What Happens When You Disavow 35,000 Links In Google?

Sep 19, 2013 • 8:26 am | comments (15) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Google Disavow Link ToolCyrus Shepard posted on Google+ about a case study he posted on his blog about the results after he disavowed 35,000 links pointing to a site.

He said, "On April 3, 2013 I disavowed every link to my website I could find through Google Webmaster Tools." That turned out to be 35,000 links. The result in his traffic? Well, hard to say.

Here is the chart:

google disavow traffic chart

He said, "shortly after" he disavowed all those links, "Google released Penguin 2.0 in late May, my rankings started to drop." They dropped like a rock," he added.

Was it Penguin 2.0 that caused the drop or disavowing all the links Google knew about and thus removing all the PageRank and trust Google flowed to his site?

The only way to tell is to wait for another Penguin refresh.

The thing is, disavowing all your links that Webmaster Tools returns doesn't mean you've disavowed ALL your links. Google doesn't show all your links in webmaster tools. That being said, others have tried to disavow all their links and Google has come back to them to tell them there are still links that are pointing to them that are bad. This is why Google says use the tool with caution but like a machete.

In this case, I am not sure if these two things are 100% related.

Forum discussion at Google+.

This post was written earlier this week and scheduled to be posted today.

Previous story: Google Wants Feedback On Custom Maps


James Hobson

09/19/2013 12:41 pm

I think are are a LOT of potential variables that are being overlooked. First of which is although the Disavow was submitted is there any measurement of whether or not Google had yet acted on the request? Would the sharp loss of links be like a "reset button" moving the site very low and then it goes back up because of a "clean credit score"? Personally I thnk that the Disavow Tool is useful; however I think it's best to periodically submit small batches of links that you believe to be questionable. Extreme behaviors rarely get stellar results.


09/19/2013 02:37 pm

Well Interesting. I had also interesting experience. When I took over one site I found that there are pointing some links, which looks really spammy. So I took all of those spammy links to the .txt file and uploaded it to disavow tool on August 19. On September 4 this website was penalized and lost more than 80% of it's traffic. I wonder also if Google disavow tool is somehow related to the algo updates. because it is rather interesting to get a penalty after backlink profile cleaning.


09/19/2013 03:27 pm

Disavow all the links you like. Even if you rank number one these days you probably are still below paid ads, youtube vids and the big brands. Organic search is dead for many search terms.


09/19/2013 04:27 pm

This is stupid, we didn't learn anything from it, why would it even be posted?


09/19/2013 06:38 pm

Yes this is stupid. Becz you should newer disallow all links. You must do it very strategically. 1st you need to disallow the stupid .info links if you have. You just need to have disallowed only 10% you can do it fully, becz there is always danger. What happened is very clear. All the bad and good links which were carrying the link juice were cutt off. Simple! No links, No juice. And it definitely takes at least 1 month to show this in the results so you can clearly see the effect. Penguin 2.0 even if it was not released then also you will loose traffic, its common sense. Nothing new in it. Only those experts who know which type of link is carrying weight and which is just useless can only do it.

Giuseppe Lanzetta

09/19/2013 10:41 pm

He disavowed the good links too! No Penguin refresh will restore your previous visibility!!


09/19/2013 11:35 pm

Couldn't agree more.

Umar Jamil

09/20/2013 04:34 am

Is This post really worth for learning anything?


09/20/2013 08:34 am

Why would you disavow all of your links? That doesn't make sense. If you upload all of your links to be disavowed, they're not going to be counted for by Google, and your rankings will go down.


09/20/2013 08:41 am

Guys, read all the artricle. Not only the title of this page. It was written that it was a case study and it was made for testing purposes.

Arun Venkatesh

09/20/2013 12:43 pm

Although, you might have been cautious to disavow entire links found through GWT and that's what Google is telling us! This is really unreasoned..

Jitendra Vaswani

09/22/2013 03:56 am

Would love to hear your opinion... Lets say a site has been involved in link building since 2001. Over the past 12 years they've had low quality directory, article, bookmarking links. They've received a partial manual action on unnatural links. So 12 years is a long time and that turns out to be thousands of "unnatural links". Does Google really expect them to email 10,000+ websites? Would cleaning up the 2,000 worsts then disavowing the rest be a good enough show of faith? If it took 5 minutes an email you're looking at nearly 1,000 hours of just emailing webmasters. Obviously you can't answer this with a positive yes or no but would love to hear your opinion.

Mary Desilva

09/23/2013 11:51 am

This post is best example of madness

Spook SEO

01/13/2014 04:09 pm

This case study is too different because if you did the back linking to your site and it is improving your traffic there is no chance left to remove your links by using any tool because it is your asset that you made by going a great job for your site. There is only chance for it that if you have feared to hit by any Google update but still possibility left that it will not happen to you and you will get the big hike in your traffic.


02/12/2014 02:03 pm

"Google says use the tool with caution but like a machete". Such wisdom .... I have suffered from penguin and disavowed any and all links which looked bad to me. No change. Well, if anything, less traffic.

blog comments powered by Disqus