Disavowing links has been a lively topic in the SEO space ever since Google started to introduce all these recent algorithm changes, saying that some low quality, spammy links can hurt your rankings.
Almost immediately people started to ask how can a webmaster protect against competitors building spammy links to their sites on purpose (to lower the rankings). Google says that they are trying to prevent such practice from happening, which in plain English means that they have no clue how to actually do it.
That’s when the idea for a disavow tool was born. People feel that the only way to fight spammy links effectively is to notify Google which sites feature such spammy links, so Google can ignore them and not use them as a ranking factor at all.
All was fine until Microsoft decided that they should be the innovator here and launch such a tool first. And here it is – the Disavow Links tool built into Bing Webmaster Tools (BWT).
You can use it by logging into your BWT account and going to Configure My Site > Disavow Links.
The tool is pretty simple to use. You just have to enter an URL you want to disavow links from and click the Disavow button. Bing will then take this URL, go through the site and ignore all links pointing back to you. At least that’s the theory.
In reality, no one knows how effective this tool is. Bing is not willing to give a simple answer regarding its usefulness.
First of all, it won’t affect your Google rankings. It’s Bing only.
Secondly, Bing never indicated that spammy links can hurt your rankings in the first place. So them introducing a disavow tool is quite unexpected.
One of the few things Bing said about spammy links was this (official BWT FAQ): “Paying for or participating in non-relevant link exchange schemes will not improve your page rank with Bing, and in fact, it could very well hurt it.” … which really means nothing concrete.
So what to do if you’re an affiliate and you want to improve your Bing rankings? Do nothing. Wait. The tool is brand new and there are no case studies regarding its effectiveness. It’s always better to wait for some early reviews to come in, and then to decide whether it’s worth to use it or not.