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Should I disavow links that are gone?

     
10:29 pm on Jul 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Today I discovered a spam goldmine. Checking the archives shows that the domains had links to my site, but when I look at the current site, they are either 404s, down completely, or just blank.

Since the links are all down (on over 200 sites), should I disavow them any way?

I figure that if the sites are down, G still wants them disavowed, and a reconsideration request filed to show that it wasn't us trying to do anything fishy.

thoughts?
6:58 am on July 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Administrator robert_charlton is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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What led you to the links in the first place? Webmaster Tools, or a backlink checker... or a combination?

Checking the archives shows that the domains had links to my site, but when I look at the current site, they are either 404s, down completely, or just blank.

By "archives", do you mean the Internet Archive/ Wayback Machine, or are you talking about something else?

The thought occurs that it's possible for links that don't show up on other sites, but which you think should be there, might be cloaked for Googlebot, in which case you'd need to use a User Agent Switcher plug-in to check for them. Since they're not on your site, you couldn't use Fetch as Googlebot.
4:58 pm on July 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member planet13 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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If they are / were spammy sites, might as well disavow them.

You could use the domain: operator to do so, since it sounds like they were pretty bad domains.

Also, there seems to be lots of sites that "resurrect" dead sites (I guess by mining the wayback machine) to get easy content. So I wouldn't be too surprised if those links start reappearing on various new domains.