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what happened to Google links disavow tool?

Discussion in 'Search Engine Optimization (SEO)' started by ozsubasi, Sep 22, 2012.

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  1. ozsubasi

    ozsubasi New Member

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    It is now nearly 3 months since Bing launched their own "links disavow" tool but although many (including myself) expected Google to follow quickly with something of their own, nothing has happened.
    In fact there is very little mention of it anywhere now. What do you think Google is planning?
    Have they dropped the idea, or are they still trying to decide the best way to operate a system like this?
    Please note that I realize no-one has an actual answer to what Google may or may not be doing, I am just interested in opinions.
     
  2. shabbir

    shabbir Administrator Staff Member

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    I don't think Google would do something similar even if they had something like this in mind and so I don't expect anything inline with dasavow
     
  3. ozsubasi

    ozsubasi New Member

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    Google did have it mind because back in June Matt Cutts apparently said:

    "Some have suggested that Google could disavow links. Even though we put in a lot of protection against negative SEO, there’s been so much talk about that that we’re talking about being able to enable that, maybe in a month or two or three.
    http://searchengineland.com/live-blog-you-a-with-matt-cutts-at-smx-advanced-123513

    What I am questioning is what happened to that idea, and if it is still in their minds, if is not in line with what Bing have done, what format could it take?
    What perhaps could Google do different?
     
  4. shabbir

    shabbir Administrator Staff Member

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    There are always 2 webmasters involved in a link. First the webmaster who places a link and second webmaster who is being linked and so another approach could be to tag links by webmaster who owns the site or else whatever you name it, it would be similar to disavow
     
  5. ozsubasi

    ozsubasi New Member

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    Sorry but I don't agree that there are always two webmasters involved. I have links from sites that I have never heard of and I have not placed any link with. Trying to contact the webmasters of those sites is often impossible.
    If it were possible to tag such links, how would we let Google know? And how would that be different from disavowing?
     
  6. shabbir

    shabbir Administrator Staff Member

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    By two webmasters I did not mean they mutually discuss about the links or do an exchange and at times natural links also include two webmasters. One is being linked and the other is linking and if Google shows those links as bad you have very little things to do.Google has guidelines for webmasters impossible to contact. See http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/new-notifications-about-inbound-links.html especially the para that starts with In a few situations, we have heard about directories or blog networks that won't take links down.

    Tagging links is good option but spam report is already in place.
     
  7. ozsubasi

    ozsubasi New Member

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    I have tried the spam report but although I received acknowledgements they do not report back on any action taken and in my cases the links remained in place.
    Also Google have acknowledged that they only act on a certain percentage of reports.
    I have tried blocking linking sites using .htaccess but again this does not help when Google does not visit the site in question to crawl it.
     
  8. shabbir

    shabbir Administrator Staff Member

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    The link will always remain in place but possibly Google will not give anything (good or bad) for that link.
    Even with Bing you see things in webmaster tools but how actually Bing takes them is still unknown. Google only needs to make sure that spam report reflects in Webmaster tools but Google has always lagged integration of different tools and reports. The biggest example is Feedburner stats are not part of Google Analytics.
    How can you block sites linking to you in .htaccess?
     
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  9. ozsubasi

    ozsubasi New Member

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    by setting it so that any link from a particular site to mine returns a 403 error.
     
  10. shabbir

    shabbir Administrator Staff Member

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    User would see 403 but not Google. That is what I assume.
     
  11. ozsubasi

    ozsubasi New Member

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    My understanding is that Google would also see the 403 error page, just as it does for a 404.
    The idea of this is that either the site owner will remove the link (because they will not want broken links) or that Google will eventually de-ındex it as it will 404's. But as I said earlier, if Google does not crawl the page where the link is located it really doesn't help from that point of view.
    But should the site put up any further links to mine, Google will not be able to follow them and therefore I can at least prevent it from happening again.
     
  12. shabbir

    shabbir Administrator Staff Member

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    Google will not see 403 unless Google follows the link and index your site and Google never does it that way or else it will never end indexing any given page.

    So if I am on site A - and finds links to site A1, A2 ... A10 on Site A, I will not follow each link but I will make an index of Sites A and then add the links A1 to A10 to be visited and then visit each of those links and index. (Assuming Site A and A1 to A10 have one page for understanding)

    So Google's bot will not be visiting Site A1 with referral from Site A or Page A

    So Google will always be able to index those pages but users will not.
     
  13. ozsubasi

    ozsubasi New Member

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    I understand what you are saying, and that once google has followed a link it is difficult to tell it not to follow it any more.
    Google will at some time revisit the pages where the links are placed, and will attempt to follow the links from that page. But it is after all only a machine, and although it may have followed the link before, having now made it a 403 if it tries to follow it again it will find it broken.
    I have a number of pages on my site which are now 404 because I have deleted them. After trying the links to them a number of times Google will eventually de-index them. The same theory applies for 403, except that instead of de-indexing the page the links are pointing to, it can only de-index the link itself because it does not now know where the page is.
    This theory may not work, but the point is that we are very limited in what we can try to do to disconnect our sites from links that could potentially be detrimental. I have not found any evidence that this kind of action can cause any harm, so for me it is a case of doing something rather than nothing and if it helps then it is a bonus.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2012
  14. shabbir

    shabbir Administrator Staff Member

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    Doing something is good but then according to me you are just blocking visitors but by no chance Googlebot. Will love to see the results because what we are saying right now is what could happen but not what is happening.
     
  15. ozsubasi

    ozsubasi New Member

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    If a visitor tries to follow the link they will get a 403 and so will googlebot.
    How can googlebot get a different response? It comes from my server, they cannot get anything different.
    If I make a page a 404 by deleting it, Google will not remove it from its index for many months and I believe the same applies for 403.
    What I am talking about in this thread is what sites can possibly do to try to remove potential problems, and at the same time accepting that none of us has definite answers, it can only be opinion.
    Even if a link does finally get removed from webmaster tools, there is no way of knowing for sure what the reason was, i.e. whether it is something we have done.
     
  16. ozsubasi

    ozsubasi New Member

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