Google Disavow Links Tool
Penguin and its associated refreshes have webmasters peering over their backlink profiles. The resulting activity has some site owners asking the source to remove links. But this isn’t always possible and others may be unclear about what backlinks are hurting their ranking.
The recent public launch of Google’s Disavow Links Tool may help but at the current time it’s unproven. Google’s head of web spam Matt Cutts suggests the tool should only be used by those receiving messages about their links from Webmaster Tools. But I wonder if that will enough to stop businesses trying to fiddle with it?
The Disallow Links Tool
Links are central to Google’s algorithm even though they are only 1 of 200 or so ranking factors. But Google knows sites may not have full control over what sites link to theirs. Perhaps Google is also keen to give sites a second chance. After all, everyone is wiser after Penguin.
To use the tool you need to be logged into your webmaster tools account and access the tool here.
You will then be able to select from your list of sites.
What Are the Implications For You?
If Google detects evidence of link arrangements violating its guidelines you’ll receive a message in your Webmaster Tools dashboard. What’s clear is you have to examine your link profile in depth. This is time consuming. If you find links with repetitive anchor text or of unknown origin, you need to do more digging. Check the profile of the source (page rank, inbound and outgoing links) at the very least.
Of course, if you have been buying links or participating in exchanges you may know exactly what links are causing the problem.
But what if you have suffered a drop in rankings and get no message from Google? Here the picture is unclear in relation to the tool. You’re best course of action is a thorough website analysis to try to reduce the number of possibilities. Google is clear the Disallow Links Tool isn’t for beginners.