Google’s John Mueller answered a concern about using the link disavow tool and provided a pointer about the very best way to utilize it, specifically pointing out links flagged by tools.
Although this tool was introduced 10 years ago there is still much confusion regarding the appropriate 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 Might 2012, which introduced a duration of unprecedented mayhem in the search marketing neighborhood because a lot of individuals were purchasing and selling links.
This duration of honestly purchasing and selling links pulled up on May 2012 when the Penguin algorithm update was launched and countless websites lost rankings.
Getting paid links removed was a huge pain for due to the fact that they needed to request elimination from every website, one by one.
There were many link elimination requests that some site owners started charging a fee to eliminate the links.
The SEO community pled Google for an easier method to disavow links and in reaction to popular need Google launched the Link Disavow tool on October 2012 for the express purpose of disavowing spam links that a website owner was accountable for.
The idea of a link disavow tool was something that had been kicking around for several years, a minimum of since 2007.
Google withstood launching that tool till after the Penguin upgrade.
Google’s official announcement from October 2012 described:
“If you’ve been informed of a manual spam action based on “abnormal links” indicating your website, this tool can assist you deal with the issue.
If you have not gotten this alert, this tool typically isn’t something you need to worry about.”
Google also offered details of what sort of links might trigger 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 Advice on Link Disavow Tool
Mueller answered a concern about disavowing links to a domain residential or commercial property and as a side note provided guidance on the appropriate usage of the tool.
The question asked was:
“The disavow feature in Browse Console is presently not available for domain homes. What are the options then?”
John Mueller responded to:
“Well, if you have domain level confirmation in place, you can confirm the prefix level without requiring any extra tokens.
Validate that host and do what you require to do.”
Then Mueller included an extra remark about the correct way to utilize the link disavow tool.
Mueller continued his answer:
“Likewise, bear in mind that disavowing random links that look odd or that some tool has flagged, is not a great usage of your time.
It alters absolutely nothing.
Utilize the disavow tool for circumstances where you really paid for links and can’t get them gotten rid of later on.”
Hazardous Link Tools and Random Hyperlinks
Numerous 3rd party tools utilize proprietary algorithms to score backlinks according to how spammy or hazardous the tool company feels they are.
Those toxicity scores may properly rank how bad certain links seem however they do not always associate with how Google ranks and utilizes links.
Harmful link tool ratings are simply viewpoints.
The tools work for generating an automated backlink evaluation, particularly when they highlight negative links that you thought were good.
Nevertheless, the only links one should be disavowing are the links one knows are spent for or are a part of a link scheme.
Should You Believe Anecdotal Proof of Poisonous Links?
Many individuals experience ranking losses and when inspecting their backlinks are surprised to discover a large quantity of extremely low quality webpages linking to their websites.
Naturally it’s assumed that this is the reason for the ranking drops and a relentless cycle of link disavowing commences.
In those cases it may work to think about that there is some other factor for the modification in rankings.
One case that sticks out is when someone concerned me about a negative SEO attack. I took a look at the links and they were actually bad, exactly as described.
There were numerous adult themed spam links with specific match anchor text on unrelated adult topics pointing to 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 verified that negative SEO was not the reason that the website had actually lost rankings.
The genuine cause for the loss of rankings was that the site was impacted by the Panda algorithm.
What activated the Panda algorithm was low quality content that the website owner had actually produced.
I have actually seen this lot of times since then, where the genuine issue was that the site owner was unable to objectively review their own content so they blamed links.
It’s handy to keep in mind that what appears like the apparent factor for a loss in rankings is not always the real factor, it’s just the most convenient to blame since it’s apparent.
But as John Mueller stated, disavowing links that a tool has actually flagged which aren’t paid links is not a good use of time.
Included image by Best SMM Panel/Asier Romero
Listen to the Google SEO Workplace Hours video at the 1:10 minute mark