In an effort to give homegrown websites a chance Google rolled out the search engine algorithm known as Penguin in April of this year. The update resulted in a serious backlash for websites that were in a state of over-optimization. You probably know all about it, and even if your website wasn’t penalized, your SEO practices have had to change because of it. However, Google has recognized that Penguin has done more harm than good to some quality websites, so it’s recently introduced the Google link disavow tool to help you out. Simply put, you can instruct Google to ignore certain backlinks to your website.
Who Should Use the Google Link Tool?
If Google considers your backlinks to be artificial or unnatural (read: spammy), consider using this tool. This is especially true if you’ve already received a warning upon logging into Webmaster Tools that low-quality websites are linking to your own website. You may have had difficulty removing those links or applying to Google to reconsider the bad links. A traffic drop since the release of Penguin in April might be another reason to resort to using the Google link tool, but think of it as exactly that: a last resort.
Be Careful When Using the Google Link Disavow Tool
This is not a miracle cure, and it will look bad if you ask Google to ignore 90% of your links. If warnings come from websites where you paid for ads, you’re unfortunately suffering the consequence of your actions. Before asking Google’s disavow tool to disavow all those links, do everything you can do remove or change anchor text so that your incoming links appear more natural and varied. Because this tool is new, proceed with caution. Tackle other SEO concerns first because even low-quality links help your rank, and sometimes today’s questionable links are tomorrow’s popular websites.
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