joined:Jan 31, 2004
When Google's disavow tool first came out, Google's direction was that we should only disavow bad links that we were responsible for. At that time, Penguin seemed pretty binary - you were hit or you weren't.
We have been repeatedly assured that there is no such thing as Negative SEO.
Now Matt Cutts has commented that a particular site has a "mild case of Penguin", and he advised the owner to "continue cleaning backlinks".
I'm getting a little worried here because I get a tremendous amount of bogus links to my site. Most of them are from Chinese sites, and I can only see them because they very often link to bad pages, causing 404-errors in Google WMT.
Another category of bogus links are sites that copy Wikipedia. My site is heavily referenced in Wikipedia, and there are a ton of sites that just scrape Wikipedia and reproduce the content.
When I do a "download latest links" report from WMT, and pick just a single day, I got 2,190 backlinks. Of those, at least 1,700 are from Wiki scrapers (most of them are from Poland). That's 78% bogus links.
I am not responsible for any of these links - I don't do or use SEO, I don't exchange links with anyone, my site has been around for 15 years and I don't need any boost that this kind of link trade brings.
But I'm worried because I'm seeing such a high volume of bad links, day after day, and I'm seeing a lot of new Chinese links which are not Wiki-based, but are very spammy (they seem to link to Chinese #*$! sites).
Which direction should I go? I don't think I'm currently being hit by Penguin, but if you can have a "mild case" of it, then that may change things. On the other hand, I would hate to spend my energy on disavowing a ridiculous amount of bogus backlinks which accumulate on the scale of tens of thousands per week.