing whatever they can to get links pointing at them. Google doesn’t just ignore bad links any longer; too many negative links could hurt your site’s performance in search engines and could continually send your site down the ranks until you no longer get organic traffic.
Page Rank isn’t About Quantity, It’s About Quality, Too
If sites that point to your site are not relevant to your site, are considered spammy in their own SEO approach, or when there are sites that are definite spam sites (such as pornography, gambling, online pharmacies, etc) links pointing to your website can send Google the wrong message about your business and you can be considered guilty by association.
Don’t Be Tagged Guilty By Association
Just like part of your SEO strategy may be to list to ‘good’ sites so that it elevates your online profile, other sites may be trying to link to your site to elevate their own profile. It can be frustrating, especially if your site seems to be being targeted by a lot of unsavoury sites.
The Google Disavow links tool was just released on October 16th and already it’s getting a round of applause from webmasters and SEO specialists because it helps sites that are having issues with spam domains. Many site owners have been unnerved by getting notices about unnatural links pointing to their site. While this tool won’t cure the problem overnight you’ll now have a course of action to take when your site is being targeted and you haven’t had success in disconnecting those links.
Google wants site owners to use the tool with caution. Haphazardly using it could harm your site’s search engine results performance. Link pruning can be smart. But not all links from others sites pointing to you are going to hurt your site. Some will help you and some are simply benign. For that reason, most experts recommend that unless you are extremely well-versed in SEO that you leverage the services of an SEO specialist to help you ensure that bad links aren’t hurting your site’s search engine rankings.
A thorough SEO analysis of your site can reveal if any site links or other issues you weren’t aware of are causing problems or hampering your performance organically with Google. An attempt to resolve the issue with the site owner is a good approach as most site owners will remove the links if asked so that they can avoid problems with their web host or advertisers. The Google Disavow Links tool can be used as an alternative when these efforts prove fruitless.
The tool that Google created is simple but will result in their ignoring specific links. Google will assess links on a case by case basis before removing them and that could take time.
For info about the tool, you can check out the official Google blog post on the Disavow Links tool.
Get Help with Your SEO and Make Sure Links are Helping, Not Hurting Your Efforts
For help with your SEO and with ensuring that your links are helping you and not hurting you, talk to us. We are an SEO company who offers strategic SEO analysis, search engine optimisation services, online web marketing assistance, and more.
(Image: Free Digital Photos.net – David Castillo Dominici)