The Fresh Egg blog
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This month Google's John Mueller features twice in respect of reconsideration requests and nofollow penalties, Bing adds a cool new webmaster tool introduced by Duanne Forrester and Michael Martinez shares his views on the sensitive topic of link building.
Google’s John Mueller speaking on reconsideration requests
Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst, John Mueller, replied to a webmaster’s question on the webmaster tools forum [source], providing some insight on just how much work needs to be done before submitting a reconsideration request:
“With 85% resolved, it sounds like you've covered a lot of ground already! If there are links that you're absolutely not able to remove, I'd document that with a reconsideration request along with the issues that you've been able to resolve."
Scott Colenutt, SEO Engineer at Fresh Egg, says: “Various snippets of information have been sent out from Google via different sources giving views on what needs to be done. Nothing as yet has been officially sent to webmasters. John Mueller’s response here is therefore helpful, in giving a numeric indication of how much Google is looking for in back link clean-up attempts. This figure may not be exact, but it’s a good indicator. If you have a large back link profile, it’s time to analyse whether your time is best spent on cleaning up back links, or adopting a radical new strategy.”
Bing – Disavowing links
Duanne Forrester informed Bing webmaster’s of Bing’s new disavow links option via the webmaster center blog [source]. Here he said:
“Today we’re announcing the Disavow Links feature in Bing Webmaster Tools. Use the Disavow Links tool to submit page, directory, or domain URLs that may contain links to your site that seem "unnatural" or appear to be from spam or low quality sites.”
Scott Colenutt, SEO Engineer at Fresh Egg, says: “Bing is doing everything right when it comes to learning from Google’s mistakes right now. A simple feature such as this in Google’s webmaster tools would make back link clean up attempts and communication with Google a lot easier. It also provides a great preventative measure for the future. If this feature were in Google webmaster tools right now, and you had received an unnatural link alert message, there would be some level of reassurance knowing that you’ve identified and submitted links pointing to your site to an area monitored by Google. Well done Bing!”
Google's John Mueller on there not being a nofollow penalty
John Mueller was a busy man in the forums during June. This was his response to a few questions in the Google product forums about the nofollow attribute being used for product reviews [source]:
“Having links (even a large number of them) with rel=nofollow pointing to your site does not negatively affect your site. We take these links out of our PageRank calculations, and out of our algorithms when they use links."
Scott Colenutt, SEO Engineer at Fresh Egg, says: “This is of great reassurance for any SEO or webmaster who is looking to improve their follow/no follow back link ratio without concern of nofollow links damaging their profile. Product reviews are a great way of promoting your product or brand but there are obviously concerns among site owners and bloggers around the subject of ‘paid linking’. John Mueller’s advice is clear: if you are sending out products for review, make the links back to your site nofollow. There’s nothing to say these nofollow links won’t provide some level of trust value associated with your site.”
In a post by Michael Martinez over at seo-theory.com entitled, Positive, Forward-looking Methods of Acquiring Links [source], Michael opened his excellent post with the following:
“Link building will not go away. I have no problem with it as long as people understand there are risks entailed in such work.”
Scott Colenutt, SEO Engineer at Fresh Egg, says: “There’s nothing particularly profound or insightful from this quote, but I found it refreshingly honest for someone to be talking this way about link building in the current SEO climate. The simple fact is that while there are link building tactics which are risky, there are many tactics which are both safe and beneficial. Working in SEO means that one needs to be aware of the risks associated with various link acquisition tactics, such as paying for links, as these approaches may have been used in the past. Your job as an SEO may be to overcome the negative impact of such links once Google has become aware of what has been done.”