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Disavow Tool results survey for Penguin hit sites needed

 11:08 am on Nov 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

I have not seen anybody report if dissavow works or not...

I would be very interested to have experience about this from other webmasters, and I'm sure I'm not the only one!

Please comment on this thread.



 8:13 pm on Nov 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

No change yet on 2 sites. First one was a <(") penalised site, the second was a manual penalty.


 10:18 pm on Nov 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

Same here, no changes. But I think we need to wait at least one Penguin refresh before to see (I hope) some results.


 10:29 pm on Nov 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

I think folks should also tell how closely they followed G's instructions. Had attempts been made to take down the disavowed links? Were unsuccessful attempts documented in the disavow file? Was a reinclusion request submitted?


 11:20 pm on Nov 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

I just uploaded my disavow file on Saturday, so not enough time yet. But I'll definitely let everyone know what happens.

In my case it all links from just one domain, I didn't ask the person to take down the links because I know him well enough to know he wouldn't be cooperative (probably would retaliate). I left long comments in the file, explained the whole thing. No reinclusion request submitted.

I started a thread that goes into more detail, if it gets approved you can read more there.


 2:04 am on Nov 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

From what I can gather these two guys were beta testers for the tool before it was released. They both report recoveries.


I've submitted my list of links and am waiting for Penguin to run again.


 5:02 pm on Nov 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

submitted file on the 23rd. Nothing good to report back :(


 5:29 pm on Nov 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

Over the summer really scubbed our website of artificial links but there were some that we couldn't get removed.

On 10/17 submitted about 100 bad links. Position page ~5

On 10/28 we had an incredible recovery to page 2

On 10/30 I upped the disavows from 100 to 900 that I found in a manual audit.

On 11/4 we jumped back to page 6.

The amount of disavows could have gotten us in trouble. When we scrubbed in the summer we went from page 7 to about 30...so google doesn't like to see a lot of links lost in a hurry IMO...but this is healthy link detox in the long run (I hope).

On 11/11 we're back to page 2.

We probably removed 4-5 thousand artificial links from that our SEO company left us with for context. We also continue to use a link-removal service to go after the toughest of the tough. So if our positive bounces were due to disavows part of it could have been because we did indeed scrub many links prior to the disavows which I believe google values. Who knows...correlation is not causation, but I think this is working.

Also for context we jumped from page 25 to 16 on 10/5 (the penguin refresh) then 12 days later jumped to 6.


 5:52 pm on Nov 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

I could maybe act as a control in the experiment...?

I had a site hit hard by Penguin, but I never built links to it and the people I've shown the site to agree my backlink profile doesn't appear to be the problem. So, following Google's instructions which say to use disavow only if you have LOTS of links that need removing (which I don't) and are sure that's your problem (which I doubt), I did NOT use disavow. If I see improvement while people using disavow don't, or vice versa, it might indicate something.


 10:00 pm on Nov 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

Well the root casue of the problem is Penguin itself, which is based on a false assumption and terribly flawed as a result. By "ridiculous situation", I was actually referring just to the aftermath, in which Google has asked people to spend large amounts of time, unproductively and inefficiently, trying to get backlinks removed or disavowed, all of which would be totally unnecessary if the algorithm would simply devalue any "bad" backlinks. But penguin itself is the basic problem.


 5:42 pm on Nov 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

I have basically given up. I could go on and on disavowing links that I think google doesn't like. I am not seeing any change anywhere except more downwards. I will now wait and see and start again with a fresh site. This is ridiculous. How CAN we know if google sees our links in a positive or a negative light.


 7:37 pm on Nov 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

Jez...imo the downward trend is temporary and at least a good sign that google is processing the disavows. It should (based on my experience) wear off. Pretty much link detox.

As for choosing the links... Usually your SEO company will leave footprints. My SEO company was dumb enough to sign all his fake splogs with the same username so they were easy enough to find.

