Backlink Analysis (Just Got Harder)

I thought this up this morning. Please don’t do this. The Disavow links tool is very interesting; some are planning to use it to game ranking–>penalty–>recovery cycles. I’ve had another idea.

It’s Like (Not Provided), Only Again

Once you have disavowed, your backlink data has effectively been (not provided)’d; it’s a lot less useful than it used to be. Linkscape and Majestic crawlers will not be able to differentiate between vanilla links and disavowed ones. You might have had similar thoughts regarding other agencies; how are we going to know which links the people before us have disavowed? Can you imagine what a mess these profiles are going to look like 3 agencies later? Another interesting side effect of the tool is that less crap will be cleaned off the internet (and stay in the link profiles).

If you want the data loss to be less bad: SAVE WHATEVER YOU HAVE SUBMITTED, AND USE VLOOKUP ON FUTURE DATA TO MAKE FUTURE DATA LESS USELESS. It’s not perfect, but it’ll do for now.

How Can I Abuse This?

Any press-here-for-links program worth its salt will output a one-line-per-url.txt file for us. This will list the url’s of our newly created links. This txt file can be put straight into the disavow tool – handy! Theoretically (that is, based on nothing), since we’re submitting them for disavowal within moments of their creation, they won’t yet have been indexed. They are neither helping nor harming us. Since we’ve submitted the urls, the next (in this case, first) time Google sees them, Google will flag them up to be disavowed. No gain, no loss. Except now your link profile looks like a sewer. You’ll no longer match any of those natural {PA|DA|PR} distribution charts we’re so fond of. This will all depend on what sort of automated links you’ve used in your smokescreen. I’d go ugly.

Every link that looks ripe for a penalty, you’ll have. But a slap will never come. Your good links will keep on giving. As a result, whingeing is going to get less confident. When it’s a genuine algorithmic mistake that a site ranks highly (i.e. above yours) there will be more doubt than ever before as to the cause. It might not be the algorithm sucking. Now that webmasters seem to be partially in control of which links are ignored, the ‘things we don’t know’ part of the Venn diagram has grown. Cool.

**Frankly I don’t think the benefit of trying this is worth any potential costs, but some might. I’m aware this post assumed a lot.**


2 thoughts on “Backlink Analysis (Just Got Harder)”

  1. Nice little musing you have here!

    My rule for anything regarding backlink checking and removing or disavowing or everything is KEEP ALL DATA. Actually is my rule from pretty much any work I do is KEEP ALL DATA. Actually, my rule for video games also “KEEP ALL ITEMS” so…

    I don’t think disvowing links would remove them from any decent “press for links” tool, so it shouldn’t be an issue but you never know!

  2. It’s a very interesting point. We are already fighting a losing battle with the ever increasing (not provided) within our analytics, and this does seem to add another layer of data inaccuracy to our everyday lives.

    It’ll be intesersting to see how tools like SEOmoz and Maejstic react to disavowed links (if they even can?).

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