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How do you know link disavow tool worked?



4:32 pm on Feb 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Quick question for those of you guys who used the tool earlier - when you send your list, do you get any notification back from Google on any result of your action whatsoever? I mean, when you submit an RR, you usually get a canned response that lets you know it was processes and what outcome (no change, no need, fixed). What happens when you use the disavow tool? Is it just like a black hole or do you get any kind of notification about anything?


5:35 pm on Feb 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

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

Well, if you use the disavow tool you're also supposed to file an RR [googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com]:

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. The purpose of the Disavow Links tool is to tell Google which links you would like ignored. If you’ve received a message about a manual action on your site, you should clean things up as much as you can (which includes taking down any spammy links you have built on the web). Once you've gotten as many spammy links taken down from the web as possible, you can use the Disavow Links tool to indicate to Google which leftover links you weren't able to take down. Wait for some time to let the disavowed links make their way into our system. Finally, submit a reconsideration request so the manual webspam team can check whether your site is now within Google's quality guidelines, and if so, remove any manual actions from your site.


6:46 pm on Feb 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member sgt_kickaxe is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member

So if you have already filed a reconsideration request and been told there have been no manual actions then there is no point in using the disavow tool? That makes no sense, the problem with spammy backlinks is that the algo detects them.


6:49 pm on Feb 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

Nothing happens directly after you submit the tool.

If you have a manual penalty and the reviewer is satisfied with your actual link removals and the links you've disavowed, then they may lift the penalty.

If you're hit by Penguin, you'll need to wait for a refresh to fully recover if you have removed and disavowed enough bad links. There hasn't been a refresh since the disavow tool was released.


8:28 pm on Feb 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

@Sgt_Kickaxe: this is exactly the issue I am dealing with which made me post this question. I have submitted the disavow, filed RR and already received an answer (no manual action found) which sort of makes no sense to me. I am 100% certain there actually is a penalty (and they have repeatedly told me so in responses to previous RRs) and I am almost 100% certain it relates to bad links. I was able to have almost 80% of them removed (some domains expired, I was just lucky) and I disavowed the remaining 20% as reported in WMT, and I was almost certain I would get either "revoked" or "still violates" if there were still bad links out there not reported in WMT which I missed.

But getting "no manual action found" kinda stands the logic on its head. It looks like they haven't seen the disavow file because from the snippet that jimbeetle posted is sounds like there could only be a binary outcome, not a neutral one.

I waited about 48 hours between disavow submission and RR - too short?


8:41 pm on Feb 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

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

Submitting a disavow list will simply cause the Google algorithm to ignore those backlinks, so that they will no longer affect the site's organic rankings. This is true regardless of whether any kind of penalty (manual or algorithmic) has been applied to the site or not.


10:46 pm on Feb 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Thanks, aristotle. I hear what you are saying but I don't know if we can simply ignore the manual part of the disavow list processing, as stated by G themselves:

Q: If I upload a file, do I still need to file a reconsideration request?
A: Yes ...

Nothing in the quote suggests that the algo will ignore the links next time they process them without someone at Google looking at it first (how in the world was this supposed to scale to Google's size, I wonder?) .
They also don't say anything about rankings as such, they only talk about these links in the context of a penalty (and manual at that).
In other words, I understood it so that without a penalty it makes no sense to send a disavow list as it will probably be simply ignored. Otherwise they would be mired in millions of disavow list submissions by webmasters trying to clean their link profiles to get an edge over competitors.

And that's what confuses me in the result I got: I do know for certain that there is a penalty, or at least was back in Sept. 2012 when they last responded with "Still violates" to my last RR before this one.

There's probably something in the particular case that makes it so confusing (to me, anyway). I was just wondering if one can simply tell if the disavow list was looked at, and it looks like there's not way to tell that.

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