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Google Launches Disavow Links Tool

Google has launched a new and widely anticipated “disavow links” tool. The tool was announced by the head of Google’s web spam team Matt Cutts, when speaking during a keynote at the Pubcon conference today.
The tool is live and can be found here. It has been beta tested by some selected SEOs already for the past few weeks. About 45 minutes after Cutts spoke, Google formally announced the tool on the Google Webmaster Central blog.
Earlier this year, Bing launched its own disavow links tool.

Disavowing Links

Cutts warned that the tool should be used with caution. He also warned that publishers should first try to remove links they are concerned about pointing at them by first working with site owners hosting links or with companies they may have purchased links through.
The format will be to list URLs in a text file, either individually or to exclude all links from a particular site using domain: format like this:
domain:google.com
domain:yahoo.com
domain:facebook.com
Both formats can be mixed into a single file, as shown below in an example from Google’s blog post about the new tool:

From the blog post:
In this example, lines that begin with a pound sign (#) are considered comments and Google ignores them
The “domain:” keyword indicates that you’d like to disavow links from all pages on a particular site (in this case, “spamdomain1.com”).
You can also request to disavow links on specific pages (in this case, three individual pages on spamdomain2.com).
Once you’ve created your file, you then access the disavow link tool through Google Webmaster Central. You’ll select your site (as the screenshot at the top of this story shows), go through warnings, then select your file and submit:

These Links Will Be Disavowed In … Several Weeks

The process of Google discounting the links to your site won’t be immediate. “It can take weeks for that to go into effect,” Cutts said. He also said that Google reserves the right not to use the submissions if it feels there’s a reason not to trust them. The blog post reflects the same:
Google reserves the right to trust our own judgment for corner cases, for example—but we will typically use that indication from you when we assess links.
One submitted, there will be an option to download the file you submitted and resubmit it with changes. There’s a file size limit of 2MB (and if you have more than 2MB of links you need to disavow, you should probably just start a new web site).
The delay in processing the file means that if you make a mistake, it may also take weeks to “reavow” links that you like. So be careful. The post addresses this:
To modify which links you would like to ignore, download the current file of disavowed links, change it to include only links you would like to ignore, and then re-upload the file. Please allow time for the new file to propagate through our crawling/indexing system, which can take several weeks.
In questions, Cutts said that using the tool is the same as using the “nofollow” attribute, which allows sites to link to other sites without passing ranking credit to those sites.

Who Needs To Disavow?

Who should use the new tool? It’s been primarily designed for those who were impacted by Google’s Penguin Update, which in particular hit web sites that may have purchased links or gained them through spamming.
In the wake of Penguin, panic ensued among some SEOs and publishers. Some wanted a way to ensure that they could discount bad links and start fresh. Others worried that people might point bad links at their sites in an attempt to harm them with “negative SEO.” A new business of people charging to remove links was even born.
Things got worse in the summer when Google released a new set of link warnings that didn’t clarify if publishers really had a problem they needed to fix — if they could — or not.

How Google Created Its Own Disavow Links Monster

Of course, Google wouldn’t need a disavow link tool if it hadn’t been shifting over the past months to consider bad links a type of negative vote against the site. In the past, Google typically had just ignored bad links.
But by counting bad links as negative votes, Google largely enabled some of the concerns about negative SEO that it hopes, in part, to calm with the new tool. Again from its post:
In general, Google works hard to prevent other webmasters from being able to harm your ranking. However, if you’re worried that some backlinks might be affecting your site’s reputation, you can use the Disavow Links tool to indicate to Google that those links should be ignored. Again, we build our algorithms with an eye to preventing negative SEO, so the vast majority of webmasters don’t need to worry about negative SEO at all.
I asked Cutts why Google doesn’t simply discount bad links, rather than considering some of them as potentially negative votes. After all, while it’s nice to have this new tool, it would be even better not to need it at all.
As I wrote earlier this year when covering the increasingly creaky link counting system that both Google and Bing rely on:
Links suck. It’s hard to get good links, and even when you do, you might find they don’t count. Meanwhile, who wants to be wasting time “disavowing” links? There’s got to be a better way.
Rather than answer my question, Cutts instead focused on the benefits the new tool brings, especially the ability for people to “clean slate” web sites that may have bad links pointing at them.

More Information

Cutts has also prepared a nearly 10 minute long video about the tool, which you can find below:



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SEO URLS and Multi Store Configuration -- Resolved Opencart

Question

We are having issues getting the SEO URLs to work properly in multi store configuration on 1.5.0 and have changed changed "RewriteBase /" to "RewriteBase /stores/" as suggested in other posts, but this does not work for us. The cart has been configured in a separate directory for the default store i.e. http://www.defaultstore.com/stores/ The other stores domains have been pointed to the document root - i.e. home/public_html/defaultstore.com/stores/ and the store and secure URLs configured in opencart as http://storename.com/ and https://storename.comI have seen where it is suggested to move the default store out of its directory, but that is something we really need to avoid as our stores are already linked to external sites and would cause a lot of other issues for us. SEO Friendly URLS are currently disabled, but we need to find a work around as soon as possible.

Answers

You need to point all domains to the same document root as the default domainSo you would have to enter the following in a browser to access each storemaindomain.com/storessecondstore.com/storesthirddomain.com/stores
I tried to do as you suggested, but it would give me 404 not found errors. I read on the forum that SEO Friendly URLS would not work properly in a multi store configuration if the default or main store was in a sub directory rather than the root. So I moved it from /stores/ to the root and pointed the remaining domains accordingly in cpanel. The SEO URLS are working correctly, but I am now having a different issue. When I go to test the stores other than the default store I get a 404 error upon checkout and a warning about ssl - "Your connection is encrypted with 256-bit encryption. However, this page includes other resources which are not secure. These resources can be viewed by others while in transit, and can be modified by an attacker to change the behavior of the page.The connection uses TLS 1.0.The connection is encrypted using AES_256_CBC, with SHA1 for message authentication and DHE_RSA as the key exchange mechanism.The connection is not compressed."
As long as all the domains have the the subdirectory suffixed as per my example above then they should work.But you have it working on root, so that's probably a better solution.--Regarding the non-secure content, would need to see a link to the site to see what content is being served from a non-SSL domain.Usually it is either a hardcoded graphic or external javascript resource in the header.tpl
After moving the main store to the root directory, I encountered problems with internal server errors. I tried an upgrade to the newest version of the cart, but it seems like things just got worse. Not sure if it is an issue on the server or what. I restored the site back to the point, where the SEO URL issues were not working properly, but now I am having problems with the theme for the main store not loading properly and catalog and product images not displaying on the other stores.Is there someone who might be willing to take a look at the configuration of the cart and the admin area and tell me if this is an issue with my host or if there is something else going on? I am desperate.
Since I have not received any response, thus far, I have had to keep trying to resolve this on my own.I have done a fresh install of version 1.5.0 on the server, and have all the images and such working properly. The cart is in a sub directory and I have set the .htaccess file as instructed. We are in a multi store configuration and I am still having issues with SEO URLS:I went to the .htaccess file and changed RewriteBase/ to RewriteBase /ocart/ with SEO URLS enabled the main store is working properly, but I get 500 Internal Server Errors on the other stores.To configure the other stores I went into cpanel under Addon Domains and set the document root to /public_html/ocart/I configured the stores in the admin area of opencart as instructed i.e. http://www.addondomain.com/ and https://www.addondomain.com/ when I follow the url with SEO URLs enabled I get a 500 Internal server error.Since the first attempt did not work, I went back into cpanel and chose manage redirection for the addon domain. I configured it to point to http://www.addondomain.com/ocart and then went to the cart admin area and set the domain to http://www.addondomain.com/ocart/ and https://www.addondomain.com/ocart/ still no luck I continue to receive the 500 internal error.If SEO URLs are disabled the cart seems to be functioning properly for the main store and the addon stores.I have been told by Daniel that "seo urls works fine on multi stores. just because one person has a problem does not mean there is one. 500 error normally means you have done something to the server." He also told me to "search the forum or hire a web developer to help you." I have searched the forum and tried different solutions, but have had no luck in resolving it that way. Plus, I haven't done anything to the server configuration and am not having much luck with getting support from my host. I have also posted this on the commercial support forum, but am not getting any response.If someone could advise me on what settings I should have my host check on the server I would appreciate it.
OK, so you have opencart installed in the 'ocart' folderSo for your main store you go to http://www.yourmaindomain.com/ocart ?If that is correct, then for SEO URLs to work on your multi-stores their domains must point to the main domain root and not yourdomain.com/ocartThe multi-stores will then be accessible vi http://www.multistore1.com/ocart - http://www.multistore2.com/ocart and so onThe .htaccess RewriteBase will be set as: RewriteBase /ocart/You may also need to comment out:# Options +FollowSymlinksHope this makes sense and assists in fixing your problem.
You could technically change the rewrite base dependant on the url to cater for different url structures, but it requires quite a bit of technical wizardry and access to apache config files, which you wont have if you've got shared hosting
hi,I got the same problem here: error 500 in the 2nd site, when I enable SEO urlsIn my case, I made a demo site for my extension: http://www.qqbee.com.vn/demo/opencart/the 2nd site is http://demo.qqbee.com.vn/the folder is /demo/opencart/and the .htaccess, I have just edit:
Code: Select all
RewriteBase /demo/opencart/
I tried to test in the fresh install of the OC 1.5.1.3 but still got the error 500main site is: http://www.qqbee.com.vn/demo/upload/the 2nd site is: http://shop2.qqbee.com.vn/the folder is /demo/upload/and the .htaccess, I have just edit:
Code: Select all
RewriteBase /demo/upload/
I did as the FAQ to make multi-site below. Am I missing somethings?More info, the root of site http://www.qqbee.com.vn is a joomla page, is this the source of the problem?
Q. How to setup multi-store in Opencart.A. The steps are as follows:In CPanel Go to your CPanel, Open Domain > SubDomain, Fill in the subdomain input filed, such as: mobile (my second store will be http://mobile.yourstore.com), Look at Directory Root input field, CPanel will fill it automatically. Don’t use it,.. Replace with your main store’s OpenCart installation folder. In my case /public_html/shop. Click Create.In OpenCart Administration Go to System > Settings, Click Create A New Store button, Fill in all required fields including the logo, favicon, etc. In Store URL, fill it with http://mobile.yourstore.com, Click Save Done!!

The simple answer to all these problems is that ALL domain names need to point to the same root folder.If your main store is in a subfolder and therefore accessed via yourdomain.com/subfolder your multi-store stores must also be accessed by multistore.com/subfolder
If you access your main store at www.domain.com/demo/opencartthen your multi-stores should be http://www.qqbee.com.vn/demo/opencart and http://other.domain.com.vn/demo/opencart
Yup. Basically you need to be making add on domains not subdomains
uksitebuilder wrote:OK, so you have opencart installed in the 'ocart' folderSo for your main store you go to http://www.yourmaindomain.com/ocart ?If that is correct, then for SEO URLs to work on your multi-stores their domains must point to the main domain root and not yourdomain.com/ocartThe multi-stores will then be accessible vi http://www.multistore1.com/ocart - http://www.multistore2.com/ocart and so onThe .htaccess RewriteBase will be set as: RewriteBase /ocart/You may also need to comment out:# Options +FollowSymlinksHope this makes sense and assists in fixing your problem.
Thank you, I have done as suggested and the categories and product pages show up on all stores with SEO urls enabled, but if I try to checkout from any of the add-on domains I get a 404 page not found error. If I disable the SSL url in the cart admin settings the checkout page appears as it should, but that is not an option. We are using a multi domain ucc ssl cert installed by the hosting service and GeoCerts ssl check indicates the certificate is installed correctly. We received green check marks on all responses from GeoCerts and where it says Certificate Chain Complete we get... "All of the correct Intermediate CA Certificates are installed. Your SSL certificate is installed correctly and should be supported in all the major web browsers without problems."Have contacted our hosting provider on this issue as well. Is there anything I might be able to direct them to on the server side other than ssl that might be causing the problem?

Thanks to those of you who offered assistance. The hosting provider was finally able to help me resolve the issue.
Sorry to drag this out.........but.I currently have my original store called: http://www.hobby-drones.com. In 'settings' it has a store URL of http://www.hobby-drones.com/opencart/ This has been working for months.I created a second store called http://www.circlecityhelis.com. In 'settings' it has a store URL of http://www.circlecityhelis.com/ That opens the correct store.BUT I am assuming from what I have read, is that to get SEO to work, the second stores url in 'settings' should be http://www.circlecityhelis.com/opencart/. Is that correct?When I create the store url as http://www.circlecityhelis.com/opencart/ it opens the original store of http://www.hobby-drones.com.(of course wrong)What do I need to do to get SEO to work for both stores. And how do I know that SEO is working?Thanks,Lou


Why Google Translate Will Kill Your Multilingual SEO

Don’t get me wrong. We love Google Translate. It’s a powerful tool that has brought machine translation to an entirely new level.

But it’s still not a dependable way to localize your web content.

You don’t just have take our word for it, here is what Google has to say about using their tool for localization:

We recommend that you do not allow automated translations to get indexed. Automated translations don’t always make sense and they could potentially be viewed as spam.

One obvious question that arises from this warning is, why would an automated translation appear to be spam?

Think of it this way: Google loves to see lots of well-written, valuable content on your website. In fact, the search engine will reward you for writing it on a regular basis. Knowing that this is the case, you could very easily game the system with a tool like Google Translate. Simply write one version of your web page in English, and then reproduce it in 30 other languages. That’s 30 additional pages, but you only had to write 


one!



The problem here is that automated translations are not well written. They often come across messy and difficult to read. It damages the perception that potential customers have of your brand, and worse, it pollutes the web with mediocre content.

Google wants to make their index full of helpful, well written, unique content for people to find across the web. Their recommendation to anyone who wants to expand their website into multiple languages is simple: have a trained human being do it.

If You Must Use Google Translate

If you can’t resist having your website moderately accessible in another language, and insist on using Google Translate, there is a way to get away with it–but you won’t be able to have your cake and eat it too. To avoid any potential harm to your website , you can tell search engines to avoid crawling the pages that you have translated automatically. Just follow these instructions to edit your robots.txt file.


However, the trade off is that these pages will not be indexed. In other words, you will receive no SEO benefit for these pages in other languages.

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