The difference between a high-quality link and a low-quality link has always been a grey area. Sure, we all know the best links are natural links. But SEO’s need a way to get the ball rolling. They do this by building links.

Of course, some links are better than others, but there is some confusion. For example, if bad links hurt your rankings, what’s stopping your competitors from spamming your site with low-quality links?

And what if naively paid for “bad links” early in your SEO career, regret doing that, but still have the links pointing directly at your website?

This problem is compounded when you take the Penguin Update into consideration. Penguin penalized websites based on—among other things—the quality of links in their link profile.

Also, there was the directory submission crisis. Just before Penguin, Google penalized a huge number of directory sites. Although directory submissions could be considered “grey hat,” they were widely used for building links.

So now we know for sure Google doesn’t like directory submissions. The problem? Many SEO’s have link profiles riddled with links from directory sites. These links are massive red flags to the Google anti-spam bots.

But what’s a webmaster to do? Message the directory site and ask, politely, if they’ll remove the links? Sometimes they will. But what if they don’t? Is there no redemption in SEO?

Enter Bing

Bing’s been doing a lot right lately. And with their newest move, they’re looking to get win SEO’s over again.

Although Bing’s algorithm is different from Google’s, they still consider many of the same factors when ranking a site. So if you had bad links, your site would be in danger – both on Google and Bing.

But Bing realized this was a problem. If you had low-quality links but wanted to remove them, what kinds of options did you have? None. So Bing’s made a step in the right direction. Through their webmaster tools, you can now choose to “disavow” specific links. So if you bought links from a directory submission site, you could now disavow them in bulk, without needing to message the actual directory owner.

What does disavowing do? It shows the Bing bots that you do not want your website associated with those types of links. Wherewith Google bad links can be hugely detrimental in the future, now with Bing, you can protect yourself by getting rid of links that may raise red flags.

Bing is, as of now, the search engine for SEOs. With their initial release of webmaster tools, they gave SEO tools we’d been asking for for a long time. Now they’ve given us something else – the ability to disavow bad links.

Matt Cutts—Head of Google’s webspam team—has mentioned they’re looking for a solution on how to help SEO’s disavow links on their search engine. But Bing hasn’t just mentioned it. No, they went ahead and implemented it.

It’s no wonder they’ve been gaining so much ground lately. When you’re the underdog, the only way to get ahead is to take calculated risks. And that’s exactly what Bing’s been doing.

Even if you don’t use Bing, or if you don’t optimize your site for Bing (you probably should), the mere existence of Bing is good news. Before, Google was completely unchallenged. And although they continued to put out excellent products, they haven’t interacted first-hand with the community like Bing is in a long time. 

With the pressure from Bing, they may be forced to change their ways. And this is definitely good news for both searchers and SEOs.

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