Vulnerabilities / Threats
10/17/2012
06:13 PM
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
Twitter
Google+
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
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading December Tech Digest
Experts weigh in on the pros and cons of end-user security training.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-3407
Published: 2014-11-27
The SSL VPN implementation in Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) Software 9.3(.2) and earlier does not properly allocate memory blocks during HTTP packet handling, which allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (memory consumption) via crafted packets, aka Bug ID CSCuq68888.

CVE-2014-4829
Published: 2014-11-27
Cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability in IBM Security QRadar SIEM and QRadar Risk Manager 7.1 before MR2 Patch 9 and 7.2 before 7.2.4 Patch 1, and QRadar Vulnerability Manager 7.2 before 7.2.4 Patch 1, allows remote attackers to hijack the authentication of arbitrary users for requests tha...

CVE-2014-4831
Published: 2014-11-27
IBM Security QRadar SIEM and QRadar Risk Manager 7.1 before MR2 Patch 9 and 7.2 before 7.2.4 Patch 1, and QRadar Vulnerability Manager 7.2 before 7.2.4 Patch 1, allow remote attackers to hijack sessions via unspecified vectors.

CVE-2014-4832
Published: 2014-11-27
IBM Security QRadar SIEM and QRadar Risk Manager 7.1 before MR2 Patch 9 and 7.2 before 7.2.4 Patch 1, and QRadar Vulnerability Manager 7.2 before 7.2.4 Patch 1, allow remote attackers to obtain sensitive cookie information by sniffing the network during an HTTP session.

CVE-2014-4883
Published: 2014-11-27
resolv.c in the DNS resolver in uIP, and dns.c in the DNS resolver in lwIP 1.4.1 and earlier, does not use random values for ID fields and source ports of DNS query packets, which makes it easier for man-in-the-middle attackers to conduct cache-poisoning attacks via spoofed reply packets.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Now that the holiday season is about to begin both online and in stores, will this be yet another season of nonstop gifting to cybercriminals?