Google Should Add Inbound Link Opt Out Feature to Webmaster Tools

Mar 20, 2008 • 7:24 am | comments (7) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Recently, one of the most requested Google Webmaster Tools features I have been hearing through the forums either directly or indirectly is the ability to mark links as links you do not vouch for.

Even though we have said time and time again that links can't hurt you, no one believes it. Not only do people feel they can hurt you, they feel they can kick you while you are down already, which makes it even worse. Once Google penalizes your site for having bad links pointing to it, Google expects you to contact the people linking to you and make them remove the links. Good luck with that!

That is why Webmasters want a feature to opt out links from counting in Webmaster Tools. Yahoo Site Explorer has it, so maybe Google should follow the lead. Here is how Yahoo Site Explorer works.

(1) Login to Yahoo Site Explorer

(2) Click on your inlinks link

(3) Mouse over a link and notice the "report spam" button:

Yahoo Site Explorer Report Spam Link

(4) Click the report spam button and you are taken to this page to confirm the request:

Yahoo Site Explorer Report Spam Link

After that, then supposedly, Yahoo won't count that link against you.

If SEOs and webmasters are expected to be responsible for the links pointing to them, even if they can't control all of them, then Google must give them a way to fully control which links are counting for good or bad.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

Previous story: Daily Search Forum Recap: March 19, 2008



03/20/2008 02:30 pm

Very good commentary. I'd add that GWT seems to be lacking in functionality lately with lots of old and corrupt data. Not sure what the cause is maybe its just lack of interest, they moved some key people to other projects, or some inside politics. Either way, I don't foresee them making any big strides in the future as what they have now doesn't work. I don't have a problem with the program in concept, it wonderful when it works, but sometimes giving bad data is much worse than giving no data. The help group in inundated with people that believe they don't have links, no pages are indexed, or Google last crawled it in 1947, when in fact none of that is true. In the least they should warn people that the data given is not accurate and at best they should fix it. It's great to see yahoo leading the charge in webmaster tools, it may be a key in their revival. Get the geeks and publishers on their side and who knows what they can do. If I were them I'd close the loopholes and make everyone have to log in when doing any sort of webmaster-y query such as checking links on other sites. It would be a captive audience prime for some salesmenship on the virtues of Yahoo. But, what do I know?

Michael Martinez

03/20/2008 04:51 pm

How do we know that Yahoo! "supposedly" won't count the link against a site? Did someone at Yahoo! say this is the procedure to follow for opting out of link credit?

Bart Gibby

03/21/2008 03:26 pm

umm.. so what happens to the URL or website marked as "Spam"? Wow just too many questions. And I don't think this is the place to ask them. Looks like I'll be active in a Yahoo Group finally. Thanks!

No Name

03/21/2008 09:14 pm

We would love to see Google do this. Nothing new, but we see some terrible links coming into one of our sites that we would love to get rid of. We have no idea how or why they exist.


03/05/2009 08:34 pm

Actually, Yahoo doesn't have an Opt Out feature. Instead, you are only helping their search results. From Yahoo site explorer 'report spam' page "This report will not have any direct effect on the particular inlink you reported, but only indirectly by helping identify potential spam sources." You could be helping make the situation worst by claiming the inbound link is SPAM thus increasing your website's presence on SPAM sites. Either way, an Opt Out option would be awesome.

No Name

10/11/2009 12:14 pm

I'd like to be able to get rid of even some of the links I added to my site myself, back in my wilder and stupider and younger days. lol

Auguste Dubuisson

06/20/2010 11:37 am

That sounds good. It would have been easier for webmasters.

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