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Did the Disavow Tool work for you?
spunkle




msg:4576938
 11:17 am on May 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

Hey,

did any one use the Disavow Tool and recover from the lastest penguin updates, may 22nd 2013? can anyone say that they only used the disavow tool and it recovered their site?

I tried the disavow tool on one of my sites for a test and it did not recover the site.

 

Whitey




msg:4585160
 4:00 am on Jun 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

@rish - I don't know the process and have put the question out before.. But the consistency of recovery reports is encouraging. 2-4 weeks seems to be about the timeline, although this is the first Penguin 2.0 recovery report I've seen.

Most folks don't report their successes , so when they do its a big bonus rising above the noise.

sherthapa89




msg:4585193
 6:55 am on Jun 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

No.

I had submitted a file containing detailed information about bad links.

It took 2 months for them to revoke penalty but none of the keywords rank so far for the website.

Frustrating.

Whitey




msg:4585251
 8:21 am on Jun 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

No

@sherthapa89 - I presume that means "not fully" - can you expand a bit as I'm confused.

-Did you specifically remove / disavow links with anchor text that matched your previous keyword rankings that didn't recover?
-Did you have a noticeable lift in traffic ?
-What % of links did you remove / disavow approximately ?
-Did you submit a reconsideration request ?

It helps folks get a handle on how much of a machete they need to wield in order to be saved.

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:4585294
 9:41 am on Jun 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

Most folks don't report their successes , so when they do its a big bonus rising above the noise.
I disagree.

The question at the top of this page is clear enough and unambiguous enough. Most of us who frequent this forum realise how important it is and I am sure that had there been any significant successes then we would have reported it. All the evidence suggests that this is a google prank.

aristotle




msg:4585380
 3:14 pm on Jun 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

UPDATE: One more success to report using the disavow tool

Not sure what you mean by "one more". I haven't seen any clearcut cases at all. There have been a few claims but they all were questionable. Either they may have been a manual penalty, a non-penguin algorithmic penalty, or as rish3 pointed out in this case, a "recovery" between known updates.

rish3




msg:4585403
 4:17 pm on Jun 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

@aristotle
I haven't seen any clearcut cases at all.


I agree totally. Of the stories I've seen...

- Some are actually recoveries from unnatural linking penalties. Sure, the author put "Penguin Recovery" in the title, but then they go on to describe getting the unnatural links message and doing a reconsideration request.

- Many "recoveries" where the traffic came back on a date that isn't associated with penguin.

- A few recoveries that were actually shutting down the domain, moving the content to a new domain(without a 301 or 302 redirect), and building new links


I haven't seen one recovery story that looks like a 100% legit penguin bounceback...at least one with any detail.

glitterball




msg:4585766
 3:33 pm on Jun 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

One of my sites has disappeared from the results following another site scraping my entire site and mixing the content with some seemingly random nonsensical text (song lyrics and whatnot). Most links to my site have been left intact (the absolute ones).

It looks like the other site has been hacked and that this is someone's successful attempt at negative SEO. Hundreds of urls appeared linking to me from this domain just before my site's drop (after 7 years of relative stability). I have never paid for a link (except for the Yahoo directory) or used any other link building schemes.
I have tried contacting the site owner (the site looks abandoned) and the Host, but I've had no luck so far.

Seems that it is easy to destroy another site's rankings and very depressing that the victim has no comeback.

peter2013




msg:4585770
 3:52 pm on Jun 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

Never tried the tool -

salvatorecapolupo




msg:4586376
 9:44 am on Jun 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

Hello, I tried to use disavow tool some month ago and "escaped" from penality: Google sent me a confirm by email about that. This removed a pair of penalties for some targeted keyphrases, not for all.

It seemed to work good for my case, and I still need to update disavow file every 2/3 months adding rows (we got a lot of spammy links even now).

If you are interested you coudd read my entire post:

[searchenginejournal.com...]

rustybrick




msg:4586402
 11:45 am on Jun 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

@salvatorecapolupo, did your rankings or traffic change after the manual penalty was removed?

SEchecker




msg:4586404
 12:08 pm on Jun 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

Reading this post does not show some special movements done! Thousands of us (including me) made it the same way, yet I don’t see thousands of recovery stories. Actually this is the first well build up report of a recovery, if it really is a recovery... no offense!

aristotle




msg:4586412
 12:45 pm on Jun 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

The disavow tool is being used for both manual penalties and the algorithmic Penguin demotion. So reports that the tool helped in recoveries from manual penalties don't prove that it has helped anyone recover from Penguin.

