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We all want to manage our online presence, especially when it comes to search engine optimization. Unfortunately, due to the very nature of backlinks, it’s often out of our control. Until now, there hasn’t been an official solution for when you’re bombarded by poor quality links, leading some people to use such links as a tool for negative SEO. With this week’s updates to Google, websites have a powerful new tool to fight bad links.
During yesterday’s PubCon keynote, Google’s engineer and mouthpiece--Matt Cutts-- announced that they were finally rolling out a disavow links tool. The tool will allow you to disavow links you want Google to ignore. Essentially, you're telling the search engine that these are sites you believe to be untrustworthy.
The tool is incredibly easy to use. Simply go into your Google webmaster’s tools, select a website, and then you choose a text file that contains the links you want to disavow. You’ll be greeted with several warning messages before you’re able to actually block any links though. Matt Cutts says several times in his video that this is a last resort tool, and Google encourages you to take down the links you can, and write to people to take down the ones you can’t. Once you’ve done that, then it’s time to disavow.
If you aren’t sure if you need to disavow, you probably don’t. Really, you only want to consider it if you have received a message from Google telling you they have found low quality links.