While the SEO brethren have been waiting for Google to provide a tool that will allow webmasters to disavow specific links, Bing went ahead and punched that ticket first by launching the Disavow Links feature in Bing Webmaster Tools.
The premise isn't all that complicated: go to Bing Webmaster Tools, click on the Disavow Links under the Dashboard menu, and - presto - simply submit the page, directory, or domain that you suspect to be coming from spam or poor quality sites.
Bing Webmaster Tools resident SEO samurai Duane Forrester explained in a blog post how the Disavow Links feature can help protect your site from malicious links but cautions that you won't be able to go a-roving across the internet to cook up a better rank for your site.
These signals help us understand when you find links pointing to your content that you want to distance yourself from for any reason. You should not expect a dramatic change in your rankings as a result of using this tool, but the information shared does help Bing understand more clearly your intent around links pointing to your site.
Forrester adds that there isn't a limit on the number of links you can report with the Disavow Links tool.
The launch of the feature presents two pretty obvious questions: 1/ What's taking Google so long to launch a similar tool?, and 2/ What does Bing get out of launching this tool?
The answer to the first question is as elusive as the end of the rainbow, and probably only Google's webspam avenger Matt Cutts could answer that one. The second question was discussed by Search Engine Land's Vanessa Fox, who inferred that Bing's release of this tool may indicate that Bing does in fact penalize websites that have bad backlinks.
Forrester has always been fairly accessible and welcoming of questions about whatever webmasters may have concerning Bing Webmaster Tools and he's already been answering questions from users over on Twitter.
@rjonesx Disavow is good, cleaning the mess is better. 😉
Ultimately, why wouldn't Bing have a tool like this available to webmasters? It falls in line with what Bing's been working on to improve the overall quality of its search algorithms, specifically with the search engine's recent Phoenix Update. Plus, it just helps keeps the web all much less janky.
At any rate, anybody webmasters out there plan on using this tool to see how it affects your site's ranking (if at all)? Let us know what you think.