econman - 7:47 pm on Jun 25, 2013 (gmt 0)
how is Google making their results better by letting site owners disavow bad links?
Answer: This provides a nice, low cost, high quality set of data obtained from webmasters who self-report all of their "bad" links.
Since the definition of a "bad" link has been intentionally left vague, webmasters are reporting to Google all of the links they are nervous about -- particularly the ones they purchased, the ones they built using link wheel software, the ones they purchased from some mysterious guy who was advertising 1,000 PR 1-7 links for $12, and the ones from some strange site they never heard of, but when they take a look it is so filled with autogenerated garbage text, they better list it, just to be safe. :)
The beauty of this approach is that it allows Google to compare various data sets -- essentially comparing the links webmasters know, or think, are "bad" against the links Google currently thinks are "bad" based upon its other data sets and analytical tools
This allows Google to tweak the dials, giving more weight to some "signals" and less weight to others, and to refine the algorithms they use to spot patterns in various large data sets, all in an effort to identify "bad" links and provide search results that are unaffected by the "bad" links/spammers.