My suggested keys for finding bad links:

* Use a third party link removal source (they should provide you with suggestions)
* Audit your site (scale permitting)
* Isolate links by when they were created (ahrefs can help with this)...so if you got say 500 links in march but 50 in february...concentrate on those march ones. IMO artificial link velocity is the single most important factor google uses in finding fake links. They're probably not counting all those march links anyways...key IMO is to flatten those 'mountains'
* Probably safe to remove all parasite comments unless they look REALLY legit
* Target suspicious off-topic links to your site (especially foreign language ones)
* Keep an eye out for sites that link to you and other known commercial interest. If they have a blatant in-content link to another site...then chances are your link wasn't organic.
* Be very critical of splogs and article links. IMO google perhaps doesn't penalize you for article links per say, but rather link profiles that have too high a percentage of artical links. I don't know.
* Keep an eye on the anchor text (easy to do with ahrefs). If you built for blue widgets, start with those keywords with your audit...makes finding fake links pretty easy.
* If you know other clients that were used by your SEO company this can make finding fake links pretty easy because if the site links to you and another customer's of the seo...that's too much of a coincidence.
* You might use netcomber to find more your seo's links


 9:13 pm on Nov 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

I am seeing a drop for the <(")ized site of about 20%. The other site with manual penalty I am seeing a very slight drop


 9:37 pm on Nov 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

No help for our site.


 4:33 am on Nov 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

I guess more time will be needed, I'm on standby, looks promising as nothing works against Penguin that I am aware off...?


 3:53 pm on Nov 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

I continue to wonder if those of us who were hit by Penguin on April 24th, are chasing the wrong things. It has to be more than just links and onsite SEO that booted our site to the curb.

We're very much "end of results" (-950) for most queries we ranked top 5 for a year ago. Some of the pages do not even have many backlinks, but dropped from #1 to end of results on the longtail searches that inspired visits for the previous 2 years.

Feel like we're just chasing our tail...


 6:50 pm on Nov 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

I continue to wonder if those of us who were hit by Penguin on April 24th, are chasing the wrong things. It has to be more than just links and onsite SEO that booted our site to the curb.

We're very much "end of results" (-950) for most queries we ranked top 5 for a year ago. Some of the pages do not even have many backlinks, but dropped from #1 to end of results on the longtail searches that inspired visits for the previous 2 years.

I strongly agree with this. It just doesn't make sense that Penguin is targeting the same old spam indicators the main algo always targeted. I started a thread about one theory on Penguin [webmasterworld.com...] but now I wonder if maybe a general "What is Penguin about, exactly" thread might be warranted. I don't want to drag this thread off topic, but if there's interest I think someone should start a thread.


 2:44 pm on Nov 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

According to Cutts, penguin is mostly about links:


Q: "Hey Matt, why don't you tell us what general area to fix b4 the next #penguin for transparencies sake? onsite or off?"

A: "saw your comment on Barry's post. Certainly links are a primary area to monitor. Been true all this year; expect to continue."


 8:16 pm on Nov 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

Ok so Google launch Disavow tool Oct 16th*

How many people on this forum have sent, uploaded a diasvow file, sent in a reconsideration request and successfuly had a manual penalty revoked?

It's been over four weeks, so people should be getting responses.

We so far have had two knock-backs -

"We've reviewed your site and we still see links to your site that violate our quality guidelines."

Share your story.


 8:05 pm on Nov 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

I submitted my Disavow list on October 18th and submitted my reconsideration request on Oct 22nd. I have not received a reply yet. Before the Disavow tool came out I submitted 4 reconsideration requests over a 5 month period (all denied). The last 2 reconsideration requests only took them 4-6 days to reply to.

I hope to hear something in the next few days. I will post my results.


 10:37 pm on Nov 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

According to Cutts, penguin is mostly about links

No, not quite. You have to read Barry's post in it's entirety. He seems to think that Matt is not very specific in his response. I agree with him. It's typical MattSpeak(TM), very, very careful with his choice of words. Barry goes on to mention that he had a query in to Matt to clear it up but did not receive a response.


 10:39 pm on Nov 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

"The most obvious element that it focuses on is ranking due to a large amount of bad quality backlinks but it also takes into account spammy on-page techniques like keyword stuffing and over-optimization of tags and internal links."


Doesn't get clearer than that.


 11:19 pm on Nov 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

Yes, but those are all things the main algo has always reviewed and penalized. Penguin has to be doing something more or something significantly better than the main algo does it to justify its existence. IMO, we haven't had enough discussion of just what that might be.


 7:34 pm on Jun 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

So....does it work or NOT?


 7:35 pm on Jun 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

Please answer with a yes or a no, like a poll.



 7:36 pm on Jun 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

Then we can count the yes and the no's and come to a conclusion. No need to explain why!


 5:39 am on Jun 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

Most of response in [webmasterworld.com...]

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