Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Disavow Links Tool Launched by Google!

The wait is finally over! SEOs and webmasters around the globe have been waiting for this tool for months and it is finally here. Google has announced the official launch of a new tool to disavow links- which will let webmasters get rid of poor or irrelevant or disreputable links to their site quite easily. This tool gives webmasters and SEOs the much needed instrument to protect their sites from being penalized by the Penguin update, which was rolled out in April this year and targets webspam.

The tool has been long anticipated since Matt Cutts spoke about it. And now, speaking at the Pubcon conference, Matt Cutts formally announced the tool’s launch. SEOs can try the tool from here.

Google’s tool comes in more than 3 months after Bing launched its Disavow links tool- a big surprise at the time because Google has just begun speculating about it- and within a few days, Bing launched the tool.

Disavow Links Tool Launched by Google!
How to Use the Disavow Tool

Google has said that format requires the URLs to be listed in a text file from a specific site using domain: format- eg-

Then this is how Google advices to move ahead:

“An excerpt of a valid file might look like the following:
# Contacted owner of on 7/1/2012 to 
# ask for link removal but got no response
# Owner of removed most links, but missed these

In this example, lines that begin with a pound sign (#) are considered comments and Google ignores them. The “domain:” keyword indicates that you’d like to disavow links from all pages on a particular site (in this case, “”). You can also request to disavow links on specific pages (in this case, three individual pages on We currently support one disavowal file per site and the file is shared among site owners in Webmaster Tools. If you want to update the file, you’ll need to download the existing file, modify it, and upload the new one. The file size limit is 2MB.”

Disavow Links Tool Launched by Google!

The links will be disavowed in some time- roughly several weeks. Google has added that it may not use the submissions if it finds them untrustworthy. Also, Matt Cutts said that the ideal route for webmasters would be to initially try to remove the links by asking the webmasters of the sites to remove them and only then use the disavow tool.

Great News for Penguin Hit Sites

This tool will be a huge help to webmasters hoping to revive their sites after the Penguin update. The update came down upon sites with spammy links pointing to them and this led to a widespread panic among SEOs about negative SEO. The frequent link warnings released by Google were also adding to the pressure. That is why this tool will now help SEOs get control of their sites once again. This is what Matt Cutts says about the tool:

What do you think of the tool? Will you use it? Do share your views.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Google Updates Google+ Local Rating – Review Scale!

Now users can review a place on Google Maps as: "poor – fair," “good,” “very good,” or "excellent".
As announced on Google+, Google’s Megan Stevenson said that they have rolled out the updated rating scale which allows for giving easier and highly accurate reviews. Her post said- "It’s easier than ever to write accurate, useful reviews on Google+ Local, thanks to the updated rating scale we rolled out. If you want to rate the food at a restaurant, or the quality of a mechanic, just choose: "poor – fair," “good,” “very good,” or "excellent".
Google Updates Google+ Local Rating – Review Scale!

The new rating given by a user is then converted by Google into numbers and then used for the business' precise 30-point score which comes up in Google+, Search and Maps.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Google Releases Rich Snippets Guidelines!

Google has always stressed on the importance it places on rich snippets while placing a site’s page on its search results. The search engine has illustrated time and again that rich snippets that summarize the content of a page by using structured data markup have a much better shot at being placed high in search results. Moving in the same direction, Google has launched a new set of guidelines that will allow webmaster to create a structured data markup for rich snippets.

As Google said, “Once you've correctly added structured data markup to you site, rich snippets are generated algorithmically based on that markup. If the markup on a page offers an accurate description of the page's content, is up-to-date, and is visible and easily discoverable on your page and by users, our algorithms are more likely to decide to show a rich snippet in Google’s search results.”

Google Releases Rich Snippets Guidelines!
The search engine also warned that in case webmasters create spammy or incorrect snippets, the bots will filter and ignore the markup. Google also added that they may also manually disable rich snippets for a site abusing these snippets. Google will consider it spammy if a retailer has general store reviews on the page and not the specific product’s reviews. You can find more information at the Help Center.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Google Confirms Release of the 20th Panda Update: Panda 20 is Out!

On September 27th, Google rolled out what they call as the 20th Panda update which is a major rollout as compared to the refreshes released in the last few months. This update is said to impact 2.4% of English search terms. 
Webmasters noticed the rankings slip over the weekend and earlier it was thought that the EMD update was responsible for it. But later it was confirmed by Google to Search Engine Land that a new Panda algorithm update has been rolled out which “affects about 2.4% of English queries to a degree that a regular user might notice.”
Google has also said that they will continue rolling updates for this Panda algorithm and Matt Cutts, head of Google’s Webspam team has been quoted in the media as saying, “Google began rolling out a new update of Panda on Thursday, 9/27. This is actually a Panda algorithm update, not just a data update. A lot of the most-visible differences went live Thursday 9/27, but the full rollout is baking into our index and that process will continue for another 3-4 days or so. This update affects about 2.4% of English queries to a degree that a regular user might notice, with a smaller impact in other languages (0.5% in French and Spanish, for example).”
Have you noticed your rankings slipping? Do share your experiences. For more on the Panda update, read our full coverage.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Google Updates Webmaster Guidelines!

This is an important piece of news for all webmasters. Google has announced that they have released and updated version of their Webmaster Quality Guidelines. As per Google, the updated quality guidelines have many more articles on specific issues like links schemes etc. The entire information directory is updated so that webmasters can create websites that are in line with what Google expects to be followed in terms of quality standards.

As the search engine giant said, “the main message of our quality guidelines hasn’t changed: Focus on the user. However, we’ve added more guidance and examples of behavior that you should avoid in order to keep your site in good standing with Google’s search results. We’ve also added a set of quality and technical guidelines for rich snippets, as structured markup is becoming increasingly popular.”

Do check out the new updates guidelines and let us know how you find them.