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The Story of Google’s Disavow Tool

Lately, Google’s disavow tool is in the news. In some quarters, the tool is being criticized heavily by SEO experts. They feel that the tool will have an adverse effect on how they do the optimization for their websites. However, if you look back at the story of how this disavow tool came into being in the first place, you will find out that it was the SEO experts who asked for such a tool initially. They wanted to have a safeguard when Penguin updates opened up a door for negative SEO to affect their sites.

What is this disavow tool? To put it simply, Google is offering a chance for SEO experts to control what kind of effect external links will have on their websites. Often it has been seen, low-quality links coming to your site is pulling down the credibility of the website in the view of Google. These are links that you have no control over. With the help of the disavow tool, you can ask Google to ignore these links when they are analyzing your website. In a way, you are disowning these links because you didn’t ask for them anyway.

This does not mean that your paid links will be affected by the disavow function. Google has made it amply clear that the function applies only to ‘negative SEO’. What Google means by ‘negative SEO’ has not been outlined by Google in explicit terms. But you can safely conclude that these refer to links which are outside the ambit of your control. Google also puts the onus of cleaning out unnecessary links to the best of your ability. It is not good enough that you disavow them and leave them for dead.

If you look at it positively, Google is giving you the authority to decide which links should remain attached to your site, and which should go. You get to choose which links to trust and which to reject.

May 8, 2019

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