Friday, 2 November 2012

Update on Negative SEO Attacks and Google's Disavow Tool.

In the last article when we talked about the effects of Negative SEO, we made a point that there was no real way to prevent or stop link attacks if you were being targeted by negative SEO. We gave a few tricks of the trade to introduce ways to prevent or stem an attack by combating the links directly and releasing great and regularly updated content which would link back to your site. However, having done some further research on negative SEO and with Google taking active steps to combat it, we have been experimenting with the new Disavow Links tool.

On the 16/10/2012 Google announced the arrival of this new tool to assist with the problem of negative SEO. In a nutshell, the disavow tool helps by erasing the connection between the offending website and your own site, allowing poor quality links to be discounted when Google indexes. 

However, Google is not simply offering a quick fix to those wanting to reverse the effects of poor link building practices in the past, as they have made it clear that all possible action needs to be taken before the disavow tool is used. In essence, it is a last resort. The website owner should try and remove the links manually in the first instance, as it has been mentioned that notes are needed when using the disavow tool and evidence of removal attempts must be seen. It is only when Google can see that the account holder is trying to act upon the link removals that it will allow the request for the Disavow tool to be implemented.

At this point in time nobody fully knows the effectiveness of the disavow tool but we recommend that everyone wanting to jump on the band wagon doesn’t at this stage. The potential effects it could have on the removal of links mean that it may well cause damage to your SEO if not used properly, or if you become particularly 'trigger happy' with the tool. For the time being, we would only recommend that you use the tool if:

- You’re a victim of negative SEO and have evidence enough to support this
- You have received a Google Warning for breaching their guidelines
- You have used poor link building practices previously and you have been hit by the Penguin Update

If your website has been affected by one of these scenarios then you may find that using the tool will improve the state of the SEO. But be warned! With it being a new tool, it should be used with caution!

For more information on the Google Disavow Links tool, or alternative ways to remove bad links feel free to get in touch with a member of our team at

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