Will A Disavow Links Tool Solve All Your Google Problems?by +Sha Menz
It sounds like the perfect solution. The easy way
to get out from under a google penalty
(actually, according to +Matt Cutts
, that would be what the Webspam team refers to as a "manual action").
People have been shouting it from the rooftops for a while now. "If only Google would let us just disavow links in Google Webmaster Tools. That would make my life so much easier". Yes it would. No argument there.
This week, even +Duane Forrester
announced that Bing has released a Disavow Links feature of its own...a smart way to serve the dual purpose of crowdsourcing link intelligence for Bing and getting one up on Google.
Seriously though, how much that's good in search actually comes easily? Will a disavow links tool from Google (which Matt Cutts recently indicated maybe
they will think about
in a month, or two, or three...) be the answer to your prayers?
Logically, if your site took a hit only from the algorithmic changes related to the now legendary Penguin
, we might reasonably assume that many of the "bad links" involved were gained a long time ago, when accepted practices were different, before everybody knew better, and long before the appearance of black & white animals on the search landscape. You might even have been a legitimate victim of the endlessly controversial practice of "Negative SEO". In fact, there might be a long list of reasons why you might feel it only just that Google cut you a little slack and allow you to make a fresh start... Fair enough. Bring on the Disavow Links tool Matt!
But... Hold on a minute! What if your problems are not the result of a Penguin pecking
What if your site is experiencing a fall in visibility as a result of a "manual action"? Do you really think Google (or Bing, for that matter) will be satisfied with you spending 2 minutes uploading a list of URLs in Webmaster Tools, then give you back your rankings and let you go on your merry way? I have to say I have difficulty believing that would happen.
Let's face it, "manual actions" are applied because the issue is something that has NOT been caught by the algorithm. Usually for behavior that a Search Engine believes is so contrary to their objectives (and so cleverly hidden) that they must act immediately to put things right. Why would an "easy fix" like the Disavow Links tool even come into such a situation?
Isn't it more likely that some means of retribution or recompense will still be applied? Perhaps those "manual actions" will have a fixed life, so you continue to feel the pain of any bad deeds for some time to come. Maybe the lifting of a "manual action" will become incremental, so the consequences won't be forgotten quickly. Or maybe, they will just continue to expect that you put at least as much time into removing those links as you put into creating them in the first place?
Whatever happens, I don't see public access to a "tool" that Google has had internally for a long time, becoming the magical cure for everything that ails your Google SERPs. Not even close.
For those knee-deep in the process of long and challenging link-removal campaigns, times are not so pleasant. I have a strong a feeling though, that they will have less to regret in the end than those who are waiting it out for the appearance of the magical Disavow Links Tool!