Weekly SEO news: 11 February 2014
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

The new Link Disinfection tool helps you to get rid of links that can harm the rankings of your web pages on Google. It can help you a lot, if your website has been damaged by an SEO service that used shady methods to promote your website.

In the news: there's a new manual Google penalty, Google penalized a German link network, Google is giving some webmasters three weeks to save their Google Places listings, and more.

Table of contents:

We hope that you enjoy this newsletter and that it helps you to get more out of your website. Please pass this newsletter on to your friends.

Best regards,
Andre Voget, Johannes Selbach, Axandra CEO

1. The new Link Disinfection tool: get rid of unwanted links

The new Link Disinfection tool in SEOprofiler helps you to get rid of links that can harm the rankings of your web pages on Google. It can help you a lot, if your website has been damaged by an SEO service that used shady methods to promote your website.

Link Disinfection tool

What exactly does the Link Disinfection tool do?

Google does not like artificial links (paid links, links from automated linking schemes, links that have been created by automated tools, all other artificial links, etc.).

If many of the links that point to your website are artificial, it is likely that Google will penalize your site. In this case, you will get a notification message in Google Webmaster Tools.

If you have received a notification from Google, the Link Disinfection tool can help you to clean up your backlink profile. The Link Disinfection tool analyzes the backlinks that point to your website and it filters the backlinks that might be suspicious.

The Link Disinfection tool in SEOprofiler has several advantages:
  • It's very fast: You get a list of suspicious links within a few seconds.
  • It works with any domain: You can use the Link Disinfection tool with any domain (your own website, client websites, competitors).
  • It has no limits: You can use the Link Disinfection tool as often as you want. Other Link Disinfection tools limit the number of requests.
  • It is fully integrated with the backlink manager: Just like all other link building tools in SEOprofiler, the Link Disinfection tool is fully integrated with the sophisticated link manager in SEOprofiler.
  • It's very cost-effective: Other Link Disinfection tool start at $199/month. In SEOprofiler, the Link Disinfection tool is included in the regular plans (Smart plan and above).
  • It saves a lot of time: The Link Disinfection tool automatically parses the backlinks for you and it automatically creates a disavow links file.
How to work with the Link Disinfection tool

The Link Disinfection tool assigns a risk score to each link. The score ranges from 0 to 100%. The higher the risk score, the more likely it is that the link has a negative effect on the rankings of your website.

A score below 65% means that the link is probably okay. A score of 65% or above means that you should check the link. Even if the Link Disinfection tool assigns a high risk score to a link, it can be that the link is still okay (although that's not likely).

Do the following to clean up your backlink profile:

Step 1: Check the links that are listed in the Link Disinfection tool list.

Click a link in the Link Disinfection tool to visit the linking web page. If you don't want to have a link from the page, click the "Add" link to add the link as a toxic link to the link manager:

Link Disinfection tool

Step 2: Contact the owners of the linking websites and ask them to remove the link.

Toxic links are marked in red in the link manager. They also have a red beaker icon instead of the regular website favicon.

The link manager can help you to get the contact information of other websites. Use the 'Contact Finder Pro™' feature to get the contact information of the linking site. Then contact the webmaster of the other site and ask them to remove the link to your page.

Link Disinfection tool: contact information

Step 3: Submit backlinks to Google's disavow links tool

Some webmasters won't remove the spammy links to your website. In addition, many spam websites don't have any contact information at all. In that case, create a disavow links file and submit it to Google.

The Link Disinfection tool in SEOprofiler can create the disavow links file for you. Google's disavow links tool enables you to inform Google about backlinks that you don't want. You can use that tool if a website doesn't want to remove the harmful backlink to your site.

Link Disinfection tool: disavow links

Test the Link Disinfection tool risk-free:

The Link Disinfection plan is available in the SEOprofiler Smart plan and above. Log in to your SEOprofiler account now to use the Link Disinfection tool or test the SEOprofiler Smart plan risk-free:

Test the Link Disinfection tool

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2. Search engine news and articles of the week
New manual Google penalty: spammy structured markup

In an online discussion, a webmaster reports that he received a manual action penalty from Google due to spammy structured markup on his website:

"Markup on some pages on this site appears to use techniques such as marking up content that is invisible to users, marking up irrelevant or misleading content, and/or other manipulative behavior that violates Google's Rich Snippet Quality guidelines."


Matt CuttsMatt Cutts: a German link network has been penalized
Matt Cutts announced on Twitter that Google has penalized a German link network:

"This week we took action on a German agency's link network/clients. More to come in Germany."


Google is giving some businesses 3 weeks to save the Places listing

"We are making some changes to Google Places for Business and Google Maps so we can continue providing people with the best experience when they’re looking for local businesses.

As part of this process, we’re asking business owners to review and confirm some of the information in their Google Places accounts so we can keep showing it to Google users."


YahooYahoo to partner with Yelp on local search

"A partnership between the Internet portal and the online-review site will incorporate Yelp's listings and reviews of local businesses into results on Yahoo's search engine. [...]

Data about local businesses has become an important part of search engines and other online services as consumers rely on smartphones to navigate the physical world."

A bug in Google's URL removal tool might remove your whole site

"It appears as if the url removal tool is ignoring url parameters. I have a client who was hacked, and the serps are filled with spam. They asked for my help in cleaning out the serps.

I was adding the urls to the url removal tool, when I got to one and I noticed that it suddenly thought I was wanting to remove the entire site."

Search engine newslets
  • Google updates a filter for websites with too many ads.
  • Google's Matt Cutts: don't worry about bad grammar in blog comments.
  • French court orders Google to display fine for privacy breach.
  • Google changes naming conventions for conversion tracking.
  • See how much screen real estate Google is giving rivals in its EU antitrust settlement.
  • Google ends EU antitrust probe pledging rival links.
  • Order forces Google to notify users of a privacy fine on its French home page.
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3. Recommended resources

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  • link disinfection tool
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