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Don’t Rush Into Link Disavowal

Right, so today the whole SEO and Affiliate industries have been abuzz with news of the Google link disavow tool arriving. A certain SEO (me) even said on a panel in BAC last weekend that he’d be amazed if it ever even arrived. Well, at the time, it was a slight exaggeration, but it definitely came sooner than expected. Dave Naylor quite rightly told me that it is coming and sooner than expected, but granted he had some inside knowledge on this one being a BETA tester.

Now a lot of you with penalties who have been trying to clean up the bad back links may see this Google link disavow tool as Matt Cutts riding in on a white steed and slaying the evil Google Penguin monster. Well, you’re wrong. That is not what is happening here, and you need to be careful and really think about what this tool is before you even consider using it.

The fact is this tool is only going to be seen as a “strong recommendation” as to whether Google should ignore the links. If they think you’ve been building links recently, then your penalty is likely to stay. Added to which, when you look at Google’s track record, you could just be feeding them crumbs of information while they bite your hand off.

In the same BAC panel earlier mentioned, it was also stated (by me again) that Google is not in the habit of cutting the gambling industry a break. I’ve run a lot of re-inclusion requests, as I’m sure a lot of you have, and we all know just how well they work, even if you have removed everything humanly possible and then some… To only get back an automated response. (Although I should note a client who spent a few million a year in PPC got a much more positive response… Coincidence?)

The one piece of advice that every affiliate NEEDS to follow here is to let other people make the mistakes. Wait a few weeks and see what happens when the horror stories come out before even touching this tool. It is NOT, and never will be, the “get out of jail free” card some are hailing it to be. If you add in links that are not actually hurting you, which a lot of people will, due to the mass paranoia right now, then you will not be getting the full value back if you try to undo things later. Whether we like to admit it or not, the iGaming industry is treated differently by the big G so don’t expect Google to actually pay too much attention as to anything we tell it.

Finally, there is one more point that should be made… If you are going to use this tool, do it slowly, start with the worst links that you have and only feed them in small amounts. Don’t just rush out and throw everything in.

There are always a few that are early to jump in on these sorts of things. Do we all remember the link warnings where everyone ratted out their networks, and in terms of percentages of sites that a lot of experts saw people who ignored them actually held their positions longer? Make sure you’re not in that boat.

The moral of the story is be careful, wait for every other industry to dive in and make mistakes, read the horror stories and learn from them, as getting a second chance in iGaming is much more difficult than any other niche.