Marketers are focused on links, but Google's Matt Cutts says it's as easy as ask and disavow to keep spammers from hurting SEO results.

SEOs are undoubtedly wary of bad inbound links, following the Penguin 2.0 release. With 2.3 percent of English domains impacted by the spam-fighting technology, two or three questionable links are now cause for concern. That doesn’t mean sites are without tools to protect themselves from offending links, Google’s Search Engineer Matt Cutts said in the latest Webmaster Help Channel video.

In response to a question from a webmaster who is concerned about links coming from two questionable sites, Cutts says that brands’ backlink profiles will be safe from SEO punishment if they follow two steps.

The first is to send a request to site managers from the offending domains, requesting to have the links removed. If there is no response after the initial message, webmasters must take action on their own and use the disavow tool.

In the latest Webmaster Help Channel video, Matt Cutts says marketers should ask for sites to break links or disavow them.

Of course, Google has explicitly stated there are ways to inapproriately use the disavow tool. Brafton covered a list detailing five common mistakes webmasters make with the technology, which disassociates sites from bad backlinks. Some widespread misuses include submitting incorrect files, writing the wrong syntax in submissions and asking for reconsideration before SEOs have cleaned up issues on-site first.

This latest update resonates with another recent message: Cutts said marketers should stop worrying so much about their backlink profiles. By taking these simple steps, it’s easy for sites to break free of offending links and they should have nothing to worry about.

Lauren Kaye is a Marketing Editor at Brafton Inc. She studied creative and technical writing at Virginia Tech before pursuing the digital frontier and finding content marketing was the best place to put her passions to work. Lauren also writes creative short fiction, hikes in New England and appreciates a good book recommendation.