The Google disavow links tool
There was a ripple of excitement across the SEO industry as Google finally launched its tool which allowed webmasters to disavow links from websites they believe may be devaluing their rankings - Bing has had a similar tool for months.
The tool essentially enables webmasters to upload a text file in a format that will enable Google to remove value from these 'toxic' links.
There have been a variety of reactions to the tool within the search community, with some believing it to be an intelligence gathering tool which Google will utilise to catch spam link networks, whilst others have indicated that the tool has had early positive results.
Many have also been signalling caution for those looking to use the disavow tool, recommending that Google advice is followed - i.e. only use if for example:
- You have received 'unnatural' link warnings in Webmaster Tools
- Your website impacted by the Penguin update
- You can prove that your website has been the victim of a negative SEO campaign
Whatever the circumstances, it's probably best that disavowing links is handled by an experienced SEO, who is able to identify which links are damaging a website. There is the potential to damage rankings by disavowing links from a particular site, which, whilst it may not be delivering top quality links to your website, nevertheless enhances its overall backlink profile.