Vulnerabilities / Threats
10/17/2012
06:13 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Google Helps Webmasters Disavow Spammy Links

New Disavow tool gives website owners a way to distance their sites from linkspam.

10 Best Business Tools In Google+
10 Best Business Tools In Google+
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Google, to some, is a kind of god. So it's fitting that Google should offer redemption to those who have fallen from favor.

Google has just introduced what it calls its Disavow links tool, a way to disassociate one's website from linkspam.

In Google's book, linkspam is a sin. Linkspam, also known as Web spam or unnatural links, is a term to describe Web links that are deceptive or manipulative. Google sees a lot of linkspam because it treats links as votes for the relevancy of the designated website. Relevant websites appear at the top of search results lists and tend to get a lot of visitors; less relevant websites starve.

Many websites looking to improve their visibility in Google Search find it easier to pay some shady search engine optimization (SEO) firm to create a deluge of low-quality content that links back to the client's site than to craft copy so compelling that Internet users create links unbidden.

[ Congress is coming down hard on Chinese telecom equipment makers. Read What Huawei, ZTE Must Do To Regain Trust. ]

Google tries to discourage paid links, link exchanges, and other schemes designed to influence its relevancy rankings through its webmaster guidelines. But not everyone does the right thing.

Attempting to manipulate Google may pay off for a while, but sooner or later, Google is likely to catch on and the punishment can be severe. Several years ago, BMW was caught gaming Google's search system and Google reduced the PageRank of the offending website to zero, effectively excommunicating it for a time.

In a blog post, Jonathan Simon, webmaster trends analyst at Google, says that the Disavow tool is intended for website owners who have been notified of a manual spam action arising from "unnatural links" pointing at their site.

The first course of action he recommends is removing as many of the spammy links as possible. But because it's not always possible or practical to get in touch with the creators of incoming links, there's the Disavow tool. It tells Google to ignore incoming links that the website owner specifies in an uploaded file.

Google stresses that the Disavow tool is an advanced option that should be used with care. "If used incorrectly, this feature can potentially harm your site's performance in Google's search results," the company says on its website.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
Partner Perspectives
What's This?
In a digital world inundated with advanced security threats, Intel Security seeks to transform how we live and work to keep our information secure. Through hardware and software development, Intel Security delivers robust solutions that integrate security into every layer of every digital device. In combining the security expertise of McAfee with the innovation, performance, and trust of Intel, this vision becomes a reality.

As we rely on technology to enhance our everyday and business life, we must too consider the security of the intellectual property and confidential data that is housed on these devices. As we increase the number of devices we use, we increase the number of gateways and opportunity for security threats. Intel Security takes the “security connected” approach to ensure that every device is secure, and that all security solutions are seamlessly integrated.
Featured Writers
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading's October Tech Digest
Fast data analysis can stymie attacks and strengthen enterprise security. Does your team have the data smarts?
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-4448
Published: 2014-10-22
House Arrest in Apple iOS before 8.1 relies on the hardware UID for its encryption key, which makes it easier for physically proximate attackers to obtain sensitive information from a Documents directory by obtaining this UID.

CVE-2014-4449
Published: 2014-10-22
iCloud Data Access in Apple iOS before 8.1 does not verify X.509 certificates from TLS servers, which allows man-in-the-middle attackers to spoof servers and obtain sensitive information via a crafted certificate.

CVE-2014-4450
Published: 2014-10-22
The QuickType feature in the Keyboards subsystem in Apple iOS before 8.1 collects typing-prediction data from fields with an off autocomplete attribute, which makes it easier for attackers to discover credentials by reading credential values within unintended DOM input elements.

CVE-2012-5242
Published: 2014-10-21
Directory traversal vulnerability in functions/suggest.php in Banana Dance B.2.6 and earlier allows remote attackers to include and execute arbitrary local files via a .. (dot dot) in the name parameter in a get_template action.

CVE-2012-5243
Published: 2014-10-21
functions/suggest.php in Banana Dance B.2.6 and earlier allows remote attackers to read arbitrary database information via a crafted request.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Follow Dark Reading editors into the field as they talk with noted experts from the security world.