Google’s John Mueller answered a concern about using the link disavow tool and offered a suggestion about the best way to utilize it, particularly mentioning links flagged by tools.
Although this tool was presented 10 years ago there is still much confusion as to the correct usage of it.
Link Disavow Tool
The link disavow tool was presented by Google in October 2012.
The disavow tool followed in the wake of the Penguin Algorithm from Might 2012, which ushered in a period of extraordinary mayhem in the search marketing neighborhood because so many people were buying and selling links.
This duration of freely buying and selling links pulled up on Might 2012 when the Penguin algorithm update was released and thousands of websites lost rankings.
Getting paid links removed was a substantial discomfort for due to the fact that they needed to request removal from every website, one by one.
There were so many link removal demands that some site owners began charging a fee to remove the links.
The SEO community begged Google for a simpler way to disavow links and in action to popular need Google released the Link Disavow tool on October 2012 for the express function of disavowing spam links that a site owner was responsible for.
The idea of a link disavow tool was something that had actually been subjugating for several years, a minimum of given that 2007.
Google withstood launching that tool until after the Penguin upgrade.
Google’s main statement from October 2012 explained:
“If you have actually been informed of a manual spam action based upon “unnatural links” indicating your site, this tool can help you deal with the issue.
If you haven’t gotten this notice, this tool usually isn’t something you need to worry about.”
Google also provided information of what kinds of links might activate a manual action:
“We send you this message when we see proof of paid links, link exchanges, or other link plans that violate our quality standards.”
John Mueller Suggestions on Link Disavow Tool
Mueller answered a concern about disavowing links to a domain home and as a side note used guidance on the appropriate use of the tool.
The question asked was:
“The disavow feature in Browse Console is presently not available for domain properties. What are the alternatives then?”
John Mueller addressed:
“Well, if you have domain level verification in location, you can confirm the prefix level without needing any extra tokens.
Validate that host and do what you need to do.”
Then Mueller added an extra remark about the correct method to use the link disavow tool.
Mueller continued his response:
“Also, remember that disavowing random links that look unusual or that some tool has flagged, is not an excellent use of your time.
It changes nothing.
Use the disavow tool for situations where you actually spent for links and can’t get them removed later on.”
Harmful Link Tools and Random Hyperlinks
Numerous 3rd party tools utilize exclusive algorithms to score backlinks according to how spammy or toxic the tool company feels they are.
Those toxicity scores might precisely rank how bad certain links seem but they do not always associate with how Google ranks and utilizes links.
Harmful link tool scores are just viewpoints.
The tools work for producing an automated backlink evaluation, especially when they highlight negative links that you believed were excellent.
However, the only links one ought to be disavowing are the links one knows are spent for or are a part of a link plan.
Should You Believe Anecdotal Evidence of Hazardous Hyperlinks?
Lots of people experience ranking losses and when checking their backlinks are surprised to find a large quantity of exceptionally poor quality webpages connecting to their sites.
Naturally it’s presumed that this is the factor for the ranking drops and a relentless cycle of link disavowing commences.
In those cases it may be useful to think about that there is some other factor for the modification in rankings.
One case that stands out is when somebody concerned me about an unfavorable SEO attack. I took a look at the links and they were truly bad, exactly as described.
There were hundreds of adult themed spam relate to precise match anchor text on unassociated adult subjects pointing to his site.
Those backlinks fit the definition of an unfavorable SEO attack.
I was curious so I privately contacted a Googler by email.They emailed me back the next day and validated that negative SEO was not the reason the website had actually lost rankings.
The real cause for the loss of rankings was that the site was impacted by the Panda algorithm.
What set off the Panda algorithm was low quality content that the website owner had actually produced.
I have actually seen this often times since then, where the real issue was that the site owner was not able to objectively evaluate their own content so they blamed links.
It’s valuable to bear in mind that what seems like the obvious factor for a loss in rankings is not always the actual reason, it’s simply the easiest to blame since it’s obvious.
But as John Mueller stated, disavowing links that a tool has flagged which aren’t paid links is not a good usage of time.
Included image by Best SMM Panel/Asier Romero
Listen to the Google SEO Office Hours video at the 1:10 minute mark