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Google Launches a Disavow Links Tool
Regent




msg:4508608
 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 Googleís done this year, what webmasters should know, and, this time, to also announce a new tool for webmasters. Look alive!

[pubcon.com...]

 

diberry




msg:4512340
 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?

mhansen




msg:4512343
 5:02 pm on Oct 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm assuming you haven't seen any movement in the SERPs or your G traffic yet?


We had a spike in G referrals for longtail traffic Monday into Tuesday, but it fell right back to normal late Tuesday and up through now. So... No, the answer is no serps movement on the terms we lost traffic for in April.

aristotle




msg:4512995
 3:50 pm on Oct 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm finally ready to upload a disavow file, but I'm not sure about one point: Should this file be uploaded twice, once to the www version of the site, and once to the non-www version. Both of these have been verified in GWT.

I've re-read the Google webmaster central blog, and done some web searches, but haven't found a definitive answer. So I'm hoping that someone here will know.

mihomes




msg:4513150
 7:06 am on Oct 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

I had the same question and was never able to find a definite answer. I even posted on the G forums, but if you have ever gone there its pointless (never anyone from G and mostly bad answers from 'normal' people.

As much as they point out how this is a powerful 'power' tool you think they would have concrete docu on how to use it.

I'm still wondering if you need to add www and non-www IN the disavow text because technically they are different and this is the exact reason we have to verify both for our OWN sites in WMT.

There is still no clear answer on subdomains either other than the mention in the FAQ which I wouldn't call an answer.

JonathanP




msg:4513164
 7:57 am on Oct 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

Sweet jesus, thanks you Google!
Let's hope this brings negative SEO closer to its marvelous end.

jimbeetle




msg:4513392
 2:15 pm on Oct 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

As implied in Google's initial post and the accompanying Matt Cutts video, Google expects to see some unnatural links taken down *before* using the disavow tool:

[searchengineland.com...]

Question:

What if you donít try to remove links? Given what a pain it is to get links off the web, why wouldnít someone just use disavow? I know Google recommends requesting link removals, but from a technical standpoint, if they donít do that and just disavow, itís pretty much going to work, right?

Answer:

No, I wouldnít count on this. In particular, Google can look at the snapshot of links we saw when we took manual action. If we donít see any links actually taken down off the web, then we can see that sites have been disavowing without trying to get the links taken down.

Also, since Google included comments to document failed attempts to take down links in its first sample file, I'd consider this to be a "strong suggestion" for webmasters to do so as well.

aristotle




msg:4513399
 2:51 pm on Oct 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

jimbeetle
It's nonsense for Google to expect people to spend their time so inefficiently and unproductively. Not only that, but how is Google going to know if you tried to get any links removed or not. Maybe you tried but couldn't get any removed. Links disappear from "natural attrition" all the time anyway, so how will Google know what caused it? The whole idea is nonsense..

jimbeetle




msg:4513416
 4:09 pm on Oct 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

Why rant at me, I'm just reporting it, not editorializng?

aristotle




msg:4513425
 4:38 pm on Oct 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

jimbeetle
I'm sorry. Actually I used your name so that everyone would know that I was referring to the infomation in your post. My rant was really directed at Google and the ridiculous situation they've created by their mishandling of this matter.

Whitey




msg:4518156
 1:00 am on Nov 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

I think folks have to step back a bit and question why and how those blanket emails were triggered in the first place. Most likely they were triggered from dodgy sites with outbound links and you may be doing quite nicely except for these.

Taking these down would seem to be priority No1. Forget the rest for now [ on most sites ].

Jez123




msg:4518240
 8:57 am on Nov 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

Is anyone seeing any positive results from using the tool? Absolutely nothing for me. I haven't heard one report of anything positive on other forums either.

aristotle




msg:4518319
 1:07 pm on Nov 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

Is anyone seeing any positive results from using the tool?


Probably won't see any effects until the next Penguin update or refresh, if then.

One thing that MIGHT happen before the next update is that some of the disavowed backlinks could disappear from the backlink lists in Webmaster Tools. But this is only a possibility, and in fact it might never happen at all, even if the links no longer have any effect because of being disavowed..

Freedom




msg:4518845
 9:05 pm on Nov 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

Has anyone noticed a drop in disavowed links from their google webmaster tools? I keep waiting for it to show up there as a drop.

Hollywood




msg:4518854
 9:26 pm on Nov 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

I agree here and jimbeetle we love you man!

"I'm sorry. Actually I used your name so that everyone would know that I was referring to the information in your post. My rant was really directed at Google and the ridiculous situation they've created by their mishandling of this matter."

I think Google needs to be MUCH MORE spoken on these matters, for one the fact that your site can be damaged by another is just a whole world of problems, we got hit hard, things are getting better, I had no Google messages telling me I did anything wrong but I can tell you that I fixed stuff for months, and it is paying off.

But my main thing is I agree BIGTIME with this comment: "ridiculous situation they've created by their mishandling of this matter"

And I STILL think Google has a lot to show for itself to manage this MESS BETTER!

~H

Bewenched




msg:4518962
 5:57 am on Nov 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

We lost some traffic when we disavowed some very undesirable links that we had absolutely nothing to do with them being there. One was a p0rn site... of course we didn't want it associated with us. Within a couple of days we lost about 15% traffic.

