The battle to beat negative SEO seems to be never ending, so it’s no surprise that search engines are constantly changing algorithms and creating new systems to help solve this problem. For those who are unfamiliar, negative SEO occurs when one website deliberately tries to hurt another website by making it look like that website is of low quality. The biggest way that competitors make this happen is by pointing spammy links from spammy sites at the website they are trying to make look bad. To Google bots, it looks as though this website must be low quality, which then lowers any chance for a good SERP ranking for that site. So what’s the latest and greatest solution? The Bing Disavow Links tool.

How the Bing Disavow Links Tool Works

Bing has beat Google to the punch by launching a Disavow Tool to their Webmaster Tools. The greatest thing about this tool is the fact that web owners now have the power to really do something about negative SEO. In the past many search engines have tried to solve such problems on their own or made it a long process for website owners to alert them about unwanted links pointing to their site, but the new disavow links tool is expected to change all that.

The way the tools works is this: Website owners can go into the Bing Webmaster Tools “Configure Your Site” section to find the Disavow Tool. Once a website owners has opened the tool, he/she can add in the site where the unwanted link is found and then hit “disavow.” Below is a screenshot of the tool provided on the Bing blog:

There is no limit to the number of links that you can disavow, and you will have a record on the page that you can export should you want this information in the future. Bing will add in the type of location the link is found (page, directory, or domain) as well as the date that the website owner disavowed the link. It’s as easy as that!

The Usefulness of the Disavow Link Explored

Bings Duane Forrester, made it clear that the new disavow link is really nothing more than a signal to Bing. The entire purpose of this tool is to help Bing understand the website owner’s true intent. Below are a few things to note about the new tool:

  • It does not necessarily mean that Bing has to listen to you.

This may seem unfortunate at the outset, but it actually makes sense when you really think about it. If Bing immediately got rid of that link or did not follow that link, then competitors would just use this tool to continue with the negative SEO by asking for good links to be flagged. In other words, Bing does take all requests seriously and with analysis.

  • It won’t make a huge difference in your SERP position.

Although alerting Bing to these unwanted links should help improve the way that Bing sees and ranks your site, expecting huge leaps on the search engine shouldn’t be expected according to Forrester. There are hundreds of signals that Bing uses to create a ranking system; links are just one small aspect.

  • Website owners really are in control.

If a website owner doesn’t find a bunch of unwanted links to disavow, this tool isn’t going to do it for you. Bing has other systems in place to try and find these spammy links, but it is up to the website owner to always be on the lookout and really use the new tool when it’s needed. Some are more than happy to help, others see this as a waste of time since it won’t dramatically affect rankings. It’s up to you to decide where your priorities lie.