Alex997




msg:4586424
 1:21 pm on Jun 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

I'm still not clear whether or not you only need to use the Disavow tool if you receive a warning in Web Master Tools.

We had a 10/20/30 place drop in rankings after Penguin 2.0 for the main target keywords to our home page. All inner pages were unaffected and our blog articles still are the main source of traffic to the site. Even so, the site now gets 40% less impressions and clicks according to WMT.

I received no WMT warnings, but have added about 150 low Domain Authority directories to a disavow file and uploaded it, just in case. Plus cleaned up some forum signatures/home pages.
Since then our total link count in WMT has dropped by about 20% - but the rankings haven't improved at all.

*Assuming the disavow tool actually works* I am starting to think that instead of a penalty, our home page PageRank juice flow has just been cut off up-stream. I know PR is not meant to be a big factor any more in ranking, but the way Google get all upset about making sure paid links are nofollow, you would think it’s 90% of the ranking algorithm… Be interesting to see everyone’s new PR numbers after the next toolbar refresh (whenever that will be!)

So I assume without a manual reconsideration request, I need to wait until another version of Penguin is applied to the web...

viral




msg:4586428
 1:49 pm on Jun 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

Join the club Alex. Matt Cutts isn't very clear about it either.

rish3




msg:4586499
 6:29 pm on Jun 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

@Alex997
I'm still not clear whether or not you only need to use the Disavow tool if you receive a warning in Web Master Tools.


I was able to find a direct answer to that from Matt Cutts.

The reader's digest version:

Tom Anthony - Can you confirm that the disavow tool is automatic? Or do people need to file a reconsideration request? Is the answer different depending on whether there is a manual penalty or an algorithmic decrease?

Matt Cutts - The disavow tool is automatic for any algorithmic rankings (such as Penguin and Panda).


The original thread: Negative SEO: Looking for Answers from Google [news.ycombinator.com]

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:4586667
 8:34 am on Jun 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

the overwhelming evidence is that it does not work.

np2003




msg:4588427
 8:47 am on Jun 28, 2013 (gmt 0)

Spent 15 hours creating a disavow list, submitted that with documentation and everything. Still get the manual penalty warning. Google is just laughing at us.

Planet13




msg:4589289
 5:03 pm on Jul 1, 2013 (gmt 0)

@ np2003

"Spent 15 hours creating a disavow list, submitted that with documentation and everything. Still get the manual penalty warning. Google is just laughing at us."


Could you kindly provide us with a few more details?

Did you also file a reconsideration request?

If so, how long AFTER uploading the disavow file to you submit the reconsideration request?

Did you also try to have bad backlinks removed?

If so, about what percentage of backlinks did you have removed?

Did you get any further explanation of the manual penalty warning from google? Did they, for instance, give you any sample links as an example of bad links?

Thanks in advance.

luckystrike




msg:4589324
 6:59 pm on Jul 1, 2013 (gmt 0)

I tried the disavow tool for two sites. My experience is that if you have a manual penalty the disavow tool won't help much. Google staff will just keep refusing you one try after the other, no matter how hard you try removing or disavowing the links.

This really makes me angry when I know that other sites had the penalty and got it easily removed. My only difference is that I'm an information affiliate site and Google hates us.

Planet13




msg:4589350
 8:47 pm on Jul 1, 2013 (gmt 0)

@ luckystrike:

"Google staff will just keep refusing you one try after the other, no matter how hard you try removing or disavowing the links."


i am sorry to hear of your frustrations.

but could you kindly be more specific about what you did?

- How many sites / what percentage of links were you able to REMOVE links from?

- How long after removing links did you submit the disavow links file?

- did you disavow links on a single page, or did you use the domain: operator to disavow the entire domain / subdomain that the link appeared on?

- When filing your reconsideration request, did you link to a google docs file that contained a copy of your disavow file as well as a detailed explanation of the links you removed and the efforts you made to contact webmasters?

thepombear




msg:4589533
 8:44 am on Jul 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

The disavow tool works absolute wonders if used correctly. What I think a lot of you are realising is that you are disavowing a lot of bad links.

