In the aftermath of Google Penguin, a new algorithm designed to punish or restrict sites that manipulate the search engine with spam techniques, many in the SEO industry have worried increasingly about negative SEO.
Of course, Google’s ongoing progress in combating fake link profiles and other loop hole violations is not a new issue, nor is the threat of negative SEO, but since the introduction of Google Penguin, the fervour concerning the process has certainly grown.
In 2012, Google has rolled out the Penguin update and certain sites suffered negative consequences of unnatural links pointing toward their site. The search engine recommended that site owners remove spammy links in order to recover from the affects of the update, but for many this was not enough. They worried that since these links could hurt the site they pointed at, competitors of a company could buy them in bulk and point them at their rivals’ sites.
One of the ways in which the SEO community suggests negative SEO could be tackled is through the process of disavowing a link, and like negative SEO, this is not a new concept. But the disavowal of links within Google could have moved a step closer to fruition as news hits the web that Google competitor Bing has launched the ability to disavow a link.
Despite asserting that low quality site links would not hurt a site’s Bing ranking, in their long published FAQ section, Microsoft has now announced the ability to mark links that you disavow, via Bing Webmaster Tools.
According to Bing, site owners ‘should not expect a dramatic change’ in ranking by doing so, but assured site owners that ‘the information shared does help Bing understand more clearly your intent around links pointing to your site’.
This means that the disavowal process might not immediately prove too time effective, but it’s introduction could mark the beginning of a process by which all major search engines, including Google, could introduce similar measures.
HitSearch Director Andy Redfern commented "Just a few weeks ago Google announced the possibility of a similar tool being made available in the coming months, but Bing has rolled out this addition to webmaster tools in double quick time. This is symbolic of the battle between Microsoft and Google in terms of their respective search products.
"Microsoft has invested a significant account of business resources into making the Bing search engine much more competitive. Bing want to be more nimble when it comes to innovations in search and could be looking to take advantage of the fact that Google no longer focuses solely on search. This can only be a good thing for the search industry and I will be watching intensely to see what happens next."