Meaning of the word “Disavow” is “Deny any responsibility or support for.” (via Google)
After denying the existence of Negative SEO, it seems Google and Bing have finally woken up to the reality thanks to the consistent pressured built by the webmasters. By promising to launch a new option in Google Webmaster Tools – Disavow Links, Google has made it clear that backlinks from bad sites can affect visibility of a website negatively and which is why you must “Disavow” links.
Bing has gone a bit step further by launching the option already. So, does this mean this new feature – “Disavow Links” is going to save you and your website from the onslaught of Negative SEO? You can take a leap of faith with the search engines as you are living in a democratic country but I will not. I have a doubt, a strong one indeed that, Link Disavow option is a just a gimmick, an attempt to make webmasters believe that the fate of their websites is in their hands. Now, if you are unable to see the reality, here are some pointers that you must take into consideration before coming under their coercion:
Dude They will not Change Their Algo: If you believe that Google or Bing will take cue their Disavow Links and will make changes in their algo just to safeguard the interest of your websites, you are living in a fool’s paradise. How come do you believe that they will take that pain to do that for you? Moreover, is it possible, humanly or non-humanly to make changes in a sophisticated algo developed by search engines in every now or then? Definitely, you cannot expect that Google and Bing will be doing extra work so that your website rank high in some competitive keywords. They are not running a search engine for charity; they are trying hard to keep their result page SPAM free just because it is the only way to beat the competitors.
They are Gathering Intelligence: You might be wondering if the search engines are not to use the signals from Disavow Links options, why the hell on earth they launched it? Valid question and the answer is they have launched it to gather intelligence. Search engines always try to solve things algorithmically but they are finding it tough to make their SERP neat and clean without human intervention. They have already realized that an algo, no matter how much sophisticated it is, is still lagging far behind from determining the quality of a web page. This is the reason why they are passing the torch to the webmasters. Webmasters, as we know, will do their best to safeguard the interest of their website and in doing so, they will start discounting those links are that adding zero value to their website. Since webmasters are quite capable of determining the quality of websites, they can inform search engines straightaway which sites are good and which ones are bad. So, search engines, regardless of the fact whether they are to respect the signals of “Disavow Links or not”, are going to have detailed information about the quality of a website right from the horse mouth, I mean the webmasters.
You are not Safe: Yes, even after Disavowing Links that you have not built, there are still chances that Google and Bing may override them, as they do not trust you or any other webmasters. Disavow Links will be treated as a signal, not even a strong one, and that means, if your website gets penalized because of bad links, you cannot expect an overnight recovery. It will be a painfully slow recovery, if the recovery ever starts.
So, Disavow Links is the one stop solution of the bad neighborhood links. You need to act proactively and try your level best to get them down as far as possible if you are to see a speedy recovery. Couples with link unbuilding and Disavowing them via webmaster tools, you can expect a recovery.
This article is written by Michael Evans. He is a social media analyst and he is also associated with Webarts that offers Search Engine Optimization services.