1. Why did you build them in the first place?
2. You now have a severe drop in backlinks that will need replacing with good quality ones..

luckystrike




msg:4589537
 9:57 am on Jul 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

but could you kindly be more specific about what you did?

- How many sites / what percentage of links were you able to REMOVE links from?

->> Two websites - They were mainly article/press release and directory links. I managed to get at least 85% deleted and disavowed the rest.

- How long after removing links did you submit the disavow links file?

->> A few days after.

- did you disavow links on a single page, or did you use the domain: operator to disavow the entire domain / subdomain that the link appeared on?

->> Both - for article directories i used domain.

- When filing your reconsideration request, did you link to a google docs file that contained a copy of your disavow file as well as a detailed explanation of the links you removed and the efforts you made to contact webmasters?

->> I just included an excel documents explaining all the links I managed to get removed.



1. Why did you build them in the first place?

-> Because in the past you really didn't have a choice. Do nothing and see your competitors leap-frogging you with inferior content or get a SEO company to help you. As such I tried to increase my links with article and directory links. Even such I was careful - i never participated in blogging networks and the links were a bit of a grey area. The directory links were in the relevant category area for my niche for instance.


2. You now have a severe drop in backlinks that will need replacing with good quality ones..

-> With respect this is bullocks. I now have a severe drop in backlinks with the manual penalty still on. It can't get much worse that that - I had better traffic when I didn't remove the links! These guys at google are strict and non-compromising - I would say they have no experience of operating a site and how hard it can be. The lines Matt feeds us that we have to show remorse..bla bla is all ****

Whitey




msg:4590116
 12:59 am on Jul 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

The disavow tool works absolute wonders if used correctly. What I think a lot of you are realising is that you are disavowing a lot of bad links.

RustyBrick aka Barry Schwartz has commented on this
"Can You Test The Google Disavow Tool?"

In fact, at SMX Advanced, I believe Matt Cutts brought it up and said that is why they have a delay when processing the disavow tool. At least, that is one reason.- [seroundtable.com...]

@thepombear - there's some views surrounding that article and connecting thread that the disavow process is going to be slow because of the rinse and repeat involved in not losing rankings by accidentally taking down good links.

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:4590193
 8:03 am on Jul 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

What I think a lot of you are realising is that you are disavowing a lot of bad links.

Errrrrmm, yes!

? ? ? ?

vandelayweb




msg:4594763
 6:55 am on Jul 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

I thought I'd add my two cents here since reconsideration requests seems to have been my life of late. I did one on a website we run as well as one for a client within the past three weeks.

On domain 1, we got the unnatural links penalty a year+ ago. We originally thought it was some link block ads we had bought. We cleaned up as much of those as we could and submitted the reconsideration request only to get denied. In the time since the disavow tool had been released so we submitted the remaining domains with ad blocks to disavow. We also discovered our exact-match domain names we were using to harvest type-in traffic weren't setup correctly (noindex, nofollow) so we fixed those. We submitted another reconsideration request which also came back denied.

In a last ditch effort, I went through ever link to the site in WMT, disavowing everything that I didn't recognize. Tons of junk blogs using our RSS content, pseudo search engines, basically a bunch of sites we'd never had any contact with. Submitted the third reconsideration request and it was approved. That was about two and a half weeks ago, and we haven't seen any improvement in search traffic yet. Google is still running about 10% of our total search engine referral traffic instead of 60+% it should be. Same as pre-penalty.

Similar story for domain 2. Much uglier link profile, but disavowed all the junk links and got the penalty removed on the first reconsideration request. That was about a week ago, and the traffic is in a similar boat to domain 1.

The key on the reconsideration request for the unnatural link penalty seems to be when in doubt disavow. Since you've tried to game the system in the past, Google assumes every junk link originated with you.

So the big question in my mind is where is the traffic? Even after all the bum links were cleared out, we and the client retained a lot of high authority links that should be factoring in. I've heard traffic can take up to a month to return after a successful reconsideration request, but unfortunately I'm not a patient person. Anyway that is my story on using the disavow tool for two successful reconsideration requests.
.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 8:42 am (utc) on Jul 20, 2013]
[edit reason] Please read forum Charter [/edit]

hasek747




msg:4594825
 1:59 pm on Jul 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

Viral,

This is a reply to your post on page #2 (msg #4580529)

The post itself is definitely informative and well thought-out, however I do believe there are two critical things in it that are missing, and which, when considered, make what you said not as obvious as it might seem.

