The addition of Google’s new disavow tool is a welcome tool. This new feature allows you to have an extra tool to protect your website from “negative SEO.” Previously, if a competitor was to go out and submit a bunch of low quality links to your site, Google would assume it was you trying to do poor SEO, and your site could be penalized. Most penalties would stem from either a large volume of low quality, or spammy links. Now, if you see someone doing negative SEO, you can basically tell Google, “Hey. I don’t like that link either. Please ignore it.” While a disavow submission doesn’t guarantee that Google will ignore the link, they emphasize that they will use it as a “strong” signal from the Webmaster.
Considering that Bing beat Google to the punch earlier this year by releasing this feature in Bing’s Webmaster Tools environment, this feature is overdue on Google’s end. Many in the industry are surprised that it took any of the major search engines this long to come up with this feature in general. This type of tool could have been introduced years ago and would have been welcomed by many. That’s how long such a feature has been overlooked. Even with this tool having the ability to be extremely useful, it can also be extremely hazardous for uneducated users. This tool is to be used only for very specific scenarios, but is nice to keep in the back of your mind.