A blog about digital & online

It’s Judgment Time: Google Lets Webmasters Make Amends for Past Infringements

Thought leader Danny Sullivan wrote on Google’s newly launched link disavow tool – which allows webmasters to disenfranchise specific links, or domains that link to their websites – a response to the wide demand for a way for the average Joe Bloggs (no pun intended) to recover from April’s Penguin update. Danny’s post has the detail.

Commentary was thoughtful and somewhat impassioned

Some deemed this a poor spend for their optimization time, vs. producing good content for example, while others considered it a saving against having to manually request hundreds to thousands of link removals.

Plenty debate therein about negative SEO and plenty Google slandering, some saying that Google should ignore backlinks rather than penalize them.

My thought is that you’ve kinda missed the whole point. Google have tried simply ignoring bad links. Penguin and subsequent filters/penalties have all been about punishing webmasters that engage in grey-to-black hat SEO, and kindly redefining for us the difference between black, grey and white. Secret background deflections don’t scare spammers, or the wider industry. Google had to get aggressive. Don’t expect them to relent too much. I wrote my thoughts on Google’s recent attitude last week. They are only going to shift the goalposts more. It is in their greater interests to quell manipulation, which brings me to my own comment on Search Engine Land:

Phil's comment on Google Link Disavowing

Indeed Danny – Anyone could disavow a good site. We can only disavow sites that link to ours, so it’s not as open to mass competitive assault. Google loves feedback data. I don’t see why they wouldn’t match these results with other negative traits of a site. They want as clean an index as is possible. I too can only speculate, unfortunately, but I do feel Google is on a mission of this ilk.

It's Judgment Time
@ John Britsios, it IS up to their own judgment. And to quote the 2012 Dredd film: “It’s Judgment time”.




Yes I’m sure of all the readers and commenters, there are the two notable divisions: those that have been penalized because of poor quality links, outright spam links or simply a lack of links, and those that have evaded the Penguin and wish to focus on constructive, rather than rehabilitative efforts in the future. To the former: too bad for you. To the latter: congratulations and please feel free to divulge your best kept secrets in the comments below.


About the Author

Phil Smulian
Phil Smulian likes to get his hands dirty when it comes to solving code problems. He also really loves making user experiences better than they were when he found them. Find him on Twitter @Bowsie

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *