Google Changes SEO again and what webmasters need to know

Google changes the the way websites are ranked forever with it’s new Google Webmaster Tools – Disavow Link Tool.  On April 24, 2012 Google released the biggest change to its Search Engine Algorithm in almost 10 years. This particular algorithm change was called the Penguin. Without getting into technical details this algorithm modification began penalizing and even banning websites that were utilizing poor quality back links or back links that were not relevant to the website being optimized.  In ea nutshell those websites which were ranking well because of the dirty unethical link-building tactics from unethical and non qualified SEO companies have been getting pounded in the dirt for not abiding by Googles Webmaster Guidelines.

Many SEO companies that promise results that seem to good to be true or offer SEO services that seem so amazingly cheap will likely get your website penalized or even outright banned from Google searches.

Google now considered bad back-links to your website as POISON. These kinds of unethical back links will negatively affect your website rankings. After the damage is done it can be a long time consuming process to clean up the mess. I’m sure you can imagine how tedious it can be to even attempt to remove – delete bad back-links once they have been posted on tons of garbage websites.

The Good news is on October 17, 2012 Google publicly announced it’s new addition to the Google Webmaster Tools tool kit. This new tool is called the Disavow Links Tool. This tool is for qualified SEO professionals and webmasters which enable Certified SEO professionals to tell Google to ignore specific back links and domains that are pointing to your website that may be  poisoning your website rankings. Google’s brand new Disavow Links Tool allow webmasters to upload a list of specific URL links or domains that the do not want to be associated with and in most cases Google will exclude these reported back links from their algorithm and not take into account the reported back links when re-ranking your website.

This new SEO tool offers both positive and negative news for website owners.

If you’ve been a Google Penguin casualty, and have tried to remove as many bad  links as you can but still can’t seem to recover, then you can use this new Link Disavow tool to essentially “delete” the poor quality links that are poisoning your website.

For millions of website owners who have been hit by the Google Penguin Algorithm Update and who have done nothing to incur any penalties (used an unqualified SEO professional or unqualified webmaster which applied unethical link-building techniques) now have the ability to come clean and follow Googles Webmaster Guidelines for Ethical Link Building.

If your website is ranking poorly and you are using an SEO company you may want to ask yourself. Is the SEO company you are using providing you with all kinds of Back-Links? and is the SEO company you are using giving you such a good deal you cant believe how cheap their SEO services are? if this is the case now is a great time to reflect on the old saying that You Get What Your Pay For. Good isn’t cheap and cheap isn’t good.

The Bad News Is.

By giving qualified webmasters and certified SEO professionals the power to “report” bad links they have essentially “crowd-sourced” link-spam detection.

Think about it for a minute…

Millions of webmasters will be submitting long lists of low-quality or spammy websites sites, which Google can then use in its SEO algorithm to penalize not only the sites that are providing these poor quality backlinks links, but also those that are linked to by these sites.

This spells disaster for any site that makes it too easy to get a link back to your site. For example, popular “easy” sources of links have traditionally been:

  • Blog comments
  • Forums
  • Web 2.0 sites
  • Article Directories
  • Web Site Directories
  • Poor quality, automated Blog Networks with no human-approval “citation” process
  • Social Bookmarking Accounts

The “low hanging SEO fruit” sites that promiscuously give out too many backlinks links, too easily will most likely see poor pages (or even their entire domain) get penalized or even banned from Google searches!

What’s worse is that a penalized domain may also penalize any other sites that it links out to. (Think of the opposite of Google PageRank where unethical “URL – link juice” flows through to web sites that are linked from them.)

If Google identified a website as being ripe for link exploitation, and a lot of websites are using it to build easy back links, then it may infer that anyone also using that site for links is a candidate for penalty and will suffer and pay the piper umm I mean in the case the Penguin. No pun intended.

Search Engine De-Optimization Will Continue for those that attempt to cheat the system.

One of the biggest complaints around the Google Penguin update is that it allowed unscrupulous SEOs to point bad links and “over optimize” their competitors links to decrease their rankings. Think of this as cyber vandalism.

While the Google Link Disavow Tool only allows you to report links pointing back to your site through Webmaster Tools, an entire industry will pop up around existing domains or building new web sites that will aim to build links from the same sources of their competitors  and then “report” these bad back links to effectively reduce the “link-juice” of their competitors.

So, What does Google Want from a Back-Link anyway?
If you take the time to read Googles Webmaster Guidelines you will know what is expected of you as a website owner.

What does Google want? How do you differentiate from poor quality links and high-quality links?

Google genuinely wants links to be a vote of quality and confidence for a website site. The concept of PageRank stemmed from the idea of “Citation” in the academic paper publishing process where one paper would “cite” another paper in its references. The more citations a paper has, the more important it is.

Google wants links that are true measures of citation. Therefore a good guideline is this:

  • Good back links are those by which an actual human being has taken the time to approve the link (or content containing the link in the case of genuine quality content syndication for back link creation).
  • Bad back links are links that can be created automatically with no human intervention or quality review. These kinds of links are ripe for exploitation through leveraged automation through software tools most identified as SEO tools that amateur webmasters and SEO wannabees use.

How to thrive With SEO in a Post Google Penguin Disavow Tool Environment.

We strongly believe that with Google’s bias towards Social Media ranking factors becoming more important, using a sophisticated Social Media / Market Leadership strategy with a strong SEO focus in mind is the best way to improve website rankings in the months to come.

What you need to do right now?

As a website owner you need to do the following immediately or risk being penalized or even being banned from Google.

  1. If you have any form of link-exchange plugin or system on your website, remove it immediately. As people starting “reporting” sites that are poor quality, your site may inadvertently become part of the “collateral damage” by becoming a source of poor quality links.
  2. If you participate in any form of poor quality link-building system then stop immediately. As webmaster report sources of poor links, if they also link to your website you may end up being penalized as a result.
  3. If you’ve been hit by Penguin and can’t recover, or are worried about being “on the edge”: start analyzing your website including your back-links (you should hire only a certified SEO professional to do this for you). if you want the job done right…
  4. After the problem areas have been identified then you are ready to begin cleaning up the mess that is hurting your website.


Resources You Need To Read Today…

This is a recent announcement and there’s not a lot known about the Disavow Links Tool yet. But here’s a great list of “must see” resources which represents the best information about the tool, and its implication on the web today:

Last don’t do anything until you have consulted with a Certified SEO professional to seek professional and ethical guidance.







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