Even if you didn’t mean to build bad links, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any out there affecting your site. For example, you may have innocently tried out some questionable services in the past that now haunt your dreams. Or, if your competitors are particularly mean, they might just be out there building horrible backlinks to your site to give their own an advantage in the eyes of the search engines.
Bing now offers a new Webmaster function called Disavow Links that might help ease your pain and let you cut those binding, negative SEO ties. According to Bing, you can “use the Disavow links tool to submit page, folder, or domain URLs that may contain links to your site that seem “unnatural” or appear to be from spammy or low quality sites.” You can add shady domains, directories, and pages, letting Bing know that you don’t want to be associated with them.
Will it fix things?
Probably not completely. First of all, Bing’s Disavow Links tool doesn’t really have anything to do with Google, and you may have noticed that Google is a pretty big player when it comes to search. Second, while disavowing links will help Bing understand your intent, the official word is that it won’t drastically boost your rankings in Bing search results. So if you’re only concerned with search engine rank, this may not help you. In my opinion, though, it can’t hurt to identify and clean up bad links.
Overall, I think it’s a pretty awesome concept and it’s a tool that I will definitely be exploring more in depth. It’ll be interesting to see if Google will offer something similar anytime soon, especially if their tool does have an effect on rank. After all, it may have been their idea in the first place…