Google: Disavowing Links Would Rarely Help You Algorithmically

Jun 8, 2020 - 7:17 am 13 by

Google Sword

Google's John Mueller in an interview with Marie Haynes said that it would be "really rare" that disavowing links would result in your web site doing better in search algorithmically. Sure, if you have a manual action, maybe but not without a manual action.

Marie Haynes posted the podcast on her site and transcribed it:

M 9:26 – Disavowing is a prevention for a manual action. That makes sense right? If we look at a link profile that is very overtly against Google’s guidelines and we say oh my goodness if the webspam team looked at this like this would be scary, we should probably disavow. I think the confusion is what you mentioned about Google’s algorithms and I understand there’s certain things that you can’t share for obvious reasons. We have had cases where we really do feel that we filed a disavow, the site did not have a manual actions and then at some point, either a few weeks or a couple months afterwards, the site starts to see an increase in traffic and our thought was, as we talked about in New York City, is that Google’s algorithms might have less trust in their link profile and the disavow kind of improved that trust and saw the benefits. So I think the main, and again I can understand if you can’t answer this, so we know we can disavow preventatively to prevent getting a manual action but can we see the improvements in Google rankings, Google traffic from disavowing even if they don’t have a manual action.

J 10:47 – I think that would be very rare.

So I could theoretically imagine a situation where our algorithms are really upset about the links to a site and by disavowing you might clean that up but that’s something where essentially it would be a very similar situation to if a webspam team member looked at the site. So just because there are some random links out there and you’re kind of cleaning things up and you’re focusing on the links that you know are good, I wouldn’t expect to see any change in a site’s visibility in search from something like that.

So that’s something where my guess is something like that is you’re most likely seeing the effects of other things that are happening in search which could be algorithm updates, maybe changes in the ecosystem in general, all of the usual things that can go up and down in search.

Glenn Gabe summed this up to with his classic GIF tweets:

In 2019, John did say that disavowing links may help with trust, maybe help Google's algorithms trust your other links more. But Google also said that it's algorithms do not look at disavow files.

Forum discussion at Twitter.


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