Why you shouldn’t need the disavow tool
When Google released the disavow tool in 2012, a lot of website owners – and the more dodgy SEO ‘experts’ – thought ‘phew’. They’d been wasting their valuable time creating backlinks that were doing their sites more harm than good, they’d belatedly realized this and now, it seemed, Google was handing them the solution on a plate. Well, it’s not quite straightforward as it first appeared – the was not Google giving you a get-out-of-jail-free card.
Matt Cutts explained quite clearly that, when you find spammy backlinks pointing to your site, you don’t rush off to the disavow tool and your problems will be over. The first thing Google expects is a bit (or perhaps even a lot) of activity on your part. The first thing you should do is see if you can manually remove any of those links. With many, if you made them, you can unmake them too. If not, then Google suggests an email campaign, asking webmasters (nicely please) to remove the links to your site.
Incidentally, if you had paid SEO ‘experts’ who had claimed that they would create links that were ‘good’ for your site, my first point of call would be to them. Google has always discouraged spammy links; they have never encouraged the practice. If a company has done this ‘on your behalf’ then I’d tell them to remove them. Suggest to them that this is documented, in writing, so that the information can be sent to Google.
Matt Cutts is adamant that although the tool exists, and has value for the professional, the vast majority of webmasters shouldn’t use it.
And of course, what you’re doing is damage control – trying to undo the harm that you yourself – or someone you have ill-advisedly paid to cause this damage – has done. It really would be better to stick on the straight and narrow in future.
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