So you’ve been working steadily at online lead generation and Goog’e’s Disavow Links Tool looks like it could significantly impact your efforts.
There’s more to this than meets the eye and if you’re using a web presence to drive business enquiries then this is something you’re going to want to pay attention to, and quickly.
Most people involved in internet marketing, whether for themselves or for clients, acknowledge that the Panda and Penguin updates were a devastating blow to the practice of SEO. Search Engine Optimization, for many, has been a necessary evil. A way to get a web presence ranked highly enough that people searching for a specific key word actually get to see it in the search engine results.
Google has been focusing on cleaning up the search engine results so that they are providing their users with the best possible match for their query. But, with the millions of sites out there, it was an almost impossible task for even behemoth Google’s resources. So now, as both Ed Dale and Eugene Ware of Noble Samurai put it, Google has ‘crowdsourced’ the operation. In other words, they’re getting you and me to do the work of ferreting out any backlinks that have been placed in any kind of automated or syndicated fashion.
So… is this a good thing or a bad thing?
If you’re Google and you’re against SEO pretty much in every way, it’s a wonderful opportunity to come bearing gifts… the question is, are recipients receiving poisoned apples?
When you use the Disavow Links Tool and provide them with a list of suspect backlinks that you cannot remove… guess what? They not only flag that site from which the backlink is coming… they flag ALL the sites they’re backlinking TO as well. Say, for instance, you get a social bookmark backlink to your site and then later on I get the same social bookmarker linking to my site and then I decide I think that backlink is suspect and I report it to Google – well then, that social bookmarking account is going to be flagged as spammy and so am I… yay!
Now you’ve cleared your conscience and destroyed the social bookmarking account and everyone they’ve ever linked to.
And Google is thrilled to bits because in one fell swoop they’ve dealt with multiple ‘transgressors’. Now, do you really think they’re going to spend too much time determining if that social bookmarking account is really legit or not? And algorithms can make mistakes.
I have a theory about this. If you had a company that had a ton of free services and a ton of paid services, but you weren’t making as much money from the paid services as you imagined, and, as a consequence, your stock price fell, what would you do? My guess is you’d probably look at ways to convert some of the free service users into paid service users. And if the paid services became pretty much your only option, well, it’s not that hard a sell.
On the other hand: According to Google, social, mobile and local citations are what they’re looking for when determining your authority online. Back linking is no longer a big deal. This brings up two questions:
1. if it’s no longer a big deal in getting you ranked, then why bother with the Disavow tool?
2. if you also own a social media platform (Google+) how would you go about ‘encouraging’ people to use it heavily?
Hmm… let’s see now…
Interesting times for those involved in SEO and online lead generation.