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This 178 message thread spans 6 pages: < < 178 ( 1 2 3 4 [5] 6 > >     
Google Launches a Disavow Links Tool
Regent

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4508606 posted 9:33 pm on Oct 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

Apparently, Google has quietly announced a backlink disavow tool. Read about it here: [googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com...] [youtube.com...] .

Matt Cutts was on hand at Pubcon to issue the annual State of the Index address, sharing insight on what Google’s done this year, what webmasters should know, and, this time, to also announce a new tool for webmasters. Look alive!

[pubcon.com...]

 

seoskunk



 
Msg#: 4508606 posted 7:52 pm on Oct 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

Ok here's a question, why do some sites when using disavow receive acknowledgement in WMT yet others don't?

jimbeetle

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jimbeetle us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4508606 posted 10:48 pm on Oct 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

Jimbeetle - no I seemed to bypass both panda and penguin, it was only the latest algo that obliterated my non-EMD, old (frequently updated), and very best website.

You might want to go back and re-watch the Matt Cutts video where he stressed that Google catches and discounts the type of links you described. He then stressed, stressed again and then re-stressed that unless you received an unnatural links notice or knew that you where engaged in spammy link building that you *should not* use the tool. The faq on the blog post also mentions using the tool if you were affected by Penguin.

zarathustra2011

WebmasterWorld Senior Member



 
Msg#: 4508606 posted 11:46 am on Oct 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

I appreciate I shouldn't need to use this tool, but I also feel for a little bit of time checking out bad links, I shouldn't have much to lose by it either, given what's happened to my traffic.
I'm really only adding the worst of the worst, just in case google decided to count them against me.

aristotle

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4508606 posted 2:45 pm on Oct 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

zarathustra2011 -- Keep in mind that a "natural-looking" backlink profile often includes a lot of garbage. So removing most of it might make a profile look less natural. Of course there are exceptions, such as links from porn and malware sites, that probably should be disavowed.

martinibuster

WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4508606 posted 4:10 pm on Oct 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

I also feel for a little bit of time checking out bad links, I shouldn't have much to lose by it either,


If Matt's recommending you shouldn't use it, and Matt tends to understate things, webmasters should really pay attention. As someone else mentioned, shady links have always existed, I agree with that. A few of them are not likely to hit the threshold for subverting your rankings. The issue is likely somewhere else.

jimbeetle

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jimbeetle us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4508606 posted 4:31 pm on Oct 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

webmasters should really pay attention

Yeah, folks gritch and moan about Google's lack of tranparency and guidance so much in this forum you would think that when Matt goes out of his way to give *specific* guidance people would listen.

Hollywood

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4508606 posted 7:12 pm on Oct 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

Mihomes

I'm looking into a class action lawsuit as I agree with this below, and this is abused unethical power placed onto small and medium/large sized businesses, this tool is too late, I already lost tens of thousands.

"I really bothers me that Matt describes using this because you forum spammed, bought links, were in a link network, etc., etc... there is no mention at all of negative seo from a competitor... they just assume everyone had a choice in getting these 'bad' links. I know I have some horrible links and had nothing to do about it nor can I DO anything about. From reading this forum there are others in this same boat as well."

graeme_p

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4508606 posted 6:14 am on Oct 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

I am tempted to disavow some links that the webmaster refused to remove without me paying him.


That business model can only get more popular. It can turn every penalised blackhat site into a money maker.

Jez123

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4508606 posted 8:27 am on Oct 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

Yeah, folks gritch and moan about Google's lack of tranparency and guidance so much in this forum you would think that when Matt goes out of his way to give *specific* guidance people would listen.


Cutts doesn't specifically say that if you are Penguin affected (without message in WMT) that you should try disavowing links. However, I fail to see what else could possibly go wrong! I am getting next to no traffic from google. I have nothing to lose. I think he could be clearer though about the difference between Penguin affected without message and Penguin affected with message. As usual there is too much to read between the lines.

aristotle

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4508606 posted 1:05 pm on Oct 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

A possible way to refine a disavow list has occurred to me. It is based on the fact that many of the pages on my two penguinized sites only fell slightly in Google's rankings, or in some cases didn't fall at all, when penguin hit, and these pages are still bringing in considerable Google traffic. But some other pages fell much further, at least for their main keywords, and no longer get much Google traffic.

So my idea is to mainly only disavow backlinks to the pages that were hit the hardest, but not disavow any backlinks to the pages that still bring in a lot of traffic.

Another possible refinement is to only disavow backlinks that have penalized keywords in their anchor text.

mhansen



 
Msg#: 4508606 posted 1:20 pm on Oct 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

Cutts doesn't specifically say that if you are Penguin affected (without message in WMT) that you should try disavowing links.


