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Google have made a number of attempts to crack down on black hat SEO techniques and unethical web site promotion strategies over the last year. They’ve sent warning messages to those webmasters that have established unnatural links. They’ve also released the Panda and Penguin algorithm updates, with the aim of reducing the amount of spam and demoting websites containing poor quality content. Now they are encouraging webmasters to do themselves a favour by removing unwanted links from their portfolios.

Those webmasters who feel that the removal of bad links is their only option in the battle against Google penalisation should consider using the new Google link disavow tool. They are advised to follow these steps:

  • Log in to Webmaster Tools and select your website via the link disavow section

  • Upload a plain text file containing the details of any links that should be removed

  • Send the file and await confirmation from the Google team

It is worth noting that this new addition to the range of Webmaster tools has been designed for use by users with a good knowledge of SEO. Google have stressed that it should be used only if email requests and other means of removal have proved unsuccessful. A warning has been issued that ‘If used incorrectly, this feature can potentially harm your site’s performance in Google’s search results.’

The Google CEO Matt Cutts has urged the webmasters to ‘Use caution. Don’t just start disavowing links. Please start slow.’ He also pointed out that it would be extremely difficult to re-add any links that had been disavowed. Links that are eventually reintegrated will not necessarily be given the same weight as before the disavowal.

Leading SEO analysts have suggested that Google will carry out their own research into the reasons for link disavowals. Those sites that have been unlinked may well be inspected for spam. Moreover, webmasters are also likely to worry about the potential for false disavow link requests that could be made by competitors or employees with an axe to grind.

If you have any issues regarding the link disavowal tool or are looking for ways of ethically improving your search engine rankings then please get in touch with Hooked On Media. Our experienced team have the skills and knowledge necessary to achieve the desired SEO results.