Google’s search engine algorithm changes hundreds of times a year. While spam does still exist (and still effectively ranking sites albeit in an extremely high risk / volatile environment), link building should be about acquiring the links your website deserves based on merit, trust, and relevance — not ‘hey, this shady technique seems to be working so I’ll jump aboard the train!’. Google will always catch-up to the optimization strategies of today – and for websites using spammy on-page and/or off-page optimization, they will all eventually bite the dust. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow. However, Panda & Penguin wiped-out the highest percentage of high-rankings in the history of Google’s algorithm updates. Where are they now? What are they doing?
Enter Link Disavow Tool. In mid-October of 2012, Google introduced a new tool enabling webmasters to ‘disavow’ or ‘disregard’ selected unwanted links pointing to their website(s). A vast majority of webmasters believe this tool was created due to a tactic called ‘negative seo’ – companies intentionally sending spammy links to their competitors in hopes of ranking-drops. Google states that this tool provides ‘suggestions’ – not ‘directives’. Meaning, if you (or a SEO company) has built unrelated & unnatural links to your website in the past, there is no guarantee this tool will fix everything…but it’s a start.
Instead of having to spend countless hours merely ‘attempting’ to undo these questionable inbound links, now, more than ever before: you have to start thinking about your links before you build them!
The future is coming. Actually, it’s tomorrow. Then, the day after. The search engine algorithms are a well-oiled machine; they don’t stop and wait for you to play catchup. Creating compelling content, engaging in content-marketing and exploring authentic & relevant link building opportunities are the only effective ways to succeed long-term.