In the FAQ section of the announcement page [googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com], just below the video, it states:

Q: Should I create a links file as a preventative measure even if I haven’t gotten a notification about unnatural links to my site?

A: If your site was affected by the Penguin algorithm update and you believe it might be because you built spammy or low-quality links to your site, you may want to look at your site's backlinks and disavow links that are the result of link schemes that violate Google's guidelines.


(Bold added by Me)

It reads to me like they clearly state: If you were affected by Penguin, and you have (or built) spammy backlinks that violate the G* TOS, use the disavow system as directed.

ichthyous

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4508606 posted 2:11 pm on Oct 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

Jimbeetle - no I seemed to bypass both panda and penguin, it was only the latest algo that obliterated my non-EMD, old (frequently updated), and very best website.


Same thing happened to me...no problem with previous updates at all, but this one dropped traffic by 30%. I am now on page three and still dropping for searches I was in top 5 for at end of September. I can't see this as anything else other than a misguided algo penalty of some kind. I haven't gotten any warnings of spammy links at all, but I do have lots of dubious links to my images for example. I'm sure my main competitors do too, so I'm not rushing out to disavow all these links so quickly.

Jez123

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4508606 posted 2:26 pm on Oct 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

It reads to me like they clearly state: If you were affected by Penguin, and you have (or built) spammy backlinks that violate the G* TOS, use the disavow system as directed.


BUT, it also says the submit a reinclusion after adding your links to the disavow tool. We all know that there is no point in doing that if you have been hit by Penguin - they just reply that no manual action is present. Again, it's either very ill thought out or designed to confuse. Either way, it's confusing.

martinibuster

WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4508606 posted 2:31 pm on Oct 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

...they just reply that no manual action is present.


There are some situations where the ranking factors are reset, for example, because the keywords have been redefined as belonging to a non-commercial meaning (you would be surprised at what is claffied as such) or because certain ranking signals are counting less. In those cases it is not a penalty but rather your site is ranking where Google thinks your site belongs- it is not a penalty. It's very important to be able to diagnose this issue.

Jez123

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4508606 posted 2:38 pm on Oct 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

Penguin is not a manual penalty though. It's an algorithm change. The people who got the WMT notification got the manual penalty. AFAIK

mhansen



 
Msg#: 4508606 posted 2:41 pm on Oct 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

Either way, it's confusing.


I agree completely Jez. My thought on using both disavow and submitting the reinclusion for this was two-fold.

1 - (Most important to me) I have nothing to lose. The site dropped from +10k daily uniques, to less than 3k daily. I have tried quite a lot of changes over the last 5 months with no recovery. We have built other methods of traffic and the G* referrals are less than Bing and other engines.

2 - If G* is trying to confuse webmasters with this, and set some kind of trap to get more people who WERE actively building links (almost all of us have done it) to rat themselves out, I want to get in the game early. I was skeptical about using the tool, but if they want to get other webmasters who are more skeptical than I, they NEED people like me to have recoveries and talk about it on forums.

What better method to get the rest of the webmaster community tripping over themselves to submit, than getting people saying it works?

MH

diberry

WebmasterWorld Senior Member



 
Msg#: 4508606 posted 2:57 pm on Oct 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

It reads to me like they clearly state: If you were affected by Penguin, and you have (or built) spammy backlinks that violate the G* TOS, use the disavow system as directed.


Yes, but many of us were hit very hard by Penguin, yet did not build spammy backlinks and don't in fact have a spammy backlink profile (in my case, that's been confirmed by a couple of people more knowledgeable about SEO than I am). So do we use the disavow tool?

I think not, because I think Martinibuster nailed it - I had long thought some pages on my Penguinized site were ranking TOO high on a few keywords, for reasons I never understood. Then Penguin came, and they fell to a more reasonable ranking for those phrases.

Jez123

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4508606 posted 3:00 pm on Oct 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

@ mhansen. I totally agree. No one will use if unless there are sucess stories. Especially when you consider that most blogs and forums the opinion is do not trust it do not use it. I think to gain everyones confidence they will need to recover some / lots of sites.

The links I have disavowed are from an article that I paid someone to write and submit back in 2006 or so. I can honestly say that I did not realise that 300 crappy article sites would pick it up as well. Lots of which are so obviously owned by the same person as filenames and numbers are the same and site design is the same. I will be glad to get rid of them - and have tried on and off for the last 2 years to do so.

I am hoping these are exactly the reason google is still penalising my site. I have removed everything else that is suspect. Everything else is and always has been beyond my control and I just have to hope that google realises this.

Jez123

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4508606 posted 3:02 pm on Oct 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hi Diberry, have you looked at onsite factors as well as links? Not saying that could be the case but I think Penguin has to be more than just link profile. No way of knowing for sure though.

jimbeetle

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jimbeetle us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4508606 posted 3:22 pm on Oct 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

Q: If I upload a file, do I still need to file a reconsideration request?
A: Yes, if you’ve received notice that you have a manual action on your site.

