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Fighting the Anomoly

Google has introduced a new tool for their PageRank algorithm: disavowing links. PageRank works by scoring sites based on the score of pages that link to it. In the past, this led to sites attempting Search Engine Optimization, or the practice of seeding blogs, forums, and other link hubs with spam. Since then Google has updated their algorithm to deal with all the spam – links to your site that seem “unnatural” actually hurt your score. This, however, left some websites with a problem: they have spam links all over the web and either can’t remove them or simply don’t know where they are, and the existence of those links actually hurts their ranking in a web search. In response, Google has released a tool to disavow certain incoming links to your website, potentially saving your website from being removed from Google’s search index.

It may seem unintuitive, but for some, Google’s PageRank algorithm has gotten too smart for some, and has begun to penalize spammers. With the introduction of this anti-spam feature Google is attempting to clean up the web. Having spam link to your website no longer helps you – in fact, it hurts. Being excluded from Google search results is devastating for any website. However, the anti-spam development in PageRank can be a boon to a cleaner web, with fewer spam sites and fewer bogus links on blogs and forums. By removing spam links to their websites, web masters can also increase the scores of websites they link to. In short, shutting down spam helps the entire web.

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