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Google Updates And The Disavow Tool

Google Updates And The Disavow Tool

I’ve been getting all these emails lately from people wanting to remove links to their sites from comments left on my blogs. I had a bit of a chat from the author of one of those emails and apparently he’s been paying someone to leave comments on blogs for the purpose of getting backlinks. Unfortunately those comments weren’t of the best quality and now because of Google’s latest “Penguin Update” he and a lot of other web-masters are scared shitless because Google is now penalizing them for too many poor quality and “SEO Optimised” links. You see, this is why I do all my own work when it comes to commenting on other blogs. That way I get to choose the blogs and I make sure that only leave good comments and I don’t over do any SEO optimised key words.

Those of you who are my regulars know how I’ve always said that you need to take control of your own blog and how paying someone else to do your posts or write your Sexy Girlcomments means that you lose a fair bit of control. Only you can police the type of comments and the blogs that they are left on. The problem now is that not everyone will take the time to remove those comments. Heck, I’m not so sure that I will continue to do it unless I’m compensated for my time.

I suppose Google realizes this and that is why they’ve recently come up with their Disavow Links in their Webmasters Tools. The problem lies in the fact that people who don’t know what their doing can actually hurt their sites rather than the other way around.

Matt Cutts On The Disavow Tool

Matt Cutts explains a fair bit in the following Video but even though Google is hoping that  their Penguin update and their Disavow Tool will enhance their search engine results I am a little more sceptical. Here is the video.

The reason I’ve posted that video is because I feel that there may be some, maybe even many, who will try to use this tool but in doing so may actually cause more harm than good. Matt Cutts himself said that you should take great care in using this tool and that most people won’t ever need to use it. In fact, unless you’ve received notification from Google that your site is receiving unnatural links or something then you definitely should not use it.

Will it make for better search results? Has the Penguin update been for the betterment of all? There are many who say it hasn’t and that it’s even been used to harm the results of competitors. Will the Disavow Tool be used in a way in which it wasn’t intended? Only time will tell.

What You Must Do To Excel

Truth be told if you’ve done all the right things you don’t need to worry about Panda, Penguin or any other updates. Continue to write good posts, posts that people will link to or even share on their social networks. Take control of your commenting. Rather than blanketing a myriad of blogs perhaps concentrate on those related to your own site. Make sure that your comments are always of a high quality and when it comes to using keywords make sure you don’t always use the same ones.

What will you do to ensure your success in todays fight for a better placement on the search engines?


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Peter Pelliccia

I'm an Aussie blogger who loves to blog and share everything that I've learned on my blogging journey, including blogging tips and ways to blog for money. I am also trying to make my way on YouTube. You can follow my progress by subscribing to My Bonzer Channel.

This Post Has 31 Comments

  1. Twitter:
    I’ve been getting those letters myself. At first I wasn’t sure what they were talking about but then realized it was the comments. I’ve written them & told them I’m not going to search for which particular comment belonged to them and if they wanted it removed they’d have to tell me which one. Then I’m not removing the comment, just the link. One responded and I did it, but the other hasn’t; in my opinion it’s on them.

    Still, your main point is valid. If you pay someone to write comments for you, and I’ve been paid to do it, you’d better make sure those are good and legitimate comments because indeed they’ll come back to haunt you. However, if it’s hundreds of comments… well, you’re probably getting penalized because we can truthfully only comment so much right?
    Mitch Mitchell recently posted…Do Other People Know Who You Are On Social Media?My Profile

    1. Yep, looks like they’re starting to regret it now. The problem is that it’s going to be pretty hard to get Google to revert it’s decision. Too bad to considering they all the money they spent getting someone to leave those comments in the first place.

      Also I lay odds that most people don’t leave the quality comments that you are known for.
      Sire recently posted…Are You Paying Too Much For Your Domain?My Profile

      1. Twitter:
        They certainly haven’t for the most part on my blog. Obviously this guy Carl leaves pretty good comments and does it while linking to other people who pay him to write comments for them, but every once in awhile I have to delete a comment from him when it’s obvious that he doesn’t understand the concept of what the post is about because he’s not American. That doesn’t help anyone’s cause.
        Mitch Mitchell recently posted…They Like Me, They… What?My Profile

        1. Yep, same here. I try to allow for the language difference when moderating the comments but even then I find I have to delete them. A bit harsh perhaps but then I do have to maintain the quality of the discussion.
          Sire recently posted…A Review Of WP Zon BuilderMy Profile

      2. Twitter:
        Like you guys, I’ve been getting the link removal requests too. So far, no one has used the same email for the removal request that they used to leave the comment. I don’t want anything shady going on with someone’s competition so I just reply back asking them to use the same email account they left with the comment. I would make an exception if they used their domain email but so far no one has and no one has responded to my replies. It really makes me wonder if its actually the same people leaving the comment.

        BTW Sire, your feed link in the header isn’t working. I re-started my feed reader and would like to add your blog. :)

        1. Hey Brian, you know I didn’t even think to take that approach so thanks very much for weighing in on the discussion.
          Sire recently posted…Sire’s Scary Halloween PoemMy Profile

    2. G’day Mitch & Sire, are you able to define what constitutes a high enough quality comment and what is a low quality one please?

      1. Hi Roz, I actually did a post a couple of years back called Teaching People The Proper Way To Comment.

        Basically it’s considered good if it adds to the blog post, adds something to the general conversation or even stimulates more dialogue. I consider the comment you left now to be a good comment.

