After years of asking and months of promises, Google has finally launched their disavow links feature. A little late behind the Bing Webmaster tool, disavowing links allows webmasters to discredit un-favorable links to their site.
Disavowing links has become more important than ever since the Penguin updates. These updates directly targeted ‘non-quality’ inbound links to your domain. This could have happened by optimizers SPAMMING their way to the top of the search engine results pages, either on behalf of your site or of a past owner of your domain. Unfavorable quality links included those from pop up websites, in comments sections of blogs, and more.
Trying to rid their top results pages of irrelevant content, Google’s Penguin update was a blessing for those search optimizers that have always relied on not only white hat SEO, but building actual, quality links. For those that have practiced bad link building, they saw their websites hit hard.
Up until now, clearing up bad links was a pain staking process. At times, you were able to build your way out of it. By creating actual, quality links, it was possible to minimize the negative effects of the older links by simply expanding the ratio of quality links to non-quality links. This did not work in every case though. Some sites were just buried too deep.
In that case, it required sorting through sometimes tens of thousands of inbound links, then denoting the page rank, domain and page authority, page location, etc. With Penguin those once useful links counted against your site more than ever. In order to disavow them yourself, it required hours of sifting through websites looking for contact information or looking the domain up on WhoIs or a similar site if not listed. Then you would have to request that the link be removed via email. Some webmasters oblige, while others you won’t even get a response from. Following up and keeping track of the links removed and those you were waiting on could consume a massive amount of hours depending on how many there were.
And this was just for Google. Bing has allowed you to one by one, enter and confirm the page you wished to be disavowed in Webmaster Tools. Google came back with something even easier. Simply upload the text file of the list of websites that you’d like disavowed, and Google will do it. They warned not to go crazy with this feature and to tread lightly, as removing the wrong links can also have a negative impact on your site. It can also take up to several weeks for the link to be disavowed, but none the less, the Google Disavow Link tool is here and we couldn’t be happier!