The recent comments by Josh Bachynski in a recent video below, where he was found saying that Google’s disavowal tool alone cannot help websites get better in ranking has made many SEO professionals and web solution providers a little worried. After all, they had been long waiting for a tool for disavowing the links and now that it had finally arrived there was someone telling them that it wouldn’t be any good if used as the only way of improving the ranks. For those who don’t know much about this particular topic, here’s the basic understanding.
Penguin (From Google)
Penguin is the name given to the updates made by Google made in its algorithms ruling and managing its online website ranking. Google updates these algorithms in order to make sure that only the quality content is displayed in top results. To do that Google has to get rid of the websites with weak and bad back links and websites that are using black hat methods to improve their rankings in the Google search results. The algorithm is frequently updated and refreshed by Google to ensure that the cleaning process continues consistently to keep all website owners alerted.
Whether a website deserves to be on top of the search results or not depends a great deal on what type of back links it has. The quality of back links decides the ranking of the website. If regular checks are not performed the websites can build many back links to improve in rankings without focusing on the quality of links and rather putting in all efforts to increase their quantity. The disavowal tool is the tool available to website owners and SEO professionals to disavow the links that they consider might play a role in bringing their ranking down when Penguin rolls on.
What’s Really Happening
John Mueller, the Trend Analyst working for Google, believes that the disavowal tool should be enough for website owners and SEO professionals in improving their ranking and also to stay away from the penalties that come from Penguin if it finds out that a website has deployed black hat methods to better its ranking. The controversy starts when professionals working to disavow the links of various websites are not able to prove that the ranking of a particular website improved only because the disavowal tool. There are always other factors playing the role of rank improvers.
In the past, John Mueller had made some insights about the running of Penguin that didn’t prove to be right and this is what puts his statement in question too. However, he has been a believable source on most occasions and it is believed that the disavowal tool should be enough in order to stay away from the penalties of Penguin. Many other SEO companies and professionals that have been working with Disavowal tool to remove the bad links from a website’s portfolio have shown their concerns over the statement of Disavowal tool being not enough for thwarting Penguin’s penalties.
This is going to be a big concern for website owners since they would never know for sure whether using the Disavowal tool is going to help them in improving their rank or not. However, on most occasions, as presented on various online blogs, SEO professionals have seen that Disavowal tool has worked in improving the ranking of websites.
As far as lawyers I have worked with go, they saw improvements in their rankings without having to clean up the links manually. The problem is that due to many other factors being worked on simultaneously for improving the website’s ranking, an SEO, or in house lawyer trying to learn this stuff, can never tell if it really was solely the Disavowal tool that played the part in escaping the Penguin’s penalty.
I for one have seen sites bounce back, only to seemingly filter away again, due to there not being a “natural” flow of new and QUALITY links being layered on over time. One major concern is trying to figure out what Google likes. The PageRank toolbar is no longer being updated, so most commoners now have to resort to paid tools and also be very good at spotting excellent writing and the various, acceptable styles to Google (eg semantic writing, etc.). One other factor I have discussed before, is understanding that Google recognizes quality writing and even tells you what it thinks about your content, if you simply run it through their “Reading Level Tool” (Click Here.)
The website owners can probably rest assured that the Disavowal tool will work for them for its intended purpose. It is not a silver bullet to regain rank. One must also simultaneously be cleaning the site up, as well as culling bad links, removing Ezines that could cause unnatural links to appear on low quality content farms, and by working hard to get stories picked up by legit, high traffic sites.
Many results have been posted on various legal websites by so called SEO professionals, and in most of them they have shown that, in conjunction with compelling content that answers questions, AND that content being picked up by other sites, in the form of citations to the original document, using the tool has helped their clients’ websites get better rankings.
In some cases the results were a bit delayed but all of the websites that used Disavowal tool saw an improvement in their rankings. In most cases, the SEO professionals had not worked at all on removing the links manually and only relied on the Disavowal tool. Using combined arms techniques of disavow, remove, rewrite, rework, picking up new backlinks, AND running far far far away from most PHP type directories is the key from my point of view.
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