Google’s John Mueller answered a question about using the link disavow tool and offered a pointer about the very best method to use it, particularly discussing links flagged by tools.
Although this tool was presented 10 years ago there is still much confusion as to the correct usage of it.
Connect 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 May 2012, which ushered in a period of unmatched turmoil in the search marketing community due to the fact that many individuals were purchasing and offering links.
This duration of freely buying and offering links came to a stop on Might 2012 when the Penguin algorithm update was released and countless websites lost rankings.
Getting paid links got rid of was a substantial pain for because they needed to request removal from every site, one by one.
There were numerous link removal demands that some site owners began charging a cost to eliminate the links.
The SEO community asked Google for a simpler way to disavow links and in reaction to popular demand Google launched the Link Disavow tool on October 2012 for the express purpose of disavowing spam links that a site owner was accountable for.
The idea of a link disavow tool was something that had been subjugating for many years, at least since 2007.
Google withstood releasing that tool up until after the Penguin upgrade.
Google’s official announcement from October 2012 explained:
“If you’ve been alerted of a manual spam action based upon “abnormal links” indicating your website, this tool can help you resolve the issue.
If you have not gotten this notification, this tool usually isn’t something you need to stress over.”
Google likewise used details of what kinds of links could set off a manual action:
“We send you this message when we see proof of paid links, link exchanges, or other link plans that breach our quality guidelines.”
John Mueller Recommendations on Link Disavow Tool
Mueller responded to a concern about disavowing links to a domain home and as a side note used recommendations on the proper usage of the tool.
The concern asked was:
“The disavow feature in Browse Console is currently unavailable for domain properties. What are the options then?”
John Mueller addressed:
“Well, if you have domain level verification in place, you can validate the prefix level without needing any additional tokens.
Confirm that host and do what you require to do.”
Then Mueller added an extra remark about the appropriate method to utilize the link disavow tool.
Mueller continued his response:
“Likewise, bear in mind that disavowing random links that look odd or that some tool has flagged, is not an excellent usage of your time.
It alters nothing.
Utilize the disavow tool for scenarios where you really spent for links and can’t get them removed later on.”
Hazardous Link Tools and Random Links
Many third party tools use exclusive algorithms to score backlinks according to how spammy or harmful the tool company feels they are.
Those toxicity scores might accurately rank how bad particular links seem however they don’t always associate with how Google ranks and utilizes links.
Poisonous link tool scores are just viewpoints.
The tools are useful for creating an automated backlink evaluation, particularly when they highlight unfavorable links that you believed were good.
However, the only links one need to be disavowing are the links one knows are paid for or belong of a link plan.
Should You Think Anecdotal Proof of Harmful Links?
Many people experience ranking losses and when inspecting their backlinks are stunned to find a big amount of incredibly low quality web pages connecting to their websites.
Naturally it’s assumed that this is the reason for the ranking drops and a continuous cycle of link disavowing commences.
In those cases it might be useful to think about that there is some other factor for the change in rankings.
One case that stands out is when someone concerned me about an unfavorable SEO attack. I had a look at the links and they were really bad, precisely as explained.
There were numerous adult themed spam relate to exact match anchor text on unassociated adult subjects indicating his site.
Those backlinks fit the meaning of a negative SEO attack.
I was curious so I independently got in touch with a Googler by email.They emailed me back the next day and confirmed that negative SEO was not the reason the site had actually lost rankings.
The real cause for the loss of rankings was that the website was affected by the Panda algorithm.
What set off the Panda algorithm was low quality material that the website owner had actually produced.
I have seen this many times ever since, where the genuine problem was that the site owner was not able to objectively examine their own content so they blamed links.
It’s handy to keep in mind that what appears like the obvious factor for a loss in rankings is not necessarily the real factor, it’s simply the easiest to blame since it’s apparent.
However as John Mueller stated, disavowing links that a tool has flagged and that aren’t paid links is not an excellent usage of time.
Featured image by Best SMM Panel/Asier Romero
Listen to the Google SEO Office Hours video at the 1:10 minute mark