What I'm trying to say is, please, let's slow down and review what was officially announced and properly label opinion and speculation before speculation takes hold in some people's minds as canon, the truth.
As I mentioned what about if you bought a website in good faith that now appears to have spammy links?
I understand your point. But TheMadScientist parsed what I posted correctly, I didn't say it's only for spammers. IF you bought a site and were negligent in researching the backlinks and after you purchased the site it drops in the rankings and you receive an unnatural links warning or have been affected by something like Penguin, absolutely the link disavowal tool is something you may want to avail yourself of, after you have attempted to remove the negative links. Which is why I qualified my statement by saying in general because not everything is as clear cut as the difference between black and white.
What I think the TheMadScientist is trying to communicate to you is that some
of the opinions expressed about the reasons for the development of the tool are not based on what was announced by Google. Here is an example:
What if a competitor creates spammy links to your site?
The tool was not created for sites that had links built by a competitor. Neither Matt nor the official announcement say, explicitly or implicitly, that the tool was created for any other webmaster but those who have incurred a manual penalty and/or have received a notice of unnatural links.
I believe that this tool's sole purpose is for you to tell Google about links that you believe are spammy.
I won't go to war to defend your right to believe that, but you are 100% entitled to your opinion
. And you are right to label your opinion
as a belief and not as something that was officially announced by Google. Google never said it was a general mechanism for notifying Google of spammy links.
So I get your first point, and I think TheMadScientist does too. I don't mean to put words in your mouth, but I think the issue is that you are insisting that the disavowal tool is a way "to tell Google about links that you believe are spammy" which sounds a lot like the Catholic confessional booth where you can pop in to tell the priest about actions that you believe are sinful... and then you're done (after a few Hail Mary's). Please correct me if I misinterpreted your statement and I apologize in advance if I have.
There seems to be a perception growing that the disavowal tool is a kind of tool for 1. influencing SERP position the same way they use title tags, in this case shedding scraper links or links perceived to be negative SEO. Those are links that TheMadScientist imo rightly implies are likely already discounted by Google's algorithm. Or 2. a convenient way to confess sins and move on.
That's not what was officially announced by Google. Obviously, Google is not omniscient and collateral damage happens (which is what the fine tuning is about after an algo change occurs), which is why I said, in general
. Historically there have been innocent sites caught up in past algorithm actions.
Any other use of the tool can be considered outside of the parameters set for the tool and then we venture into speculation, i.e. if that constitutes an unnatural attempt to manipulate the rankings.
I dislike splitting hairs and quibbling but I'm glad we can do it here on WebmasterWorld in a civil manner. Thanks. :)