disavow link

To disavow or not? After 10 years, we are Getting it right

If you are familiar with the term search engine optimization, you must be surely knowing about link disavow and its importance. A business looking for a Digital marketing agency should make sure that it has complete knowledge of disavowing. These digital marketing agencies should be able to understand and determine whether a link disavow is required or not and how costly mistakes can be avoided by this.

Determine whether a link disavow is needed and avoid costly mistakes

Google’s disavow links tool was launched almost a decade back, on October 16, 2012.  As we move towards the tenth anniversary, it is a bit of a surprise that the webmasters still have confusion and misunderstanding considering how to move towards or approach the process of link analysis and perfectly utilize backlink data when taking into account a disavow. It is for sure that there are a lot has changes come since its origin in 2012!  

Whether you choose to disavow as a precautionary measure or a way to improve your rankings, it is recommended to review current-day methodologies to take based on our understanding of disavowing links over the past decade.

Who may need a link disavow?

Most of us likely do not need a disavow. If you are in a situation with natural link acquisition and SEO traffic is on the rise, a link disavow is unlikely to help. This is quite true in case your website is already having a comparatively small number of backlinks or is in a less competitive vertical.  

It is suggested that you should consider analysing your backlinks and accepting a disavow :

  1. If you have “unnatural links” notice in the Google Search Console account and subsequent manual action.
  2. If you have understood that unnatural links were acquired to your site, either in recent times or at any time in the past. 
  3. If your website has noticed an unexplainable decline in traffic and ranking or huge traffic loss during Google link-based update or core algorithm update. 
  4. If you notice that traffic is flat over long periods in spite of strong on-page SEO and content creation initiatives, you assume off-page factors may be the reason for this.
  5. If you see a lot of new spammy links coming to your website frequently and may be the focus of a negative SEO attack.
  6. If you do not have complete trust in the algorithm and looking forward to getting a better understanding of your existing link profile and level of risk.

Below are a few regular link-building tactics requiring a link disavow –

  • Purchasing guest blog posts or “sponsored content” with link attributes that are inappropriate.
  • Buying links that have assured a minimum level of “authority.” 
  • Buying links from those websites that have variable or fluctuating pricing for placement.
  • Getting keyword-rich anchor links aiming straight to SEO landing pages. 
  • Buying links at all, for that matter, particularly from someone offering pre-selected placements.

Compile your backlinks & analyzing them properly 

compile your backlink

Advanced SEO options allow you in getting the most comprehensive look at the backlinks, link data, merging multiple datasets such as Google Search Console, Ahrefs, Moz, Majestic, Semrush, etc. can help in getting the complete picture of your website’s backlink profile.  We suggest that hiring an SEO professional if you are looking for help is the best path forward for the rest of you – here’s another reminder – disavowing can actually do more harm than good if you are not completely confident in your approach. 

It is very important to understand the importance of compiling your backlinks and doing a proper analysis of them. Once you have obtained the link data fully, you’ll have to make some decisions on finding a way to analyze the backlinks for you. Most webmasters take shortcuts and rely on software to determine how “authoritative” or “toxic” a link could be.

Make a Preventive analysis & disavow frequency

Just like several other SEO efforts, staying at the top when it comes to your link profile is hardly a one & done inventiveness and more often look like a game of cat & mouse, dependent on the given situation. If your website is a good condition and the traffic you are receiving on your website is healthy and growing, reconsidering your backlink profile can be done frequently. Once or twice a year can be appropriate based on your level of concern.

We suggest going with the preventative disavow in this situation. This may make sense in such a situation because if you face any difficulty, Google is months behind on reconsidering the requests, and you would definitely not want yourself caught in such a situation.

Webmasters can find it worthwhile to review your backlinks and update your disavow files more frequently if your website is affected by manual action or Google updates which are specifically for the links, or they believe they are being targeted by a negative SEO campaign. If we choose to go with more frequent revisions, it can help in ensuring that you are way ahead of the algorithm when dissociating yourself with links that have the ability to cause issues in the near or long term.

Conclusion: Final thoughts

Right from the time Google’s disavow links tool was introduced, it has remained an often-unappreciated part of its Search Console for webmasters. From primarily being required merely as a reaction to 2012’s “Penguin” algorithm rollout and to solve manual actions, its use cases have grown for both preventive and reactionary situations. Similarly, the way webmasters look at the links for a variety of purposes has now changed over the past 10 years. 

Irrespective of your requirement to visit the disavow tool, it is essential to keep in mind earning natural, trusted links are the best and it can be one of the greatest SEO growth drivers, directly adding to the website’s traffic and increasing the ranking with time.