For the last twelve months, Google’s relationship with online businesses has been rather complicated. Regular readers of the WebiMax blog are no doubt familiar with the effects that the company’s various search algorithms (Google Penguin and Google Panda) have had on the SEO community and their clients. Although the company maintains that the development and implementation of these updates all serves to better the SERPs for the end user, countless businesses have been negatively impacted by the recent alterations made to the search engine. The result of this has been a lot of hurt feelings between online companies, marketing firms, and Google.

But as Google has said countless times, it has the best of intentions at heart and just wants the best possible experience for all its users. Now, to return a little bit of kindness back to us in the SEO industry, the company has released a new toolset that should assist in raising page ranking. This new program, called the Google Disavow Tool, is still in its infancy but should help we in the SEO business to get some of our more errant campaigns back on track.

What Can Disavow Do for You?

The Google Disavow Tool does precisely what one would think it would – it disavows connections made between a company’s domain or PPC campaign with sites deemed unwanted. These can include websites that are considered spam by Google, relate to adult materials or unflattering services, or link to paid link databases. The biggest deal of these is clearly the paid link database.

In the past, numerous SEO companies made the mistake – be it from poor judgment or unscrupulous behavior – of relying on artificial and paid link databases for improving page traffic and ranking. Once Penguin hit, these once supportive links became liabilities that not only lost their purpose but also became black marks that condemned client domains. Now Google is trying to help out these businesses by allowing them to disavow links that may point to their online properties and hurt their ranking.

As helpful as this all is, Google has stated for the record that this is a new feature that even their teams are not 100% prepared to tackle quite yet. As of now, those links SEO companies and their clients would like to disavow need to be submitted to Google in a text document for review. Since this will take time to complete, it is usually best to contact offending link sites first and see if they can’t remove the page on their end. If this does not work, Google will do its best to get to the reviewing process as quickly as possible.

The Chance for a Clean Slate

At the end of the day, top SEO companies realize that Google is neither friend nor foe to SEO but rather just a company trying to do right by its own users. The release of the Google Disavow program may seem like a sort of gift to those online marketing firms that have in the past used illicit methods to reach their goals, but the fact is that the toolset is really engineered to help Google further clean up its SERPs. This does not mean, however, that we as an industry can’t use these tools to do a little bit of spring cleaning (or in this case, autumn cleaning) ourselves. If anything, now is a perfect time to step back, sort out our old backlinks, and get things back on track.