A few clients have contacted us to know what the newGoogle Disavow Links Tool is and what impact it will have on them.

For those of you who have not heard about it, Google launched a new tool – “Disavow Links Tool” – as part of its Webmaster tools. In a nutshell it allows web site owners to tell Google to ignore certain links to their site.

The need for this originates with some of the recent changes that Google has made to its search algorithms (particularly the changes that were known as the Penguin update). As part of this update, Google have started to penalise sites that havepoor quality links or sites with excessively optimised anchor text links.

The problem with this update is that it was very difficult for websites to remove links that were already in place. It also opened the opportunity for unscrupulous companies to negatively impact competitors’ websites by pointing low quality links to them. Up to now web site owners could do very little about this.

With the new disavow links tool, once a webmaster is aware of negatives links, they can inform Google that they want that link ignored in their algorithms for the site.

If you want more details about the disavow links tool, have a look at the video below from Matt Cutts of Google.

So what does the disavow links tool mean for you?

For most people the answer to this is “Nothing”! Websites that have been operating to Google’s rules with quality content and genuine links should have nothing to be concerned about. However there are a few things that you should do

  1. Regardless of this new tool, you should be regularly checking both the ranking of you most important phrases as well as the amount of website traffic that you are getting from Google Organic Search. In the event that these drop suddenly – you do need to investigate the possible causes, including now the possibility of poor quality links.
  2. Be careful with regard to link building activities. Links are still good, but they need to be generated throughgood quality sources. Genuine links through related directories, partner companies, relevant blogs, etc. are OK, but avoid purchasing large volumes of low quality links.
  3. In the event that you area impacted, then you should use the tool once you identify links that are causing problems. I would advise that you only do this once you know that this is causing the problems.

A few other useful links on this topic

If you have concerns about site links or the disavow links toolscontact us for more information.