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Google's Disavow Tool

Discussion in 'SEO & SEM Discussions' started by DavidL, Oct 19, 2012.

  1. DavidL

    DavidL Membership: VIP

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    auDA Member:
    Yes
    Sure everyone has heard about this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=393nmCYFRtA

    Can be taken two ways

    - a genuine olive branch for grey/black hatter SEO's to fess up, amend their ways and start working afresh or;
    - a deliberate ploy to gain information from SEO's as to the type of dodgy link building they've been doing to help shape Google's own spam detection.

    Got this email this morning from a cynical black-hatter:

     
  2. theseoconsultant

    theseoconsultant Membership: VIP

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    I personally don't think it's really required except for extreme circumstances.

    IMHO, the positive links should outweigh the negative links anyway... which also puts a damper on this whole "negative SEO" blip that's doing the rounds at the moment.

    Some of the websites I manage get in excess of 100 new backlinks per day, some are from very objectionable websites - some are from "authority" websites but we never get any problems from SERPs declining because of the objectionable backlinks - it's just the way the internet works.
     
  3. James

    James Membership: VIP

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    I think the tool is good because it can help with links which are hard to remove, for example if you have taken on a project where the prior SEO company did some poor link building from very dodgy sites, you reach out to have these links taken down it can not always be possible, this is where the tool will come in handy.

    Another very interesting point I read is how people will use this tool in negative ways, if you work in highly competitive markets, then tracking competitors backlinks on a weekly basis is popular, say a competitor goes rogue and builds very dodgy links then marks them via the disavow tool, then the other business tracking them builds the links and is hit (a good example I read)

    Another funny one I saw this week is this SEO company who has lost heaps of clients recently for using dodgy link building, link networks and every thing spammy under the sun. They come out with a series of posts about how this new tool will be beneficial to help clients, the irony is they will be removing all their own work...

    @theSEOconsultant - Thing is if you deal with a News website, getting 100 links a day is not hard because the thing is scrapers instantly scrape every piece of content on the site, so 70 out of the 100 will just be worthless regardless (on a per article basis)

    Proceed with caution is my advice with the new disavow tool.
     
  4. aus11

    aus11 Membership: VIP

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    The interesting point I heard someone mention, was that businesses would not want to have disgruntled webmasters/seos because what is stopping them from getting fired and then logging into the clients/employers webmaster tools and removing all their backlinks?
     
  5. Chris.C

    Chris.C Membership: VIP

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    That's no different to an angry webmaster adding a noindex nofollow sitewide...
     
  6. aus11

    aus11 Membership: VIP

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    But can you regain a disavowed link? I haven't really looked into it that much, but I thought it wasn't something that could be reversed.
     
  7. James

    James Membership: VIP

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    Well that the same as dodgy SEO companies who use the links:

    "If you stop using us as a service, then all your "Rented" links will be taken down in 24 hours"

    this is very common with some spammer SEO companies in Australia.
     
  8. aus11

    aus11 Membership: VIP

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    That is dodgy! :eek:
     
  9. DavidL

    DavidL Membership: VIP

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    auDA Member:
    Yes
    Heh heh - very clever and serves the competitor right for just trying to copy rather than innovate.

    Regarding negative SEO - I have real doubts it's anywhere near as widespread as people would have you believe. I think it's more of a handy excuse to Google when doing a reconsideration request etc.

    I expect when someone says they've been hit by it, Google will think 'yeah, yeah', and assume that the site has done dodgy link building at some stage anyway. Whether it's recorded against the site and has longterm consequences is hard to know...
     
  10. DavidL

    DavidL Membership: VIP

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    auDA Member:
    Yes
    Yes you can but Cutts warned it would take a lot longer to get it avowed again.
     
  11. aus11

    aus11 Membership: VIP

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    That is fair enough too. Don't want to make it easy for people to remove and re-add links (to test which links hurt and which benefit).
     
  12. Oz.

    Oz. Membership: VIP

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    Unlikely to be used (without some built in safeguards at least) to detect dodgy sites etc, as you could add any domain/url you like (your competitor's website?) and disavow them....leading them to be penalised. It would then make this tool extremely easy to use for negative SEO, rather than a cure for the possible negative SEO that exists already.
     
  13. Oz.

    Oz. Membership: VIP

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    Haha, that's a good one :D
     
  14. findtim

    findtim Membership: VIP

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    auDA Member:
    Yes
    disavowed: this is going to make a lot of large sites very happy, we talked about this at SMX Melbourne, this enables you to be in control of inbound links, i think its a good thing, and a time saver, if you have a bad link coming in then you no longer need to contact the link creator which is a major time saver.

    tim
     
  15. Oz.

    Oz. Membership: VIP

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    But Google still recommends you make the effort to have the links removed, and using this tool as a "last resort".
    ....They gave an example of a potential client finding a link to your website on a dodgy website, and suggesting that this may give you a perceived bad reputation.
    What clients do website link analysis before signing up/buying something from a website? (except potentially clued up people looking for a good SEO service). Or if they were on the dodgy website in the first place, and saw the link..then they, the potential client, are equally dodgy. :D
     
  16. DavidL

    DavidL Membership: VIP

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    auDA Member:
    Yes
    What I meant was the sites/webmasters doing the disavowing. It's effectively fessing up to having done dodgy stuff in the past.

    The thing is, the ONLY people who will know or care about this feature are SEOs so it's a great tool to let SEO's tell Google what links they bought in a previous life.

    So Google can use the manual results from thousands of grey/black hatters to develop their algos. They may also smack the disavower while they are at it... who is to say?
     
  17. findtim

    findtim Membership: VIP

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    auDA Member:
    Yes
    i don't think "fessing up" can be proven by google, its been common practice for businesses to create tarnished links to thier competitors sites for years, how could google tell who created them, i think this is almost a amnesty tool, which i like.

    previously i could have created a porn site and linked it back to a child care centre that my competitor owned ( never did it ) then burn them with google but now they can simply get rid of them.

    its not to different to competitors placing bad reviews on your google+ places page.

    tim
     
  18. DavidL

    DavidL Membership: VIP

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    auDA Member:
    Yes
    Strongly disagree. Of course many SEO's will scream it's happened to them but liklihood is they've just pushed the envelope a bit far themselves. It's tough because white becomes grey becomes black so it's easy to get busted (I have for some of my sites)

    Especially unlikely 'years' ago when even things like mass comment spam had a positive effect - if you were hitting an authoritative, whitehat competitors site with spammy links you risked actually helping them.

    I think there's only about 1 or 2 examples of proven negative SEO and these were deliberate attempts to show that it could theoretically happen by well-resourced SEO's. I'm not sure it's ever happened between two regular companies competing on the net. (but would be interested to be proven wrong)

    You would have gone to all that effort to try and hit a competitor to try and move yourself one spot (at best) up the SERPs? It doesn't make sense - the time, effort, risk of backfiring, doesn't add up to viable use of resources for a best case result of a single position rise in search results.
     
  19. findtim

    findtim Membership: VIP

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    auDA Member:
    Yes
    SO why does negative SEO get mentioned at EVERY seminar i have been to in the last 6 years? as late as SMX Melbourne just a this year ?

    tim
     
  20. DavidL

    DavidL Membership: VIP

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    auDA Member:
    Yes
    Because:

    a) People don't want to admit to having got caught trying to 'cheat'
    b) People don't realise that really Google wants to stamp out any SEO if possible so even white/grey hat tactics can get caught up
    c) People always look for someone to blame other than themselves.