Only 13% Claim Google's Disavow Tool Worked For Them

Apr 16, 2014 • 8:12 am | comments (21) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Google DisavowWe ran a poll late last year asking did Google's disavow link tool work for you or not?

As you know, the Google Disavow Tool launched in October of 2012. Since then webmasters and SEOs have been obsessed with it and using it all the time.

But does it work? Does it help you improve your rankings and remove penalties? Well, I know for a fact it does help remove penalties, but does that lead to better rankings always? Not always.

We polled our audience and with 670+ responses and only 13% of those said using this tool worked for them. 37% said they are not sure if it worked or not and 50% said they are confident it had no impact.

Here is the pie chart:

google disavow results

Disclaimer: Please see my poll disclaimer post before coming to any conclusions on these results.

Forum discussion continued at Black Hat World.

Note: I am offline today and this post was pre-scheduled to be automatically posted. So if I am delayed in responding to issues or comments, I apologize in advance.

Previous story: Daily Search Forum Recap: April 15, 2014


Marie Haynes

04/16/2014 12:56 pm

If all of your rankings were based on unnatural links, then disavowing is not likely going to cause much improvement. But, if you've got a mixture of good links and bad then I've seen many sites improve and some of those dramatically after using the disavow tool. It's also important to note that in most cases you will need to wait until the Penguin algorithm refreshes before you see if your disavowal work has helped.


04/16/2014 12:57 pm

You have to translate "work" into "give you the results you wanted, even if entirely unrealistic". As such this is a better result than I'd expect.

Abdul Wahab

04/16/2014 03:28 pm

Agree. Increase healthy links after using Disavow tool.

Big Omaha SEO

04/16/2014 04:56 pm

In another poll, coincidentally it was found that 87 percent of people using Google disavowel tool had previously tried to game the system and now were throwing tantrums about being hit for doing things google has been warning about for years.


04/16/2014 11:25 pm

I had to use the disavow tool for one bad domain a blackhat redirected to my site... 2 days after disavowing everything rebounded. So I used it once and it worked once for what its worth.

Charu Rastogi

04/17/2014 04:57 am

It worked well for me...So i am with 13% users.

Dawn Anderson

04/17/2014 07:42 am

It worked well for me. You've got to keep refreshing the data :)

Yogita Aggarwal

04/17/2014 09:34 am

For me, it worked.


04/17/2014 11:11 am

Please share the Process here


04/17/2014 11:22 am

For Google it worked. You snitched on all the sites you submitted. Also you admitted of being guilty of SEO.

Matt Janaway

04/17/2014 11:36 am

I think the issue comes from website owners thinking that disavowing links will automatically ensure they have similar visitor levels to before a penalty restored. It certainly won't work if you think that. Removing a penalty is only half the story, growing back to where you were before requires lots of hard work and rebuilding links in a much more natural way.

Nicholas Chimonas

04/17/2014 02:35 pm

Thank you hitreach.


04/17/2014 06:24 pm

Not really... a lot of people use it very sparingly. You already tip your SEO hand by how you use GWT. Nothing new is really shared there. The "site" I "snitched on" had no business redirecting his massively penalized domain to my website's homepage. That person can go !@#$ himself in my opinion and I was thrilled to see my SEO rebound two days later.


04/17/2014 06:40 pm

I found a case where a person redirected a very spammy domain at my website. The attack causes thousands of 404 crawl errors for URLs my site doesn't have. The redirection caused my site to take the reputation hit. I had to disavow the whole domain because the redirection involved tens of thousands of previously penalized URLs to come my way.


04/18/2014 08:58 am

For me Disavow worked to some extent, like the keywords which are not in 400 and 500 positions, came to below 100 Position after disavow.

Junaid Jaffery

04/18/2014 09:02 am

For me Disavow worked to some extent, like the keywords which are not in 400 and 500 positions, came to below 100 Position after disavow.


04/18/2014 05:28 pm

So do you mean to say that the disavow tool doesn't work for Google and people do not use it? How do you know? Do you work for Google? A LOT of people use the tool, even those who don't want to have to. My site gets disavowed a lot by people who commented in the past on my blog and want their comments removed now etc.


04/19/2014 12:54 pm

If you banned Google from your blog, why do they even bother asking you to remove comments and links? It makes no sense. :( Unless they don't know the difference...

Yogita Aggarwal

04/21/2014 05:00 am

Analyze your website's backlink profile. (Tool suggestions - Google webmaster Tool, Backlink Watch, Majestic SEO and Cognitive SEO) Delete links those are on irrelevant sites having poor DA, anchor text, Google PR. Contact site owners and request them to delete your back links. Do follow up after 15 days. If still you don't receive any reply disavow all the bad domains with the help GWT.


04/22/2014 10:49 am

It's mostly outsourced drones from Asia who do not even take a look at my site. They just see that I'm not in Google and assume I'm banned.


04/22/2014 11:44 am

Ah, yes... got a few of those for some blogs that don't show up in Google (penalty or not, I don't care) or even just because my PageRank is 0 or N/A.

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