I’ve talked before in Step 2, What Others Say About You, about the importance of quality links from outside sources. Spammy links from questionable websites will not help your website rank highly.
There are also some really bad links. If a very predictable pattern of spammy links are pointed at your website, Google can sometimes recognize you as someone who is trying to “Game the system”. Google doesn’t like to be gamed.
Penalties against websites using spammy links can be anything from dropping a page down in the rankings to disappearing altogether. But, what if you didn’t intend for those links to be created? Or, what if you want to get rid of them, but don’t know how?
Many folks have gotten excited about the Google Disavow tool. It allows you to tell Google “That link pointing to me is unwanted. It’s not mine and I don’t like it.”
Don’t use the Google Disavow tool yourself.
It’s tempting, but all of the SEO research I’ve read says that it is a dangerous weapon in the hands of a novice. If you’re reading this guide, you’re probably a novice. There are a lot of ways to get rid of bad links to your website. If you absolutely need to Google Disavow tool, you probably need professional SEO help first.
So, why would I bring it up? Hopefully I’m the first person to tell you about it. Now you won’t stumble onto it on your own and make a mess for yourself.