Google’s John Mueller addressed a question about utilizing the link disavow tool and offered a suggestion about the best method to utilize it, specifically discussing links flagged by tools.
Although this tool was presented 10 years ago there is still much confusion as to the proper use 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 introduced a period of unmatched turmoil in the search marketing neighborhood because numerous individuals were purchasing and offering links.
This period of freely buying and offering links came to a stop on Might 2012 when the Penguin algorithm update was released and countless sites lost rankings.
Earning money links removed was a huge pain for since they had to demand elimination from every site, one by one.
There were numerous link elimination demands that some site owners began charging a cost to eliminate the links.
The SEO neighborhood asked 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 site owner was responsible for.
The idea of a link disavow tool was something that had been kicking around for several years, at least since 2007.
Google withstood launching that tool till after the Penguin update.
Google’s main statement from October 2012 explained:
“If you have actually been alerted of a manual spam action based upon “unnatural links” pointing to your site, this tool can help you deal with the concern.
If you have not gotten this notice, this tool typically isn’t something you require to stress over.”
Google likewise used details of what sort 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 guidelines.”
John Mueller Recommendations on Link Disavow Tool
Mueller responded to a concern about disavowing links to a domain property and as a side note offered advice on the proper usage of the tool.
The question asked was:
“The disavow feature in Browse Console is presently unavailable for domain homes. What are the alternatives then?”
John Mueller responded to:
“Well, if you have domain level verification in place, you can verify the prefix level without requiring any extra tokens.
Confirm that host and do what you require to do.”
Then Mueller included an extra comment about the appropriate way to use the link disavow tool.
Mueller continued his response:
“Also, keep in mind that disavowing random links that look strange or that some tool has flagged, is not an excellent usage of your time.
It changes nothing.
Utilize the disavow tool for scenarios where you in fact paid for links and can’t get them removed later on.”
Hazardous Link Tools and Random Hyperlinks
Numerous third party tools use exclusive algorithms to score backlinks according to how spammy or poisonous the tool business feels they are.
Those toxicity ratings might accurately rank how bad specific links appear to be however they don’t always correlate with how Google ranks and uses links.
Toxic link tool ratings are just viewpoints.
The tools are useful for producing an automated backlink evaluation, particularly when they highlight negative links that you believed were great.
However, the only links one must be disavowing are the links one understands are paid for or belong of a link plan.
Should You Believe Anecdotal Proof of Poisonous Hyperlinks?
Lots of people experience ranking losses and when checking their backlinks are surprised to find a large quantity of very poor quality webpages connecting to their websites.
Naturally it’s presumed that this is the factor for the ranking drops and a perpetual cycle of link disavowing commences.
In those cases it might work to consider that there is some other factor for the change in rankings.
One case that stands apart is when somebody concerned me about a negative SEO attack. I took a look at the links and they were truly bad, exactly as explained.
There were numerous adult themed spam links with exact match anchor text on unassociated adult topics indicating his site.
Those backlinks fit the meaning of an unfavorable SEO attack.
I wondered so I independently contacted a Googler by email.They emailed me back the next day and validated that negative SEO was not the reason why the website had actually lost rankings.
The real cause for the loss of rankings was that the website was impacted by the Panda algorithm.
What triggered the Panda algorithm was low quality material that the website owner had produced.
I have actually seen this many times ever since, where the genuine issue was that the website owner was not able to objectively review their own material so they blamed links.
It’s practical to bear in mind that what seems like the obvious reason for a loss in rankings is not always the actual factor, it’s just the easiest to blame because it’s apparent.
But as John Mueller said, disavowing links that a tool has flagged which 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