Jez123

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4508606 posted 4:19 pm on Oct 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

^ But if you haven't then I guess you just let time take its course.

webdevfv

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4508606 posted 9:54 pm on Oct 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

They can shove it up their backside if they think I'm going to do a minute's worth of work for them.

Go to hell, Google

diberry

WebmasterWorld Senior Member



 
Msg#: 4508606 posted 2:59 pm on Oct 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hi Diberry, have you looked at onsite factors as well as links? Not saying that could be the case but I think Penguin has to be more than just link profile. No way of knowing for sure though.


That's exactly what I'm looking at. Penguin is NOT just about backlinks - too many people without bad backlink profiles have been hit by it.

Jez123

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4508606 posted 3:02 pm on Oct 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

Either that or you are simply penalised and will only recover when the penalty is lifted. I am hearing that some say they are seeing recoveries today. I am not.

jimbeetle

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jimbeetle us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4508606 posted 4:27 pm on Oct 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

You can always go back and see what Google said [googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com] Penguin was about.

Not saying it is or it's not or that it's only about those factors.

diberry

WebmasterWorld Senior Member



 
Msg#: 4508606 posted 4:44 pm on Oct 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

Either that or you are simply penalised and will only recover when the penalty is lifted. I am hearing that some say they are seeing recoveries today. I am not.


I'm not - got the "no manual action" when I asked for reinclusion after Penguin.

jimbeetle, I've read that page before, and the spam tactics it talks about are pretty blatant (even the one it describes as "not so blatant" - I never engaged in any of those. I've gotten some suggestions from people around here about what might have caused the Penguin problems, and believe me none of it is stuff that's clearly listed in the webmaster guidelines or any pages like the one you linked. In fact, it's all stuff that many, many sites are getting away with and not just branded sites - so if they are right, then it's not just the stuff I was doing that caused the Penguin issues, but the fact that I lacked certain positive signals to outweigh them - or something like that.

That's why I think Martinibuster is right - it may be various things you did "wrong", but in some cases Penguin was just putting your page back down where Google thinks it belongs. Or a combination of both. In which case, only building positive signals is likely to help.

diberry

WebmasterWorld Senior Member



 
Msg#: 4508606 posted 5:27 pm on Oct 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

Here's a question. What happens if you just block access to the sites whose links you don't want via htaccess rather than the disavow tool? Would the Google bot pick that up when following the link? And would they hold it against the site linking you, or against you?

This is what I'm talking about:

RewriteEngine on
# Options +FollowSymlinks
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} badsite\.com [NC,OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} anotherbadsite\.com
RewriteRule .* - [F]


Visitors coming from those links get a Denied message, but everyone else can get through just like normal.

seoskunk



 
Msg#: 4508606 posted 8:42 pm on Oct 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

Visitors coming from those links get a Denied message, but everyone else can get through just like normal.


Won't work as googlebot doesn't show referer

realmaverick

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4508606 posted 5:00 pm on Oct 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

We have a large website that I believe we're going to use the Disavow tool on.

It was definitely hit by Penguin. The site in question never ever built any links. But has a lot of natural links.

Since Penguin we have established around 1,000 spammy links from spammy sites. I spent endless hours trying to get them removed but only had limited success.

We're still not 100% sure whether to use the tool, but I feel there is no other plausible way to remove these spammy links and ultimately recover from Penguin.

We lost 40,000 daily uniques for a massively competitive, highly valuable niche. We still have 40,000 and so I guess it's a gamble but if Google are really in the game of tricking people, who are simply trying to undo damage done by somebody else, then it's a very sad day.

mhansen



 
Msg#: 4508606 posted 4:00 pm on Oct 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

As previously mentioned, we used the link disavow tool to try and clean up 30-40 low quality links we could not get removed. Our site had never gotten a manual message in GWT's, however it was heavily effected on April 24th.

10/18 - Link disavow list submitted. No email confirmation of receipt or submission. Link disavow list DOES show up in our profile.
10/19 - Reconsideration request sent. (based on our interpretation of FAQ)
10/25 - "No manual spam actions found" message reply from GWT. In addition, there was no mention of the detailed message I provided, or the receipt of the disavow list. The message was identical to other "no manual actions" messages I have seen elsewhere, word for word.

MH

diberry

WebmasterWorld Senior Member



 
Msg#: 4508606 posted 4:55 pm on Oct 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

Mhansen, thanks for sharing your results, such as they were. I'm assuming you haven't seen any movement in the SERPs or your G traffic yet?

This 178 message thread spans 6 pages: < < 178 ( 1 2 3 4 [5] 6 > >
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