Google: Disavowing Random Links Flagged By Tools Is A Waste Of Time

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Google’s John Mueller responded to a concern about utilizing the link disavow tool and provided a suggestion about the very best method to use it, specifically mentioning links flagged by tools.

Although this tool was presented ten years ago there is still much confusion regarding the appropriate 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 Might 2012, which introduced a duration of extraordinary mayhem in the search marketing community due to the fact that a lot of people were buying and selling links.

This duration of honestly buying and selling links pulled up on Might 2012 when the Penguin algorithm update was launched and thousands of sites lost rankings.

Making money links removed was a substantial discomfort for because they needed to demand elimination from every site, one by one.

There were numerous link elimination demands that some website owners started charging a cost to remove the links.

The SEO community begged Google for a much easier method to disavow links and in response to popular need Google launched the Link Disavow tool on October 2012 for the express function of disavowing spam links that a website owner was responsible for.

The concept of a link disavow tool was something that had been kicking around for several years, at least because 2007.

Google withstood releasing that tool up until after the Penguin update.

Google’s main announcement from October 2012 discussed:

“If you’ve been notified of a manual spam action based upon “abnormal links” pointing to your site, this tool can help you address the problem.

If you have not gotten this notice, this tool typically isn’t something you require to worry about.”

Google also provided details of what type of links could activate 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 addressed a concern about disavowing links to a domain residential or commercial property and as a side note provided guidance on the correct use of the tool.

The question asked was:

“The disavow feature in Browse Console is currently not available for domain properties. What are the alternatives then?”

John Mueller answered:

“Well, if you have domain level verification in place, you can verify the prefix level without needing any extra tokens.

Verify that host and do what you require to do.”

Then Mueller included an extra remark about the correct method to utilize the link disavow tool.

Mueller continued his answer:

“Also, remember that disavowing random links that look strange or that some tool has flagged, is not an excellent use of your time.

It changes absolutely nothing.

Use the disavow tool for scenarios where you really paid for links and can’t get them eliminated later on.”

Poisonous Link Tools and Random Hyperlinks

Numerous 3rd party tools use proprietary algorithms to score backlinks according to how spammy or poisonous the tool business feels they are.

Those toxicity scores might precisely rank how bad certain links seem however they don’t necessarily correlate with how Google ranks and uses links.

Poisonous link tool scores are just viewpoints.

The tools work for generating an automated backlink review, particularly when they highlight negative links that you believed were great.

However, the only links one should be disavowing are the links one understands are spent for or belong of a link plan.

Should You Believe Anecdotal Evidence of Harmful Hyperlinks?

Lots of people experience ranking losses and when inspecting their backlinks are stunned to find a big amount of incredibly low quality web pages linking to their websites.

Naturally it’s presumed that this is the factor for the ranking drops and a relentless cycle of link disavowing commences.

In those cases it may be useful to think about that there is some other factor for the change in rankings.

One case that stands apart is when someone pertained to me about an unfavorable SEO attack. I took a look at the links and they were truly bad, precisely as explained.

There were hundreds of adult themed spam links with precise match anchor text on unrelated adult subjects pointing to his website.

Those backlinks fit the definition 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 confirmed that negative SEO was not the reason why the website had 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 site owner had created.

I have actually seen this many times since then, where the real problem was that the website owner was unable to objectively examine their own material so they blamed links.

It’s practical to keep in mind that what looks like the apparent reason for a loss in rankings is not always the actual factor, it’s just the simplest to blame since 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