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    Do I need to worry about bad links?

    So now that Google only ignore spammy links rather than penalise them, do I need to worry about the bad links? We are always getting links from horrible websites. Such as -


    So can I just ignore these links now, or should I still try to remove them? We have a lot of these sort of links on our link profile and the list grows every week.

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    It's hard to say. People have a lot of theories. Since Penguin devalues links that it believes are spammy, theoretically you shouldn't have to worry too much. But Penguin is a machine, and (in part) so is Google. Machines are notoriously bad at recognizing context and determining intent. I remember reading that even though Penguin devalues links, the Manual Actions Team will still be looking at repeate offenders who build boatloads of awful links just to slap them around and try to get them to stop.

    If these links still make you nervous, you can always disavow them. Gary Illyes and others have indicated that disavow files are still useful to have, even though it really seems like they shouldn't be anymore. It may be - and this is pure speculation - that Google will use disavow files in the future to determine the intention of incoming links. For example, if a site is forwarded to the Manual Actions Team, they might look at your disavow file to see what links are incoming and which of those you don't want. So if you're getting hammered with spam, but the domains are all in the disavow files, the MAT could shrug and say "Well, they're all disavowed. So it doesn't seem like it's the site owner's intention to keep trying to manipulate SERPs."

    I think some other senior members have their own interesting opinions about the future of disavow files. They might chime in as well. I'm the sort of guy who is always waiting for the other shoe to drop - I'm pretty cautious, maybe overly cautious - so I would just keep disavowing stuff you don't want.
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    Depends: If your siteis on page one... or even better, first place... then Google gives you the benefit of the doubt -- this is to counter negative SEO. If you're site is new, has few to no links before the bad ones land... then yeah -- it's a world of hurt.
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    I look at it this way... you get bad links coming your way, Penguin devalues them. Get enough pointed to your site, the Google Spam Team takes a look. That is where you will get in trouble. They are not going to ask you why, they are not going to ask you to stop. They are just going to penalize your site.

    Google tells you that Penguin is more granular in its workings.... well we all know Google tip toes around saying yes, or no. Does it really matter if it is Penguin that does your site in or if it is the Spam Team alerted by Penguin that does your site in. The penalties are real, they are still there.

    Me I personally believe Penguin still has the ability to make your site go poof in the serps. My advice is to act as if they didn't change Penguin from how it worked before, this way you will behave with your link building.

    Now Penguin has been apparently tweaked to start detecting PBNs. Go figure ....

    Edited to add...
    The disavow tool was made for Penguin Penalties, so they have not removed the tool.. why is that do you wonder... because whether its Penguin or the Spam Team, you are still going to need to disavow the links.
    Last edited by KnowOneSpecial; Feb 18th, 2017 at 04:26 PM.

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