LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Oct. 17, 2012) - A new webmaster tool released by Google on 16th October, 2012 that allows businesses to clean up their backlink profile is a positive move that must be considered by businesses if they wish to have optimum search visibility, says integrated search, PR and social media agency Punch Communications.
For many businesses with an online presence, SEO activity is key to helping them obtain and maintain search engine visibility. However, many have been left with detrimental backlinks by SEO agencies employing tactics that, although once were effective, have now been penalised by the Penguin Algorithm Update. This update meant that websites featuring keyword stuffing, cloaking, link schemes/farms, unnatural anchor text profiles and deliberate content duplication were down-graded. This is a situation that can now be remedied with the new Disavow Tool.
Google's new feature in Webmaster Tools allows users to audit and highlight links that should be ignored. Prior to the release of the Disavow option, a business could have requested the removal of links from a website which would not always have been successful.
Punch Communications managing director Pete Goold explains: "This new function is a great move on Google's part, providing an opportunity for businesses reliant on SEO to get their rankings back on track, particularly where manual link removal has been unsuccessful. The development highlights further the merits of white hat tactics employed by SEO agencies and the legitimate link profiles they create. Additionally, Google is also willing to reward webmasters making an explicit effort to improve their SEO."
The Disavow Links tool allows the webmaster to report bad links to Google with a request to have them disregarded. This involves creating an upload box in which the links and site domain can be entered. Google can take several weeks to process the request.
Although welcomed, Goold warns that this is a specialist tool and isn't for everyone. He added: "This is an advanced feature that should only be used by webmasters who know exactly what they're doing. It is worth noting that Google is closely monitoring the tool for any abuse, and should it be used in the wrong way it could actually be detrimental to a website's SEO. In addition, anyone who wants to reinstate links that have been disavowed will have a lengthy task in hand, as it can take several weeks again for the changes to take effect, so due consideration needs to be given to this before making the decision to disavow."
Punch Communications offers integrated services such as social search, PR and SEO.