Google launched the Link Disavow Tool recently and within a short few weeks after its roll out there is a long list of queries regarding its usage. Search Engine Land interviewed Google’s head of webspam team about using the tool, and here is an excerpt from the interview:
How do people know what links they should remove?
When we’re taking targeted action on some specific links, the emails that go out now include examples of bad links. We provide example links to guide sites that want to clean up the bad links. At the same time, we don’t want to help bad actors learn how to spam better, which is why we don’t provide an exhaustive list.
Why not list the bad links?
That’s related to the first question, of course. We don’t want to help bad actors learn how to spam better, which is why we don’t provide an exhaustive list.
Who should do this?
The post [Google's announcement post last week] says anyone with an unnatural link warning. It also mentions anyone hit by Penguin, but I keep getting asked about this. I’m going to reiterate that if you were hit by Penguin and know or think you have bad links, you should probably use this too.
What if you don’t try to remove links? Given what a pain it is to get links off the web, why wouldn’t someone just use disavow? I know Google recommends requesting link removals, but from a technical standpoint, if they don’t do that and just disavow, it’s pretty much going to work, right?
No, I wouldn’t count on this. In particular, Google can look at the snapshot of links we saw when we took manual action. If we don’t see any links actually taken down off the web, then we can see that sites have been disavowing without trying to get the links taken down.”
There are many more questions answered by Matt, read the full interview here.