Google’s John Mueller responded to a question about utilizing the link disavow tool and offered a suggestion about the best way to use it, specifically pointing out links flagged by tools.
Although this tool was introduced 10 years ago there is still much confusion as to the proper use of it.
Link Disavow Tool
The link disavow tool was introduced by Google in October 2012.
The disavow tool followed in the wake of the Penguin Algorithm from May 2012, which introduced a duration of unmatched chaos in the search marketing community since many people were buying and offering links.
This duration of openly purchasing and selling links came to a stop on May 2012 when the Penguin algorithm update was released and countless websites lost rankings.
Earning money links got rid of was a huge pain for because they needed to request elimination from every website, one by one.
There were a lot of link elimination requests that some website owners began charging a charge to get rid of the links.
The SEO neighborhood asked Google for a simpler method to disavow links and in response to popular demand Google launched 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 been subjugating for several years, at least since 2007.
Google resisted releasing that tool up until after the Penguin upgrade.
Google’s main announcement from October 2012 described:
“If you have actually been informed of a manual spam action based on “unnatural links” pointing to your site, this tool can help you attend to the issue.
If you haven’t gotten this notice, this tool normally isn’t something you need to stress over.”
Google likewise used information of what type of links might trigger a manual action:
“We send you this message when we see evidence of paid links, link exchanges, or other link schemes that breach our quality guidelines.”
John Mueller Recommendations on Link Disavow Tool
Mueller answered a concern about disavowing links to a domain property and as a side note used advice on the appropriate use of the tool.
The question asked was:
“The disavow function in Browse Console is currently not available for domain residential or commercial properties. What are the options 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.
Verify that host and do what you require to do.”
Then Mueller added an additional remark about the proper way to use the link disavow tool.
Mueller continued his response:
“Also, remember that disavowing random links that look weird or that some tool has flagged, is not an excellent use of your time.
It changes nothing.
Utilize the disavow tool for circumstances where you in fact spent for links and can’t get them gotten rid of later on.”
Harmful Link Tools and Random Hyperlinks
Lots of third party tools use proprietary algorithms to score backlinks according to how spammy or toxic the tool business feels they are.
Those toxicity scores might properly rank how bad particular links seem but they don’t always associate with how Google ranks and utilizes links.
Hazardous link tool ratings are just viewpoints.
The tools work for creating an automated backlink evaluation, particularly when they highlight negative links that you thought were good.
However, the only links one must be disavowing are the links one understands are spent for or belong of a link plan.
Should You Think Anecdotal Evidence of Hazardous Hyperlinks?
Lots of people experience ranking losses and when inspecting their backlinks are stunned to discover a large amount of incredibly low quality web pages connecting to their websites.
Naturally it’s presumed that this is the reason for the ranking drops and a perpetual cycle of link disavowing commences.
In those cases it might work to think about that there is some other factor for the change in rankings.
One case that sticks out is when somebody concerned me about a negative SEO attack. I took a look at the links and they were truly bad, precisely as described.
There were hundreds of adult themed spam links with specific match anchor text on unassociated adult subjects pointing to his site.
Those backlinks fit the meaning of a negative SEO attack.
I was curious so I independently called a Googler by email.They emailed me back the next day and validated that negative SEO was not the reason that the website had lost rankings.
The genuine cause for the loss of rankings was that the website was impacted by the Panda algorithm.
What activated the Panda algorithm was poor quality content that the website owner had actually developed.
I have seen this lot of times ever since, where the genuine problem was that the site owner was not able to objectively evaluate their own material so they blamed links.
It’s useful to remember that what looks like the apparent factor for a loss in rankings is not always the actual reason, it’s simply the simplest to blame due to the fact that it’s apparent.
But as John Mueller said, disavowing links that a tool has actually flagged and that aren’t paid links is not an excellent use of time.
Included image by Best SMM Panel/Asier Romero
Listen to the Google SEO Office Hours video at the 1:10 minute mark