Google: Disavowing Random Links Flagged By Tools Is A Wild-goose Chase

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Google’s John Mueller addressed a concern about using the link disavow tool and used a suggestion about the very best method to use it, particularly pointing out links flagged by tools.

Although this tool was introduced 10 years ago there is still much confusion regarding the proper usage of it.

Connect Disavow Tool

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

The disavow tool followed in the wake of the Penguin Algorithm from May 2012, which introduced a duration of unprecedented turmoil in the search marketing community because so many individuals were purchasing and offering links.

This period of honestly purchasing and selling links pulled up on Might 2012 when the Penguin algorithm upgrade was released and countless sites lost rankings.

Earning money links removed was a substantial discomfort for because they had to demand removal from every site, one by one.

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

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

The idea of a link disavow tool was something that had actually been kicking around for several years, at least because 2007.

Google withstood launching that tool until after the Penguin upgrade.

Google’s official statement from October 2012 explained:

“If you have actually been alerted of a manual spam action based upon “abnormal links” indicating your site, this tool can help you address the concern.

If you haven’t gotten this notice, this tool typically isn’t something you require to fret about.”

Google likewise provided details of what type of links could set off a manual action:

“We send you this message when we see evidence of paid links, link exchanges, or other link plans that breach our quality standards.”

John Mueller Suggestions on Link Disavow Tool

Mueller addressed a question about disavowing links to a domain property and as a side note used recommendations on the proper use of the tool.

The question asked was:

“The disavow feature in Search Console is presently not available for domain residential or commercial properties. What are the choices then?”

John Mueller answered:

“Well, if you have domain level confirmation in location, you can validate the prefix level without requiring any extra tokens.

Validate that host and do what you require to do.”

Then Mueller included an extra comment about the appropriate way to use the link disavow tool.

Mueller continued his response:

“Likewise, remember that disavowing random links that look strange or that some tool has flagged, is not a good use of your time.

It changes nothing.

Use the disavow tool for scenarios where you actually paid for links and can’t get them eliminated later on.”

Toxic Link Tools and Random Hyperlinks

Numerous 3rd party tools use proprietary algorithms to score backlinks according to how spammy or poisonous the tool business feels they are.

Those toxicity scores may accurately rank how bad particular links seem however they don’t always correlate with how Google ranks and uses links.

Hazardous link tool scores are just viewpoints.

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

However, the only links one should be disavowing are the links one understands are paid for or are a part of a link scheme.

Should You Believe Anecdotal Proof of Toxic Hyperlinks?

Lots of people experience ranking losses and when checking their backlinks are surprised to find a big amount of extremely low quality webpages linking to their websites.

Naturally it’s presumed that this is the factor for the ranking drops and a never-ending cycle of link disavowing commences.

In those cases it may work to think about that there is some other reason for the modification in rankings.

One case that stands apart is when somebody came to me about an unfavorable SEO attack. I took a look at the links and they were really bad, precisely as explained.

There were hundreds of adult themed spam links with precise match anchor text on unrelated adult subjects pointing to his website.

Those backlinks fit the meaning of a negative SEO attack.

I wondered so I privately contacted a Googler by email.They emailed me back the next day and confirmed that negative SEO was not the reason why the website had lost rankings.

The real cause for the loss of rankings was that the site was affected by the Panda algorithm.

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

I have seen this many times since then, where the real issue was that the site owner was not able to objectively review their own content so they blamed links.

It’s helpful to remember that what looks like the obvious factor for a loss in rankings is not necessarily the real factor, it’s just the easiest to blame since it’s apparent.

But as John Mueller stated, disavowing links that a tool has actually flagged and that aren’t paid links is not an excellent use of time.


Included image by Best SMM Panel/Asier Romero

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