Google: Disavowing Random Links Flagged By Tools Is A Waste Of Time

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Google’s John Mueller answered a question about utilizing the link disavow tool and provided a tip about the best method to utilize it, specifically mentioning links flagged by tools.

Although this tool was introduced ten years ago there is still much confusion regarding the correct usage of it.

Connect Disavow Tool

The link disavow tool was presented by Google in October 2012.

The disavow tool followed in the wake of the Penguin Algorithm from May 2012, which ushered in a duration of extraordinary mayhem in the search marketing neighborhood due to the fact that so many people were purchasing and selling links.

This duration of openly buying and offering links came to a stop on Might 2012 when the Penguin algorithm update was launched and countless websites lost rankings.

Getting paid links eliminated was a substantial discomfort for since they needed to request removal from every website, one by one.

There were a lot of link elimination demands that some website owners began charging a cost to get rid of the links.

The SEO neighborhood begged Google for an easier way to disavow links and in reaction to popular demand Google launched the Link Disavow tool on October 2012 for the express function of disavowing spam links that a website owner was responsible for.

The idea of a link disavow tool was something that had been subjugating for many years, at least since 2007.

Google resisted launching that tool until after the Penguin upgrade.

Google’s official statement from October 2012 explained:

“If you’ve been notified of a manual spam action based upon “abnormal links” indicating your site, this tool can assist you resolve the concern.

If you have not gotten this notification, this tool typically isn’t something you require to fret about.”

Google also provided details of what type of links might set off a manual action:

“We send you this message when we see proof of paid links, link exchanges, or other link schemes that breach our quality guidelines.”

John Mueller Advice on Link Disavow Tool

Mueller responded to a question about disavowing links to a domain home and as a side note provided advice on the correct usage of the tool.

The question asked was:

“The disavow feature in Search Console is currently not available for domain homes. What are the options then?”

John Mueller answered:

“Well, if you have domain level verification in location, you can confirm the prefix level without needing any extra tokens.

Verify that host and do what you need to do.”

Then Mueller included an additional comment about the appropriate method to utilize the link disavow tool.

Mueller continued his response:

“Likewise, keep in mind that disavowing random links that look unusual or that some tool has actually flagged, is not a good usage of your time.

It alters absolutely nothing.

Utilize the disavow tool for scenarios where you really paid for links and can’t get them removed later on.”

Toxic Link Tools and Random Hyperlinks

Lots of 3rd party tools use exclusive algorithms to score backlinks according to how spammy or harmful the tool company feels they are.

Those toxicity ratings might precisely rank how bad particular links seem but they do not always associate with how Google ranks and uses links.

Hazardous link tool scores are simply opinions.

The tools work for generating an automated backlink review, especially when they highlight negative links that you thought were excellent.

However, the only links one should be disavowing are the links one knows are paid for or belong of a link plan.

Should You Think Anecdotal Evidence of Toxic Links?

Lots of people experience ranking losses and when checking their backlinks are shocked to discover a big quantity of incredibly low quality web pages linking to their sites.

Naturally it’s presumed that this is the factor for the ranking drops and a perpetual cycle of link disavowing commences.

In those cases it may work to consider that there is some other reason for the change in rankings.

One case that stands out is when somebody came to me about a negative SEO attack. I took a look at the links and they were actually bad, exactly as described.

There were numerous adult themed spam relate to specific match anchor text on unassociated adult topics pointing to his site.

Those backlinks fit the definition of an unfavorable SEO attack.

I was curious so I independently contacted a Googler by email.They emailed me back the next day and validated that negative SEO was not the reason that the site had actually lost rankings.

The genuine cause for the loss of rankings was that the website was affected by the Panda algorithm.

What set off the Panda algorithm was low quality material that the site owner had actually produced.

I have seen this lot of times since then, where the genuine problem was that the site owner was unable to objectively examine their own material so they blamed links.

It’s practical to remember that what seems like the apparent factor for a loss in rankings is not always the real reason, it’s just the most convenient to blame due to the fact that it’s obvious.

But as John Mueller said, disavowing links that a tool has actually flagged and that aren’t paid links is not a great usage of time.


Featured image by Best SMM Panel/Asier Romero

Listen to the Google SEO Workplace Hours video at the 1:10 minute mark