Google’s John Mueller answered a concern about utilizing the link disavow tool and used an idea about the very best way to utilize it, particularly mentioning links flagged by tools.
Although this tool was presented ten 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 May 2012, which ushered in a period of unprecedented turmoil in the search marketing neighborhood since so many individuals were purchasing and offering links.
This period of freely purchasing and offering links pulled up on May 2012 when the Penguin algorithm upgrade was released and countless websites lost rankings.
Making money links got rid of was a substantial pain for since they needed to demand elimination from every website, one by one.
There were many link removal requests that some site owners began charging a fee to get rid of the links.
The SEO community pled Google for an easier method to disavow links and in response to popular demand Google released the Link Disavow tool on October 2012 for the express purpose of disavowing spam links that a site owner was accountable for.
The concept of a link disavow tool was something that had actually been kicking around for several years, at least since 2007.
Google withstood launching that tool till after the Penguin update.
Google’s main announcement from October 2012 described:
“If you’ve been alerted of a manual spam action based on “unnatural links” pointing to your website, this tool can assist you deal with the issue.
If you haven’t gotten this alert, this tool normally isn’t something you need to stress over.”
Google also provided details of what kinds of links might set off a manual action:
“We send you this message when we see evidence of paid links, link exchanges, or other link schemes that violate our quality standards.”
John Mueller Suggestions on Link Disavow Tool
Mueller responded to a question about disavowing links to a domain property and as a side note provided advice on the proper usage of the tool.
The question asked was:
“The disavow function in Search Console is presently unavailable for domain homes. What are the options then?”
John Mueller answered:
“Well, if you have domain level confirmation in location, you can validate the prefix level without needing any additional tokens.
Validate that host and do what you require to do.”
Then Mueller included an extra comment about the proper method to utilize the link disavow tool.
Mueller continued his answer:
“Also, keep in mind that disavowing random links that look odd or that some tool has actually flagged, is not a good use of your time.
It changes absolutely nothing.
Use the disavow tool for circumstances where you in fact spent for links and can’t get them removed later on.”
Toxic Link Tools and Random Hyperlinks
Lots of third party tools use proprietary algorithms to score backlinks according to how spammy or poisonous the tool company feels they are.
Those toxicity ratings might accurately rank how bad particular links seem however they don’t necessarily associate with how Google ranks and uses links.
Toxic link tool ratings are just opinions.
The tools work for creating an automated backlink review, particularly when they highlight negative links that you believed were great.
Nevertheless, the only links one need to be disavowing are the links one knows are paid for or belong of a link plan.
Should You Believe Anecdotal Proof of Toxic Links?
Lots of people experience ranking losses and when inspecting their backlinks are surprised to find a big quantity of incredibly low quality websites linking to their websites.
Naturally it’s presumed that this is the factor for the ranking drops and a continuous cycle of link disavowing commences.
In those cases it might be useful to consider that there is some other factor for the modification in rankings.
One case that stands out is when someone pertained to me about a negative SEO attack. I took a look at the links and they were really bad, precisely as described.
There were numerous adult themed spam links with precise match anchor text on unrelated adult subjects pointing to his site.
Those backlinks fit the definition of a negative SEO attack.
I was curious so I privately contacted 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 site was impacted by the Panda algorithm.
What triggered the Panda algorithm was low quality content that the website owner had produced.
I have seen this often times since then, where the genuine issue was that the website owner was not able to objectively evaluate their own material so they blamed links.
It’s handy to bear in mind that what looks like the obvious reason for a loss in rankings is not necessarily the actual reason, it’s simply the simplest to blame because 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 usage of time.
Featured image by Best SMM Panel/Asier Romero
Listen to the Google SEO Workplace Hours video at the 1:10 minute mark