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When to use the Disavow tool?

     

EditorialGuy

3:11 pm on Jul 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

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There's been a lot of talk about the Disavow Links tool, often in the context of cleaning up after misguided SEO efforts (such as buying links). I haven't bought or even solicited any links, but in WMT, I can see that I've got more than 20,000 links (mostly on archived pages) from a news aggregator that stuck a link to one of our pages in a sidebar resources list. It seems that, whenever the news site runs an article on [topic], the link to our page is in the sidebar.

Google has never sent me a warning about unnatural links, and the news aggregator's sidebar links are relevant (they're only from the aggregator's pages on [topic] to our own page on [topic]), so I hate to disavow the links unless there's a good reason to do so. Am I being paranoid? Should I even be worrying about this?

austtr

10:36 pm on Jul 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Am I being paranoid? Should I even be worrying about this?


I'm asking myself exactly the same questions about links from an affiliate merchant that were created as part of a white label set-up. I had no idea at the time that the merchant was going to create pages with unique URL's for every product in the catalogue. There are now more than 12,000 IBL's showing in GWT and it sure looks like a very unnatural linking profile to me.

Given that the site(s) was hit by Penguin, and has not responded to any other remedial work to date, and the affiliate is deaf to requests to remove or nofollow the links, I've convinced myself its time to do the Disavow Request.

seoskunk

10:52 pm on Jul 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Being as the disavow doesn't seem to work its difficult to advise.

Planet13

4:43 pm on Jul 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

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



I don't think I would be afraid to use the disavow tool in your case. You have a clean site so even if it triggered some kind of an audit, you would have nothing to worry about, correct?

And, from what has been stated, the disavow tool is automatic and won't ipso facto trigger a manual look at your site, or flag it as suspicious - from what we know.

On the other hand, someone at google IS looking at SOME of the disavow files that have been submitted, since Matt Cutts knows enough about them to list the common errors with disavow files (such as improper formating and failure to use the domain: tool when an unnatural links appears on more that one page on the same site).
.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 7:19 pm (utc) on Jul 22, 2013]
[edit reason] Please read forum Charter [/edit]

EditorialGuy

6:00 pm on Jul 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I don't think I would be afraid to use the disavow tool in your case. You have a clean site so even if it triggered some kind of an audit, you would have nothing to worry about, correct?


I'm not worrying about an audit, I'm just worried that discarding 20,000+ inbound links from an apparently legitimate news aggregator might be counterproductive. The links were unsolicited and are on topic--they aren't obvious "negative SEO"--so it would make sense to leave them alone unless Google regards all outbound sidebar links with suspicion. (It's the "unless" part that makes me apprehensive.)

Planet13

6:32 pm on Jul 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

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



Aww... sorry.

I was thinking of someone else's situation when I wrote that. I was having a monday morning brain cramp.

EditorialGuy

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

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



That's better than looking at the day's statistics and having an intestinal cramp. :-)

Planet13

7:37 pm on Jul 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

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



That's better than looking at the day's statistics and having an intestinal cramp. :-)


Exactly, which is why I just stopped looking at my web stats.

Here's the thing about that link:

You and I and pretty much everybody else knows that is an "OK' link. We know you didn't pay for it or have anything to do with that link appearing on numerous pages on their site.

On the other hand, I have heard that - should one get Penguinized and file a disavow file - it can still take a LONG time for it to work its way through the system and make a difference to your rankings...

So I don't know what to say... But really, in today's world if that site is creating links dynamically / automatically based on the content of the article, they should probably do EVERYBODY a favor and nofollow them.

Anyway, this is just one person's opinion.
 

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