The guys over at Bing are really catching up with Google and in some cases they are introducing some much needed features ahead of Google. In past couple of months many SEOs and site owners have recieved “unnatural links” notice from Google. In some cases, some of these sites have dropped and in others there are some minor fluctuation as far as ranking is concerned. 

Google is making some really bad moves on this front and are unable to answer a couple of major questions:

  1. If Google is able to accurately detect unnatural links, why is there a need to make site owners to remove those links? Why can’t Google just making those unnatural links impotent?
  2. If unnatural links can be easily detected then why is the onus on site owners to remove them? Doesn’t this encourage negative SEO?

The reality is that Google is simply dodging responsibility and as a result they are fuelling negative SEO. According to one of the latest posts by Vanessa Fox who is an ex-Googler, “Google says they work very hard to prevent this from happening.”

The statement above (I am still waiting to hear whether that is an official statement from Google or not) is rather interesting because it confirms that negative SEO is actually effective. This is rather absurd because it leads back to my first question. Why “work very hard to prevent” negative SEO when they can actually detect unnatural links and why not make them impotent? Why let it happen in the first place?

There are hundreds of site owners out there who have suffered great losses because of the so called unnatural links penalty. While some deserve such penalties others are struggling to remove links that they have absolutely no control over.

Disavowing links seems to be a relatively good solution and Bing has just announced this feature.

You can use Bing’s Disavow Links tool to submit page, directory, or domain URLs that may contain links to your site that seem “unnatural” or appear to be from spam or low quality sites.

Here is what the official Bing statement by Duane Forrester:

“These signals help us understand when you find links pointing to your content that you want to distance yourself from for any reason.  You should not expect a dramatic change in your rankings as a result of using this tool, but the information shared does help Bing understand more clearly your intent around links pointing to your site.”

So very well done to the Bing team for allowing site owners to have this control. Google will eventually follow suit but what they have done up until this moment is completely absurd and a great example of bad self centred decision making.

By the way, if you have got an unnatural links notice, you may want to read Detected Unnatural Links: The easiest way to identify offending links.