First of all, part of Google driving revenue up is building trust and satisfaction. You can't just drive up revenues and reduce costs in a vacuum; for both of these to make sense, and for revenues to actually go up, they must make people happy. You stated that the Disavow tool does not drive traffic up for Google, which I think is false - it COULD be driving revenue up (or at least they could believe that) by increasing satisfaction of those who are involved with Google (searchers/publishers mostly).

Second, I disagree with the statement that "Google does not need you." Again - if we were to analyze this statement in a vacuum, then it probably makes sense. However, we are not in a vacuum, and Google DOES have competition. The only reason they are ahead of the competition is because they focused a lot in the past on user satisfaction, but this can and will change if they neglect the satisfaction factor for too long, and Google must know that. So while I agree that Google, as such, "does not need us," they can't afford to lose us to someone else, be it now or in the future. So in that sense - they absolutely need us to stay with them.

nippi




msg:4594828
 2:32 pm on Jul 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

I believe google is using an algorithm which demands websites remove a certain % of bad kaclinks be removed before a links disavow will be removed. This to me, is really stupid. Why?

a. If you got someone to register your site in directories, getting them taken down will be almost impossible, unless you pay the extortion fees. The directories know they are all PR0 and ignored by google, so they don't care if the links stay in place.

b. If you did link exchanges? You are in luck! The other site will also want to remove risk of a penalty, so they will likely remove the link, and you can get the % of links removed google demands.

c. Did article marketing? Then it depends on whether you can get the login codes or not to the article sites, and how distributed they are.

SO in the end, it really depends on how you gathered your bad links as to whether you are going to be able to remove a certain % or not easily.

Whitey




msg:4601413
 1:43 am on Aug 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

Almost 2 months now from Penguin 2.0.

Can anyone find evidence from any case studies,from any source on recoveries using the disavow tool, not involving a manual penalty. ie purely algorithmic ?

The Google SPAM team are not in the habit of reporting recoveries, but rather than
reporting obstacles to success, as they recently have, it would be good to see some evidenced trends to success for the sake of supporting "the transition" statements that were issued recently and the intent of the tool.

EditorialGuy




msg:4601415
 2:00 am on Aug 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

It would seem to me that:

1) Disavowing questionable links will remove any PageRank or other benefits that you get from those links. (Think of the lost "link juice" as the premium on your insurance against a manual penalty.)

2) If you're too aggressive in disavowing links, you might be shooting yourself in the foot. (It probably makes sense to disavow links that you know are shady, but there's a fine line between caution and paranoia, and sometimes it's hard to know just where that line is.)

Whitey




msg:4601419
 3:19 am on Aug 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

FWIW - I'm really pushing the information network hard for evidence / case studies as there is a lot of anecdotal and good assumptions going around. Consideration to the time from disavow file submission to traffic changes would be useful, again without the need for a reconsideration request.

Comparison on Penguin 2.0 to 1.0 experiences would also be useful.

Hopefully the mods will permit screen shots with commentary without identifying the actual domain names.

Google could do well to follow up it's encouragement of using the tool with specific case studies [ without naming the sites ], but in the absence of that encouragement to support confidence in the community it will have to rely on it's own network. Anyone willing or able to help?

Bones




msg:4601469
 8:17 am on Aug 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

Almost 2 months now from Penguin 2.0.

Can anyone find evidence from any case studies,from any source on recoveries using the disavow tool, not involving a manual penalty. ie purely algorithmic ?


Nearly three months, isn't it?

If I understand the way it works correctly, there will be no recovery stories yet, as far as Penguin 2 goes at least as the algo hasn't been re-run.

1. Remove as many links as possible, disavow remaining links.
2. Wait for those pages to be re-crawled.
3. Possibly see a further drop in rankings as links are taken out of the 'link graph'.
4. Wait for the Penguin algo to be re-run.
5. Penalty lifted/not lifted if site is deemed to have a clean enough profile.
6. Even if lifted, site probably won't recover to previous rankings as no longer benefitting from removed/disavowed links.

I'm guessing the algo will update every six months or so to serve as punishment to webmasters (and anyone searching for relevant but Penguinized pages/sites using Google).

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