Do You Proactively Use Google's Disavow Link Tool?

May 8, 2013 • 8:15 am | comments (13) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Google Disavow Link ToolA WebmasterWorld thread asks if one should be proactive when using Google's disavow link tool or not.

The webmaster said with the next generation Penguin update expected to roll out sometime this year, should webmasters and SEOs be more proactive about doing away with their bad links or not.

He wrote:

We have a ton of natural bad links pointing to one of our sites. Since these are natural, many have no contact forms, or email addresses listed for us to be able to contact them.

In an effort to not be a statistic when the next Penguin rolls out, I'm trying to be proactive and rest easy that these links can't be taken the wrong way by the bot.

Most of the feedback this webmaster is receiving is to not disavow links in this case. Why? Well, they may not really be bad links. If they aren't and he disavows them, then his rankings may drop well before Google decides (if they even do) to distrust those links in the future.

What would you do? Take my poll please:

Many are saying just focus on getting great links and that should balance out any of the negative links pointing to the site.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

Previous story: Daily Search Forum Recap: May 7, 2013


Pawel Gontarek

05/08/2013 12:28 pm

Yes, rarely ...but what means "rarely" ? 1/mo or 5/mo is "rarely' ?

Barry Schwartz

05/08/2013 12:28 pm

You decide.

Luke Glassford

05/08/2013 12:45 pm

I really dont trust the Disavow Tool - it seems to be a big data dump to allow Google to effectively crowdsource spam signals across the web, some of which could be perfectly 'natural' links. Here's my thoughts on it in more detail:

Jawad Latif

05/08/2013 01:16 pm

This is where experience counts.

josh bachynski (SEO)

05/08/2013 03:42 pm

There is no such thing as a "natural" bad link!!!!!!!!!!!! 1) if it is natural it is by definition good. 2) even if it is on a commonly linked out from page, in an oft paid for location (like the footer or sidebar), and or a heavy commercial keyword, that may make it slightly suspect, but this does not make it "bad" !!!!!!!!! Depends on how many links like that you already have.


05/08/2013 03:49 pm

Ugh, Google has us all worrying about every little link pointing to our site. This is mayhem.


05/08/2013 11:44 pm

That is exactly what it is. I have heard no stories of someone disavowing bad links and recovering. Google has become the lazy overbearing slob, making webmasters do it's job for it.

Seppo Puusa

05/09/2013 11:36 am

Hmmm... yes there is. Auto-blogs, scraper sites and other junk that gets created every day. Those sites often link to authority sites in order to please G. We can debate whether these links are 'natural' or not, but I took it to mean that the person did nothing to 'get' them. This is one of the most worrying aspects of Penguin. Say you are in a heavily spammed niche and get these links constantly. Sooner or later those links will overwhelm whatever good links you've managed to get. I'm not at all confident that in such case The Penguin wouldn't demolish your site.

Arun Jaiswal

05/09/2013 12:23 pm

I think there are so much Confusion among SEO guys.. Even DISAVOW tool consider all submitted link, there would be NO improvement on rank position, AS because those submitted link were resposible to get GOOD Rank Position and if those link get Disallow than HOW rank position would improve.. Bottom line is we have to continue work with ONLY Quality back-link, that's why STILL after One year of Panda and Penguin, We do not seen any rank poison improvement of Affected website who lost ther rank position with these update.

Glen Craig

05/10/2013 01:39 am

These are the links I'm worried about. My traffic has been decreasing but I've done no link building that should be considered bad. BUT, I do have a lot of scraper links pointing back as well as spammy landing pages that link back with my link hidden in the source code. These can't be good. I'm trying to DMCA as many scrapers as I can but the pages with hidden links scare me. I'm seriously considering Disavowing these but there seems to be no consensus as to when you should use the tool (outside of a manula penalty).

Seppo Puusa

05/10/2013 03:23 am

Indeed, and the situation is especially bad for people who are in spam-heavy niches that are not naturally link-happy. I'm in the acne niche and the situation here is especially bad. Tons and tons of spammy sites that link to authority sites that rank in Google but other legitimate sites on the niche rarely link out to other sites. It remains to be seen what Google does in this situation, but they haven't exactly convinced me that innocent sites won't get hurt in their witchhunt.

Frederick Gimino

05/14/2013 07:55 pm

Negative SEO is really a big threat and I find right before updates some really shady links start showing up almost like they know an update is about to happen...

Frederick Gimino

05/14/2013 07:59 pm

By the way...How is it that "Get links from quality directories" turned into "Avoid low quality directories" when Google apparently is still learning which is which? And, when 5 years ago directories had a PR of 5, 6, or 7 how was a webmaster to know it was part of link network when most did not even know what a link network was? The big thing back then was paid links. Ambiguity always seems to abound at Big G and the webmaster that fails to understand exactly what the meaning of the word "is" is seems to get axed.

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