Google's disavow tool launched almost a year ago and has been a very common topic amongst the SEO and webmaster community since.
It is a tool that is used often by SEOs and webmasters, but should it be?
A Google Webmaster Help thread has Google telling us what they've said before but this time in clear black and white, the tool may end up harming your site's performance in Google.
Google's Eric Kuan from the search quality team said:
The disavow backlinks tool should be used with caution since it can potentially harm your site's performance. However, if you see a considerable number of spammy, artificial, or low-quality links point to your site, and you're confident that the links are causing issues for your site, you can use the disavow tool to disavow those links. In most cases, Google can assess which links to trust without additional guidance, so most normal or typical sites will not need to use this tool.
Yes, if you disavow links that are helping you rank, it will have a harmful impact on your site's performance in Google's search results.
Just don't go out there and blindly disavow links because you are afraid. Instead, be careful and slow and patient with your links.
Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.
Image credit to BigStockPhoto for skull key