Today, Google has launched its much anticipated disavowal links tool.
This is an abject disaster for SEO.
It is a brilliant move by Google.
There’s an article here at Search Engine Land which will explain what this tool does and why it exists. You will also notice, Google is attaching a warning with using this tool.
Here’s the problem.
For the past 13 years, people conducting SEO (creating links for the express purposes of getting a high ranking in Google) have been placing links on blogs they have no control over. There have been many wonderful services over the years automating this process. As I have been saying for the past 18 months, this game is over.
Winter is here.
Because the vast majority of these WordPress Blogs are operated by robots. It’s impossible for people who initially created these links to remove them. Google must love the delicious irony.
Even more ironic, is the way if the SEO firms are now charging for removal of the links they created in the first place!
Sadly, people are paying.
Why is this tool such a disaster?
First, who’s going to use it?
The first category of people are people who are dreaming of the glory days of a long ago (or pre April 25) ranked number one site. They are hoping this last ditch attempt will bring the site back to life.
I hate to break it to you. You have a snowflake’s chance in hell of that happening.
The other category of people who are going to want this tool, of course, is your competition.
They are going to love using Mechanical Turk to put all of your back links in the disavow tool. Thanks Google, you’re awesome.
They can’t directly do this in Webmaster tools to your sites – they create sacrifice sites to do it. All those other comments on those sites – they get targeted and your site goes down with the ship
But that’s not the best bit.
This announcement is a further nail in the coffin of automated link building services. Guys, you’ve had a wonderful run over 13 years. It’s over.
You can either close down gracefully or crash and burn and take your paying clients with you. I would suggest acting while you can gracefully withdraw.
Any link that is pointing to your site that does not have an immense amount of value attached to it is not only useless, it’s toxic.
That’s still not the best bit, this is the best bit…
Google just crowdsourced SEO enforcement!
There must of been much joy and laughter as this tool was launched at Google today. The search quality team has been dramatically under resourced and its ability to detect and enforce these backlinks has been severely affected over the last few years. It was only when Google’s results were really starting to suffer last year have the resources been upped
Now, thanks to panicking website owners and your competition all eagerly cutting off their nose to spite their face. Google is sorted.
Google, simply need to cross-reference the domains of the submitted sites and for the first time can easily target all of those automated blog networks.
The power of crowdsourcing used in this way is deliciously ironic.
On the excellent Search Engine Land blog, there was another article today. They had an interview with an ex-Google from the web search quality team.
One sentence stood out above all others…
“The best way to do SEO, is to forget about SEO.”
You need to devote your resources to thrilling and delighting your audience. If they love what you do, it will spread and your Google ranking will look after itself.
After 13 years, the days of reliably manipulating your Google rank are over.
The delicious irony (and yes I am aware that I have used that phrase three times in this one article) is the people that for years have created these links are now inadvertently finishing themselves off in a sort of perverse SEO cannibalism.
Not only is it funny (or incredibly sad for those who had businesses destroyed by this), ultimately, it’s a good thing.
I’d appreciate you getting the word out about this.