Google’s John Mueller answered a concern about using the link disavow tool and used a suggestion about the best method 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 use 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 ushered in a period of unprecedented chaos in the search marketing community because many individuals were buying and selling links.
This duration of freely buying and offering links came to a stop on May 2012 when the Penguin algorithm update was released and countless websites lost rankings.
Making money links eliminated was a substantial pain for because they needed to demand removal from every website, one by one.
There were many link elimination demands that some website owners started charging a charge to eliminate the links.
The SEO community begged Google for a much easier method to disavow links and in action to popular demand Google launched the Link Disavow tool on October 2012 for the express purpose of disavowing spam links that a website owner was responsible for.
The concept of a link disavow tool was something that had actually been subjugating for several years, at least considering that 2007.
Google withstood launching that tool till after the Penguin upgrade.
Google’s official statement from October 2012 described:
“If you’ve been alerted of a manual spam action based upon “abnormal links” pointing to your site, this tool can help you deal with the problem.
If you haven’t gotten this notice, this tool usually isn’t something you require to stress over.”
Google likewise used details of what sort of links could 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 Guidance on Link Disavow Tool
Mueller responded to a question about disavowing links to a domain residential or commercial property and as a side note used advice on the correct usage of the tool.
The concern asked was:
“The disavow feature in Browse Console is currently unavailable for domain homes. What are the alternatives then?”
John Mueller responded to:
“Well, if you have domain level confirmation in place, you can validate the prefix level without needing any additional tokens.
Verify that host and do what you require to do.”
Then Mueller added an extra remark about the correct way to use the link disavow tool.
Mueller continued his response:
“Likewise, 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.
Utilize the disavow tool for scenarios where you actually spent for links and can’t get them eliminated afterwards.”
Harmful Link Tools and Random Links
Lots of third party tools utilize exclusive algorithms to score backlinks according to how spammy or harmful the tool business feels they are.
Those toxicity scores may properly rank how bad particular links appear to be however they don’t necessarily associate with how Google ranks and uses links.
Toxic link tool ratings are just viewpoints.
The tools are useful for generating an automated backlink review, specifically when they highlight negative links that you believed were good.
However, the only links one ought to be disavowing are the links one knows are spent for or belong of a link scheme.
Should You Believe Anecdotal Proof of Harmful Hyperlinks?
Lots of people experience ranking losses and when checking their backlinks are stunned to discover a large quantity of extremely poor quality websites connecting to their websites.
Naturally it’s assumed that this is the reason for the ranking drops and a perpetual cycle of link disavowing commences.
In those cases it might be useful to consider that there is some other factor for the change in rankings.
One case that stands apart is when someone came to 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 relate to specific match anchor text on unassociated adult topics indicating his website.
Those backlinks fit the definition of a negative SEO attack.
I wondered so I privately got in touch with a Googler by email.They emailed me back the next day and confirmed that unfavorable SEO was not the reason that the site had actually lost rankings.
The real cause for the loss of rankings was that the website was impacted by the Panda algorithm.
What activated the Panda algorithm was low quality content that the site owner had developed.
I have seen this often times ever since, where the genuine problem was that the website owner was not able to objectively evaluate their own content so they blamed links.
It’s practical to keep in mind that what appears like the obvious reason for a loss in rankings is not always the actual factor, it’s just the most convenient to blame because it’s obvious.
But as John Mueller stated, disavowing links that a tool has flagged which aren’t paid links is not an excellent usage of time.
Included image by Best SMM Panel/Asier Romero
Listen to the Google SEO Workplace Hours video at the 1:10 minute mark