Google: You Won't Get Your Rankings Back By Disavowing Toxic Links

Feb 13, 2024 - 7:41 am 12 by

Toxic Google Juice

Google's John Mueller said on Reddit that you won't get your Google search rankings back by simply disavowing toxic links from a Semrush report. He wrote, "You're not going to get your rankings back by following Semrush's report or by disavowing those links."

This was in response to a question posted that read:

So the Semrush pops a sudden warning about our site

- 61.8% of organic traffic has been lost over the last 6 months.

- 876 High toxic backlinks

- 750 Potentially toxic

- 1.7K links okay.

The drop in organic traffic is true, we don't know why. There was some vulnerability in our wordpress plugins, led to spam links pointing us. We updated the plugins a month ago.

I did find John Muller saying, Google would automatically discount harmful links.

Should we disavow to get back our rankings?

John Mueller replied saying:

You're not going to get your rankings back by following Semrush's report or by disavowing those links.

Google has many many times told SEOs to not use the disavow link tool. Saying many times not to disavow, that it hurts more than helps in some cases. Google even blasted some agencies selling disavow services. Not too long ago, Google also said to ignore toxic link reports, also saying disavowing based on third-party metrics is not a good idea.

John Mueller added in a completely different Reddit thread just a few hours ago the same message. This was specific to negative SEO link reports. He wrote:

Ignore them. Ignore the Semrush report. Let your competitor spend that sweet $5 for nothing. Be glad they're not investing that into making their own site better. That said, if you have time to browse & take reports in tools like that seriously, you're probably not spending enough time to make a truly awesome site.

Just to be clear, John does not seem to be going after Semrush but rather the concept of links hurting a site so much that SEOs should spend time focusing on links over making their content and websites better overall.

So here is one more case of Google saying not to disavow...

Forum discussion at Reddit.


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