Almost everyone with a serious online business and a real website intended to do more than just sit there and look pretty is familiar with the Google Penguin update.  Many product makers have used it to scare you into buying their products.

Some of them may work others… well… who knows.  I’m not here to judge them or test them all. I can’t do that.

The Good Thing

But I can help you understand the latest Google tool for you Penguin lovers.  It’s the Google Disavow Tool.  It’s purpose is to give you a tool for you to tell Google, through the Webmaster tools, which links to your website you don’t want to count.

This part is good, because it now gives you a way to “disconnect” your website from inbound links that may be low quality or just plain suck, even if a webmaster will not remove them at your request.  This part is good.

The Bad Thing

The bad part is, people are speculating all the bad ways this tool can affect your website ranking.  Some are stating it as fact, and (you can nearly be certain) will likely do so in trying to sell you “Penguin-proof” tools and tricks and more.

One of the possibilities is Google could use this against you if something like this happens:

  1. Site A (not your site) has links from your site and submits them via the Google Disavow tool.
  2. Google gets this, and then labels your site as spam because someone else submitted your URL via the Disavow tool.
  3. Your site gets knocked out of the rankings as a result.

There is no evidence this is happening, but people are already trying to scare by saying it is.  Of course, it is a possibility.  Nevertheless, I repeat that as of this writing there is no evidence this is happening.

What Google is after From Your Backlinks

Google wants 1 thing from your inbound links.  It’s very simple:

  • They want quality links that humans approve of.  That’s to say, a human put on the page with purpose and links to quality content on your site.  Or, that the content containing the link is quality content linking to your quality content.
  • The bad or low quality links are the ones created automatically, with no human intervention or review.  These links are most commonly in lousy content or totally unrelated content, and wouldn’t naturally appear where they do.

Simply review the Google Webmaster Guidelines to understand this more clearly.

Resources That Can Help You Today

Since the Google Disavow Tool is still very new, there really isn’t a whole lot that is verified about it.  The best thing you can do for yourself is simple read these “must read” resources.  This is the best information available as of today:

Don’t jump to conclusions until you’ve reviewed these resources. Even then, don’t jump to conclusions.