Poor quality website backlinks have been a problem since Penguin, but Google's Disavow Tool could help.
Website backlinks are links from other sites going to your site. Backlinks from relevant, quality sites are generally a good thing, because Google and the other search engines will follow them back and this could help bring your site higher.
Networks of artificially created backlinks.
But over the years a whole industry has developed focused on creating networks of effectively artificially produced backlinks website owner's have being able to buy. This is a way of giving their site's a ranking boost without going to all the trouble of developing those links naturally, which can be very time-consuming.
Penguin has changed everything regarding poor quality backlinks.
And over the years this has more or less worked (offered a boost to search engine ranking), until now that is. The recent Google Penguin update, has effectively changed everything Those artificial backlinks are no longer helping your website ranking in Google, and they may even be damaging it.
How do you now remove those unwanted backlinks?
But the biggest headache for website owner's, is how to remove those now unwanted backlinks. The problem is they are all links pointing to your site that you have no control over. You can ask the other site's owner to remove them, but they may ignore you or the site may not even be managed by anyone any more.
Google's Disavow Tool could be helpful.
But now with the recent release by Google of their Disavow Tool, you can at least ask Google to ignore inbound links you think may be causing problems.
However it is a powerful tool, and you need to be very sure you know which are good backlinks and which are not, so use with caution, and get expert help from an SEO agency if you're not sure. If you want to learn more about using the Disavow Tool, there is a page on Google's Webmaster Central Blog, that has a lot of useful information.
More detailed Guide to using the Disavow Tool coming soon.
I'm working on a more detailed Guide to the Disavow Tool, so make sure and subscribe to your SEO Tips Newsletter so you're the first to know when it's published.
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