For years Google pagerank and search engine results have been heavily influenced by the number of backlinks to a website (read more about Backlink Basics).

Panda and Penguin UpdatesThis brought rise to all manner of practices to create backlink strategies hoping to improve organic results, whether natural or artificial.

With this years search algorithm changes, Panda and Penguin, Google has sought to address the unwanted practice of unnatural link building widely used by some SEO companies to skew search results.

Though the techniques have been widely white hat (acceptable) SEO, it has certainly given rise to enormous amounts of low level spam content purely created for backlinking strategies.

The first pass at sorting out the wheat from the chaff, was Panda and the annihilation of content farms, sites purely created to generate artificial backlinks – loads of content and not a human in sight.

The latest change, Penguin, addressed backlinking relevance, assessing a websites backlink mix and sent out emails to thousands of sites alerting them to their findings (for more read Search Engine Land article).

But Sir, I Can’t Help It!

Until now, there has been little you could do about artificial backlinks that either you or your SEO company set up for you – other than attempt to contact these spammy sites and ask to be removed.

The reality is though, the likelihood of contacting a spam site with excellent customer service is … well, it’s a spam site!

So Google have now launched a new feature in their Webmaster toolkit enabling webmasters to disavow a backlink, flagging that the receiving site does not wish the link to be recognised as endorsed by the recipient.

Read more from the <a href=””>latest Google post</a> on their new disavow tool.

If nothing else – USE WITH CAUTION is the message that Matt Cutts really wants to get across.

The Panda & Penguin Paradox

Ironically, the Panda and Penguin algorithm changes gave rise to a whole wave of articles and blog posts themed “SEO IS DEAD”!

So Google created the demand for global spam, and now, are trying to fix it up. Not that this is a criticism, we struggle with relevant organic search in a directory of just over 10,000,000 pages!

Yet, as Matt Cutts quotes in the launch video for their new webmaster tool:

We do hear from SEO’s who try to do clean up, and there’s an entire niche for people, for SEO’s whose job it is to clean up backlinks.

Matt Cutts, head of Google’s Webspam team

SEO is not dead.

But SEO companies who make a living only by creating badly written articles posted across thousands of sites and charge for article or blog submission, well it looks like they are short lived.

Published by Corri Byrne

Corri Byrne is the General Manager of dLook and the driving force behind the dLook resurgence as the leading online business directory and its further expansion into online advertising and multimedia.

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