Breaking news from Pubcon:
Head of Google’s Webspam Team, Matt Cutts, has just announced during his Keynote Speech at Pubcon that Google has launched a new ‘disavow links’ feature to its Webmaster Tools suite (you can access it here). This apparently gives webmasters the ability to communicate to Google any spammy or low quality backlinks that reflect badly on their website, and suggest that they not be taken into account as part of their website’s link profile.
Right after Cutts’ speech, Google published a blog post relating to the new disavow tool.
During his keynote speech, Matt Cutts emphasized that the tool should be used with caution, and that it would not be necessary for most websites to use it all. Cutts said that the tool does not act as a replacement for actively removing spam links from a website, though he did acknowledge that disavowing links can be used as a final alternative for webmasters who have had difficulty getting links removed from unresponsive spam websites.
To use the tool, webmasters must upload a text file listing the URLs which they want to disavow.
Cutts provided the following example for using the tool effectively:
# Contacted owner of spamdomain1.com on 7/1/2012 to
# ask for link removal but got no response
# Owner of spamdomain2.com removed most links, but missed these
The # tag indicates that the line is a comment, allowing webmasters to tell Google the reason they want to disavow the links. A domain: indicates that every single link from this domain should be disavowed.
For more information, check out Google’s short video about the ‘disavow links’ tool: