ZydoSEO - 9:03 pm on Feb 19, 2013 (gmt 0)
I know many here are anti-Google, but in their defense regarding suggesting webmasters take down links they deem potentially harmful...
Think of all of the web spam on the Internet. There are tons of blog networks created for no other reason than to have properties on which to "plant" a link to some other property that is being promoted. Imagine all of the paid blogroll links that exist on the web. Imagine the sheer number of spammy links due to blog commenting and forum posting with "Nice post! <insert link>" created by some 3rd world link building sweat shop. Throw in all of the duplicate content on article submission sites which get republished on crappy little mashup sites where there is ZERO effort by the webmaster to generate some sort of worthwhile unique content on their own. Imagine how many websites have been suckered into paying $5-20 to have their site submitted to hundreds or thousands of crappy, worthless, free PHP directories that are essentially just another form of web spam.
I think rather than simply ignore the gazillions of webspam links on the web, Google is urging people to take down those links to save Google what likely equates to hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars per year in processing power. I'm guessing this is why they suggest that you make every attempt to get detrimental links removed BEFORE you resort to using the Disavow Tool. The Disavow Tool puts even more processing requirements on Google's servers when crawling and indexing sites.
Could Google simply ignore those links? Absolutely... but at a huge cost. Is it self serving on their part to tell webmasters hit due to unnatural links to identify and remove detrimental links to their site? Of course. But if I were in their shoes, I would likely be doing the same thing. They are a public company after all.
In fact, I'm not sure I would even have provided a Disavow Tool so soon after Penguin since it has probably added as much processing requirements to their servers as might have been saved by webmasters having taken down billions of spammy links world wide. Perhaps that's why they waited as long as they did to announce the Disavow Tool. It certainly wasn't because it was difficult to develop. They could probably code it in a few days.