Google's Matt Cutts: Disavow Links Aggressively

Dec 10, 2013 • 9:18 am | comments (25) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Google Disavow Machete ManGoogle's Matt Cutts released another video this one tries to answer how to remove a penalty for bad link building over a period of time.

Specifically, if you know you hired a bad SEO who built bad links between a specific date range - how do you reverse the actions taken on your site for those bad link?

In short, Matt said, just disavow them or maybe even all the links built between the date range you hired the SEO company. He said if you had good links prior, then the easiest thing would be to disavow links acquired during the time you hired that SEO company.

Matt again said to use the disavow tool very aggressively, as we covered in our Google: Use The Disavow Tool Like A Machete & Not Fine-Toothed Comb.

He also side steps the question on Interflora only being penalized for 11 days.

Here is the video from Matt:

Forum discussion at Twitter.

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12/10/2013 02:44 pm

Barry, you should probably change or expand sources. Each and every day same gum from Google+MattCutts. Nothing really helpful. Like one man show with poor host. It became just annoying.

Barry Schwartz

12/10/2013 02:47 pm

I have many sources, I like this source also.

Marie Haynes

12/10/2013 02:51 pm

I found it interesting that Matt said they didn't want to call out individual brands. But then why did they choose to answer a question that mentioned Interflora? His answer to this question was confusing. It sounds like he's saying you can get out of a manual penalty by disavowing a year or two's worth of links. There's no mention of doing a thorough cleanup.


12/10/2013 03:08 pm

Make MC Shabbat - one day free of Matt Cutts )

Barry Schwartz

12/10/2013 03:09 pm

I don’t do MC videos every day


12/10/2013 04:12 pm

It's the same typical enigmatic garbage from Cutts. The bottom line is that unless you're Target, Walmart, Amazon, eBay or others in that league, you'll continue to suffer with the ongoing changes Google will implement with their algorithms. I think they like to jerk the chain of smaller webmasters by making them jump through flaming hoops with these ridiculous rules, none of which ever seem to correct anything in organic search.


12/10/2013 04:12 pm

Didn't MC say to use the disavow tool carefully and only as a last resort when it first came out? Now we use aggressively like a "machettee"?

Dave Fogel

12/10/2013 04:13 pm

This is a total BS answer. If you disavowed a huge block of links without actually trying to remove the links yourself, they would deny you and tell you to try and remove them and put some effort into it. In fact, I have a client who is stopping seo on their site due to a merger and they have a penalty. I am going to disavow damn near everything and see if the penalty gets lifted.

Over This Disavow Tool Hoopla

12/10/2013 04:49 pm

Disavowing links does nothing. Getting links removed does.

Michael Lane

12/11/2013 09:52 am

Finally somebody who understands! I found this video on the topic, I thought it was the best video out there that talks about disavowing and removing links.

Tim Whittingham

12/11/2013 12:05 pm

The disavow tool is not for your failed SEO project, it is for genuine victims of negative SEO. The disavow tool will only work for you when you have a clean backlink history, and suddenly have spammy links pointing towards you. The best thing to do when you receive a penalty is to get a link audit. This is the best way to determine exactly which links are harming your site and getting them removed. I work at The Link Auditors, we have a suite of tools specifically designed to find your harmful backlinks, and our data shows exactly which links are harmful and which need to be removed. We also have a removal tool. This tool will remove an average of 75% of backlinks, which is the best service on the internet, and it WILL help you in getting a reconsideration from Google. This is our new video that explains everything you need to know about conducting a link audit, and getting backlinks removed. If you have any further questions about our service or how we can help you, feel free to call us on +44 (0)208 123 9429

Tim Whittingham

12/11/2013 12:07 pm

Thank you Michael for sharing our video. It's very helpful to get it out there so more people know the dos and don'ts about link auditing.


12/11/2013 12:30 pm

Should I be actively disavowing links that are on scraper sites like seoprofiler,, etc? I've never submitted my site to those sites, but the links to my site are there regardless.


12/11/2013 01:40 pm

It's a case by case scenario. I know for a fact that only using the disavow file without removing a single link a manual action was removed. It's a particular case but still - it worked so there is something in it...


12/11/2013 05:28 pm

I have the same question as well, if anybody has thoughts. Some of our websites have been scraped into other directories, ranging from harmless to questionably spammy, even when we did not submit our links.


12/11/2013 08:13 pm

Google is pretty good at identifying scraper sites, and other sites like it at not "scrapers." They are not taking content from your site, they are simply displaying information about your site. There are hundreds if not thousands of sites that do this and are almost always harmless. As long as they are taking the content from your site and trying to pass it off as their own you don't have anything to worry about.


12/11/2013 08:16 pm

Directories are not scrapers. If you have a domain, a publicly accessible site then you should expect for bots to look around and use other services to get information about your site. They are not looking to destroy you, they just want traffic from people looking for information about your domain/site.

The Undertaker

12/11/2013 08:36 pm

The spam tag team are in town Bazza :)


12/11/2013 11:22 pm

crowdsourced webspam team at google.


12/12/2013 04:23 am

what a tragedy and a nightmare to hire an SEO company that charge a pound of flesh to do SEO for your business only to end up with shabby links that are source of pan to you and your business


12/12/2013 05:06 am

Old days I gone for the SEO. I have to think many times before disavowing the links there is chance that I might lose the link juice very quickly have seen no improvement doing this...

Michael Lane

12/12/2013 09:32 am

I'm sorry, I don't see how this is spam? Since when was sharing a video I've seen on the internet, relating to this article, spam?


12/12/2013 03:26 pm

In that sense, I understand. However, it's the directories with extremely questionable links and spam that I'd rather not be pointing back to my website.


12/12/2013 05:39 pm

If you want to waste your time doing the work, go ahead. If your friend and competitors have links going to them from the same sites and don't have any negative affects then you should ask yourself if it's worth it.

John Romaine

12/21/2013 06:12 am

I'm helping a client now that is in this position. Cheap and nasty SEO. No fault of his own, just wants it cleaned up. What a drag.

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