Cutts Talks Disavow Links Tool And Negative SEO

    November 20, 2013
    Chris Crum
    Comments are off for this post.

Google has put out a new Webmaster Help video discussing the Disavow Links tool, and whether or not it’s a good idea to use it even when you don’t have a manual action against your site.

Google’s Matt Cutts takes on the following question:

Should webmasters use the disavow tool, even if it is believed that no penalty has been applied? For example, if we believe ‘negative SEO’ has been attempted, or spammy sites we have contacted have not removed links.

As Cutts notes, the main purpose of the tool is for when you’ve done some “bad SEO” yourself, or someone has on your behalf.

“At the same time, if you’re at all worried about someone trying to do negative SEO or it looks like there’s some weird bot that’s building up a bunch of links to your site, and you have no idea where it came from, that’s a perfect time to use Disavow as well.”

“I wouldn’t worrying about going ahead and disavowing links even if you don’t have a message in your webmaster console. So if you have done the work to keep an active look on your backlinks, and you see something strange going on, you don’t have to wait around. Feel free to just preemptively say, ‘This is a weird domain. I have nothing to do with it. I don’t know what this particular bot is doing in terms of making links.’ Just feel free to go ahead and do disavows, even on a domain level.”

As Cutts has said in the past, feel free to use the tool “like a machete“.

  • http://www.searchengineoptimisationuk.biz/ Andrew Hughes

    Some reassurance from Matt though I still think it can alert Google about spammy methods even if the website owner isn’t at fault.

  • http://www.seocompanyedinburgh.co.uk Louise

    Good to know that you can do it before there is an issue, because it would definitely be better to disavow before Google penalised you for something!

  • https://plus.google.com/110826622201196466178/posts Nick Stamoulis

    Believe me, proactively disavowing those links is much easier than trying to convince Google you never created them in the first place if you have to deal with a reconsideration request. I have a client whose content got picked up by a bunch of spammy sites and because there was a link back to their site within that content is looks suspicious…even though they had nothing to do with the creation of those links!

    • http://www.searchengineoptimisationuk.biz/ Andrew Hughes

      Why don’t Google make disavowing permanent? Once you’ve added a bunch you then have to manage them. Perhaps they are giving you time to get them removed but with most spam sites this is impossible. Being proactive could be very resourceful.

  • John

    Google have messed up big time with the way they now “punish” links they consider in someway bad. Anyone with an once of common sense realises that the minute a search engine starts prejudging the intentions of a link scoring it “negatively” they have opened up there algorithm to abuse and hence their search results start reflecting negatively manipulated search results. The thing Ive noticed the most is that now dormant ribbish sites rank above those with active webmasters.

  • http://www.realitist.com Robert

    Once again Matt Cutts fails to address the issue Google created of webmasters of perfectly legitimate quality informational sites, that don’t happen to rank high enough in Google, being bombarded with removal requests. I have several PR1 and PR2 sites, some with links from 2008, we’re being asked to remove and threatened with disavowing. Was bad enough when they had to include the email back and forth (often from an email not of the domain), now they can apparently disavow at will. Your site suffers the hit and spammy site accusation as a reward for hosting these links of PR chasers. Clearly the disavow tool is becoming a machete for those who only want to be linked to from sites PR5 and higher.

  • http://www.promodrone.com/ Lee Davis

    This is just a ridiculous load of shite. The stupidity of people considering exclusivity to the idea of repudiating linking is going to be the new, “Microsoft Broke The Internet” that I remember from over ten years ago. If you’re even taking any of these suggestions seriously, I’m feelin’ for you. You’re the hapless dimes that they think about everytime they think of some ridiculous reason why you have to follow “rules” that don’t even matter. Just a hint – none of the formerly-espoused opinions in the video are going to help you make any money. POINT-BLANK. You keep swallowing all this crap hook-line-and-sinker so you have to increasingly follow around the rule-makers to benefit from your volluntary slavery.

  • http://addurl.yn.lt add url

    It is very nice to share this video. I think it be helpful to me and thousands of other…

  • http://www.disavowlink.com Frank

    Great post. Disavow Links tool will help if you have got manual spam action based on “unnatural links” pointing to your site message in webmaster tools & for those links which have no way to get removed by contacting site owners or link source.

  • Tarun Gupta

    This is nice article regarding Disavow tool. Yeah, it is really the best tool to clean all bad links which are not been removed by the site owners. It is very helpful tool for bad SEO.