Do You Fear Google Disavow Link Threats?

Apr 15, 2013 • 9:14 am | comments (12) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Fear EmoiticonIt is no surprise to many that more and more SEOs are using the Google link disavow tool. The issue that comes up as time goes on is that there are some using it as a threat to remove or change the links or anchor text pointing to their site.

I am sure some of you have received it. SEOs or other webmasters may email you saying, hey - you are linking to me on this or that page using this link and this anchor text. You have a couple options, either remove the link or change the anchor text to X. If you do not do it within Y days, we will use the Google disavow link tool.

They may add onto that email that using the tool can make your site look bad in Google's eyes. Yada yada.

My question to you, do you fear those types of emails? Do you fear someone may use the Google disavow tool and cite one of your URLs?

Now that you took the poll, I would like to say - do not fear. :)

If you believe Google, Google said the disavow tool won't damage the sites in the list. It simply will just ignore the URLs, as if they are nofollowed. Now, of course, that can change. Aaron Wall thinks himself it will change and Google can use two data points (1) sites frequently disavowed and (2) sites with links frequently removed. Future thought but right now, nope.

That being said, this is causing a big problem in the industry - despite SEOs asking for it.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld & Cre8asite Forums.

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Martin Oxby

04/15/2013 01:33 pm

Wouldn't malicious use of the disavow tool come under unethical SEO practice? Also, disavow requests need to be processed and I assume you can't just go on 'volume' or 'number of times links from are disavowed' - presumably a review of the site and a manual action/notification would be given? - i.e. malicious use of the tool shouldn't automatically cause problems.


04/15/2013 01:37 pm

If somebody used this as a threat then I would remove their link and ignore all future emails from them.

Kevin Gerding

04/15/2013 02:42 pm

Actually the E-mail spam regarding removals got so bad that I had to setup a spam filter to discard all the junk. I was even getting removal requests on a personal domain that has no outbound links at all. How absurd is that? Google can do whatever it wants to sites that don't honor removal requests and are instead disavowed. As far as I'm concerned, most of the requests are generated by bots trying to dissolve their competitor's backlink profiles. Anyway, I don't have billions in the bank like Google has to devote what little time I have responding to each and every request. Such requests do not scale - Google should be quite aware of that.

John Carcutt

04/15/2013 03:13 pm

I love getting these emails .. we have millions of links on our sites and these emails are basically the site owner telling us they have some sort of link profile issue. We don't like to link to site with potential penalties so this is an indicator that we need to remove the link. Much better than trying to dig through our millions of links trying to identify them manually. :)

Johnny Doe

04/15/2013 05:25 pm

Does anyone remember google saying that incoming links coming to your page can not harm you? I remember that well. So when google says it can´t or won´t harm yo , always assume that it can and it will. That way you are protected from the google BS machine.

Josh Zehtabchi

04/15/2013 07:06 pm

I also remembered Google saying Do No Evil...

Simon Painter

04/16/2013 12:29 am

After swapping domains from an 8 year old with about 150k links i 301 redirected to the new domain and without doing anything got unnatural link warnings almost everyday.. i submitted a reconsideration to them and they just kept sending me another notice as an answer.. so i did an export from webmaster tools and went through it and took out all the links i think are valid and then dropped the whole shebang into the disavow tool.. then everything started going up again ..

Rambo Riley

04/16/2013 02:27 am

Exactly what I was thinking


04/16/2013 05:14 pm

Do you really think google will collect data and not use it for their own purposes? As I get older, I don't listen to what people say, I watch what they do. How many times has google said one thing and done another? If they can find a way to further their business objectives with the disavow too, they will -- all the while telling us, "don't worry, we're here to help you." I find that people who don't worry about exposure to google don't have much to lose.


04/24/2013 04:35 pm

i not believe google at all. they do everything to cheat us, lie to us and confuse us. Any our action in their software (gwt/disavow tool) helping them in 'private undisclosed purposes'.


04/25/2013 03:50 pm

Incomming links don't and never have harmed your website. Its an old myth that spammy links can damage your site. What normally happens is people are getting a benefit from the links, Google finds the links and REMOVES the benefit the links were giving and sends a message to the webmaster. The webmaster sees the message and sees he has dropped ranking and ASSUMES the spammy links are now penalising him, that wasn't the case, he just isn't getting the benefit from the links anymore. He has not been punished for the spammy links, he just isn't getting any bonus from them anymore.

Tim Rowley

06/24/2013 01:30 pm

I wish there were clear statements and less guess work as to what damages a site or not

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