Jez123




msg:4518976
 7:38 am on Nov 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

Within a couple of days we lost about 15% traffic.
Damned if you do and damned if you don't. Google probably sees it as an admission of guilt and punishes you accordingly.
jimbeetle




msg:4519033
 2:41 pm on Nov 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

Within a couple of days we lost about 15% traffic

As we aren't supposed to see any effects from using the disavow tool for a number of weeks then it might have been something else that caused this drop.

Hollywood




msg:4519040
 2:58 pm on Nov 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

To be honest, I've been around a very long time with all of this SEO, Google, etc. I believe about .05% of what I read, that includes this website.

smithaa02




msg:4519079
 5:07 pm on Nov 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

Bewenched...actually think 15% loss may be ok. I've done two waves of disavows and a lot of link pruning on my end. Generally speaking google hates to see a lot of links disappear in a hurry. After each time I did this, we got hurt in the rankings pretty quickly in a process I refer to as link detox. But then slowly, we climbed back up and beyond where we were before. I think the key is to do the right thing and wait it out. Google now-days seems to be slow to reward good behavior and quick to punish what it considers artificial behavior so this can be difficult to believe.

jimbeetle




msg:4519088
 5:25 pm on Nov 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hollywood, of course you really can't trust anything you read on a secondary source site such as this. Half is wrong, half is misleading and half is just plain bull.

You have to read primary sources and make your own determinations.

diberry




msg:4519089
 5:25 pm on Nov 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

Those of you who reporting results after using Disavow might want to check out this thread, where over time there should be some good analysis and discussion of whether and how it works:

[webmasterworld.com...]

Bewenched




msg:4519138
 8:09 pm on Nov 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm telling you guys it was very quick. And oddly enough, I deleted the disavow file and traffic is picking back up today.... very very odd. I'm not doing that again.

mhansen




msg:4519150
 8:44 pm on Nov 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

Anyone seeing any positive results?


None. We're seeing the opposite... slight drops in G-referrals, during what would normally be our busiest time of the year.

I have basically given up.


We're buying into the same theory. After 7 months of trying to fix an issue we have yet to discover and losing some of our rankings in other search engines as part of the recovery effort for Google, we decided to give up and move on.

It is, what it is... and the only thing we got from the site over the last 7 months were headaches and daily distractions. Kinda like a bad romance, we cut the ties and stopped working on it.

On the bright side, we'll put the dedicated server to use on other projects, and the content, after its removed from Google, we can find a way to re-purpose elsewhere.

MH

Whitey




msg:4519214
 1:42 am on Nov 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm telling you guys it was very quick

@Bewenched - Can you provide a bit more evidentary information so that other's can be less sceptical. Traffic drops and revivals alone can be co incidental.

For example did specific keywords attributed to the link text have any correlation, or was this purely bad links?

FWIW - I did report earlier observations of a site that cut the crap out of links it suspected of being foul - prior to the dissavow tool, but after Penguin. What happened ? The site tanked.

Feedback and careful application is highly important if folks are going to avoid big problems using this tool.

smithaa02




msg:4519225
 2:25 am on Nov 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

I think the key is patience. You won't recovery from link-detox in a couple of days or a week. Based on my experience, I think you can make a modest recovery in about 12-15 days from the detox period. It's quite possible that this will take longer or even that you have to wait for the next Penguin data refresh (Cutts indicated this might the case in an interview with searchengineland).

Google doesn't want people reverse engineering their recipe...so if they gave you instant positive feedback for good things you did they would lose their secrecy. In fact with ANY big website change on or offsite, google seems to scramble the results downward...and only slowly trickly them back up to their new natural equilibrium. Google HATES change unless it is REALLY organic.

The other thing to consider is that google loves link velocity if natural. It could mean that your the next big thing on the internet...so google will extrapolate from a surge of positive links (if organic) and reward you disproportionately. But the same principal works in reverse...if you lose a surge of links that can look bad. But (IMO) the good news is that once the waters calm and a couple of weeks (or sometimes months) go by after link pruning or disavowing...you should very slowly recover.

aristotle




msg:4519334
 12:51 pm on Nov 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

Everyone should keep in mind that getting a lot of backlinks removed reduces the amount of "pagerank juice" that a site receives. This could explain some of the cases in which rankings have dropped after backlinks were removed.

As for the disavow tool, I think that it's too soon to reach any conclusions about its effects. We'll probably have to wait until the the next Penguin update or refresh to see anything.

mhansen




msg:4519350
 1:36 pm on Nov 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

I think the key is patience.


Unfortunately, business doesn't move at the same speed Google does. We have clients, employees, operating expenses, overhead, and every other aspect of running a business to deal with. We have to move quickly... or fade away.

If 7 months is not time for Google to work things out, without giving off their secret sauce, shame on them.

Visitors seem to love this specific website. Unfortunately, very few visitors come from Google anymore, so we're moving on to make the ones that want to be there, happy.

diberry




msg:4519407
 5:33 pm on Nov 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

Unfortunately, business doesn't move at the same speed Google does. We have clients, employees, operating expenses, overhead, and every other aspect of running a business to deal with. We have to move quickly... or fade away.


I suspect Google's feeling on that is that there are other traffic sources, so your business losses aren't Google's fault. In most cases, that's true and I think we all know it - don't put your eggs in one basket. But I realize for some (like a lot of UK retailers) Google is very likely going to be their majority traffic source no matter how much they promote otherwise. :/

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