        Those comments that add nothing, have nothing to do with the post or any of the comments others have left can be considered low quality.
        Sire recently posted…Friday Funnies #36 Is All About BoobsMy Profile

      2. Twitter:
        Roz, Sire is nicer than me. lol If I didn’t know you and you wrote what you did above, I might think it’s a low quality comment because, in its way, it barely addresses the topic and it’s only one line. I’d probably want something that addressed the topic in some way first and then have the question be asked. However, knowing you, and seeing that you’ve commented on the blog previously, I’d pass it.

        That’s one of the benefits of familiarity; you’re not assumed to be a “drive-thru” commenter just looking for links if you’ve commented previously and thus have more leeway.
        Mitch Mitchell recently posted…Morayma Makay – Interview With A Fashion ModelMy Profile

        1. Hi Mitch, yes I think you’ve got a point, # words in a comment might have something to do with adding value to the conversation and this one probably doesn’t measure up either ;-)

  2. So, that’s why some folks have been writing for removal of links in some posts. The funny thing is that those posts were guest posts, and not mine.

    At first, I thought these are tactics used by their competitors to lower the backlink count. Then comes the Disavow tool.

    So, the theory suggested in some forums about webmasters being able to bring down their competition by creating backlinks for them in spammy sites is true. And now, Google has realized this and invented the disavow tool to remedy it.

    I actually haven’t removed any of those requested links so far, and I think I’ll never do that anymore. They’ll just have to use the disavow tool themselves.

    1. Yep, and I actually thought the same thing myself James. Unless the request is made by a blogger that I know I’m not going to waste my time hunting for those links either. People have to learn from their mistakes somehow.
      Sire recently posted…Why I Decided To Start Another BlogMy Profile

  3. Twitter:
    SO TRUE: do it right in the first place and you don’t have to spend time and money undoing what you just spent time and money doing. And the best way to do it right is NOT to hire some “specialist” to promote your site because they’re going to take the easy route – which is always the spammy route.

  4. Thanks Sire, I thought that was the case – I have seem some spammy comments that are all about replica hand bags and stuff like that, they look like they weren’t actually posted by a human.

  5. It’s a perfect move by Google in my opinion. Penalize a few sites, spread rumors about negative SEO, and then get people to panic about backlinks and clean them up themselves, rather than actually trying to improve the algorithm to ignore those links. Unfortunately link building will always be a part of SEO and people will do it regardless. Unless you’re an idiot and spamming 10,000 forum profile links/day, I don’t think there’s anything you need to worry about.

    1. That could well be part of Googles intent on making it available but I’m not sure it will work the way they want it to.
      Sire recently posted…Lotto AffiliateMy Profile

  6. That last paragraph really needs to be emphasized. You can avoid potential issues with Google updates if you keep your SEO efforts genuine. The people cutting corners should be worried about these updates, as they are designed to root out exactly them, but if you are taking the correct approach and avoiding spamming and all that, then you can rest assured that you will be fine.

    1. Hey Paul, I did leave the best for last didn’t I? :drunk_tb:

      It’s pretty well the same no matter what you do, always do the right thing and you can’t go wrong.
      Sire recently posted…Sire’s Scary Halloween PoemMy Profile

  7. Paying someone to comment on other blogs is not natural and not a white hat way to get backlinks. Its kind of black-hat and a time has come and google is on them.
    Thanks for the great post.

    1. I don’t know about it being black hat Gilbert, its no different from doing it yourself except for the fact that you have no control of what type of sites they comment on and the quality of the content in the comments they’re leaving.
      Sire recently posted…Friday Funnies #36 Is All About BoobsMy Profile

  8. I was wondering if you are successful removing a “bad link” but it is still showing up in WT, do you think that you should go ahead and disavow it. Or what is you requested on to be removed from say an “article site” but it has been a few weeks, how long are you guys thinking to wait before adding it to your list.

    1. As far as I know I don’t have any bad links that need to be removed. If you did and have successfully removed it you can consider your job done. If I remember correctly Matt says in the video that it will take awhile before Google updates its records. As to the article site, usually you have control over what links you submit or delete?

  9. Honestly I am skeptical about this whole Disavow thing. This could be a trap set by google to discover all those manufactured backlinks and ban them permanently. But on the other hand it may also be prove to be useful. Anyway, I have tried this at one of my site, but so far nothing happened. SERPs did not improve. Perhaps it may take even weeks..
    Jeff recently posted…WP Engine Review: The Truth Behind WP Engine Managed HostingMy Profile

    1. I think it’s obvious that Google wants people to do some of the work for them Jeff but I don’t think they’re setting any sort of trap. Then again, one never knows with Google. :wink_ee:

  10. I completely agree with you, all you are responsible for making your blogs page ranking highest or lowest. You should have a firm control over it. Definitely, I will try to publish and write quality and keyword-rich articles for my blogs; this is the only way to ensure success in today’s fight for a better placement on the search engines.

    1. Hey Jack, that’s definitely a good start. Competition is pretty tough out there so you probably want to hit the social media circles as well as making yourself known by leaving good comments on blogs and the like.
      Sire recently posted…Will Adbeans Affect Your PRMy Profile

  11. Google is improving day by day, and this disavow tool is really helpful but we’ve to use it very carefully as without proper knowledge it can harm our site.

  12. I hope it will not be necessary to ask you nicely to remove the link from this comment some time in the future. I leave this comment here with trust your blog is on the bright side of Google. ;-)

Comments are closed.