20 replies
  • SEO
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Hey Guys,

Can anyone shed some light on the negative effects of removing Bad Links via the Disavow Tool?

The reason I ask is that I outsource SEO, my site took a hit and dropped over 50% of traffic. The cause of this drop is apparently around 1000 poor quality links built back in 2010 or so.

Steps are being taken to remove these links by emailing the webmasters etc, The process is taking a lot of time and my site is financially losing money but we are getting rid of a significant amount of poor links.

My issue is that selection of Paid Links have been identified and in order to get them removed apparently I will need to pay, the total cost is going to run up to a significant amount £1k+. Is there any reason I can't just use the Disavow tool to remove them and save the cash?

Any input would be great.

Seb
#bad #links #removing
  • Profile picture of the author Daniel Delos
    There should be no negative effects except from accidentally disavowing links that are actually helping you (and it can be hard to tell which is which sometimes). From what I understand, the disavow tool is supposed to in-effect turn do-follow links into no-follow but also up to Google's discretion.

    Also, your ranking will never return to pre-penalized levels without additional SEO because it was those links that were 'artificially' inflating your rank/traffic in the first place. It may even be that the drop you noticed was just google discounting a lot of bad links you had without actually being hit by an algorithm penalty.

    Anyway to answer your question, before spending that kind of money, you have nothing to lose by trying the disavow tool first and waiting 2-3 weeks to see if it has worked.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dani P
    Oh thats sounds like a mightmare. Good luck removing them.
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  • Profile picture of the author Elfen Lied
    You should not remove links simply because they are less than 40 DA. Links under 40 DA are not necessarily low quality links, they just may pass less link juice.
    Submissions to high quality directories are fine. Rand Fishkin and Matt Cutts have both shared insights into what constitutes a high quality directory.
    It's sometimes inadvisable to try to correlate drops in traffic to link building efforts based on the date alone. Google makes dozens of updates per month, plus some algorithms like Penguin and Panda run once per month, so there are many factors and complications. Just because you built a link on Monday and your traffic dropped on Tuesday doesn't mean it was because of the link. Sometimes this might be true, but I recommend being very cautious when drawing such conclusions.
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  • Profile picture of the author georgefuller
    You cannot just use disavow you have to carefully analyze what BL or website pulling you down. you might remove those strong BLs.
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  • Profile picture of the author Velant
    Originally Posted by sebski22 View Post

    Hey Guys,

    Can anyone shed some light on the negative effects of removing Bad Links via the Disavow Tool?

    The reason I ask is that I outsource SEO, my site took a hit and dropped over 50% of traffic. The cause of this drop is apparently around 1000 poor quality links built back in 2010 or so.

    Steps are being taken to remove these links by emailing the webmasters etc, The process is taking a lot of time and my site is financially losing money but we are getting rid of a significant amount of poor links.

    My issue is that selection of Paid Links have been identified and in order to get them removed apparently I will need to pay, the total cost is going to run up to a significant amount £1k+. Is there any reason I can't just use the Disavow tool to remove them and save the cash?

    Any input would be great.

    Seb
    Removing backlinks over which you have no control is a tast next to impossible. If you don't have email from Google on 'unnatural links' in you webmaster tools then I would forget about these old links and instead concentrate on consistently building quality links with no foorprints.
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  • Profile picture of the author sebski22
    Thanks for all your advice guys. I really appreciate your feedback.

    To clarify the links I am currently removing where created back in 2009/10 so I do not feel any current work is affecting ranks. The shocker is that Nov/Dec where insane the best months so far then Jan...BOOM. My big kws all dropped significantly in the SERPS.

    The same as everyone else that's suffers a drop, I want to recover ASAP but 2 months of quality SEO has shown no progress at all. In fact things maybe slowing even further.

    From what I gather, there is no problem using disavow on paid links so I can avoid the cost of paying for the links to be removed. That is the main point I wanted to understand.

    After submitting links to Disavow is there a notification process to let me know they have been removed?

    Thanks

    Seb
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  • Profile picture of the author Ronno99
    I wouldn't bother trying to remove links and I certainly wouldn't use the disavow tool.

    Google will look the other way when it comes to a certain amount of spam links as long as you otherwise have a nice backlink profile. Disavow will do nothing other than confirm to Google that you are a spammer and also help them identify low-quality sites.

    Or you can start over with a new (or used but clean) domain.
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  • Profile picture of the author janiman
    Originally Posted by kaytav View Post

    Using the Disavow tool is good, but it will take a lot of time... Removing it manually as far as possible is the best choice. You can't do anything as you have a lot of bad backlinks.
    I think this is the best choice.
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  • Profile picture of the author easypr
    In my opinion, you can use google disavow tool to remove the unnatural links of your website, because this the best way to delete bad backlinks.
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  • Profile picture of the author johnben1444
    Disavow tool don't actually remove the bad links but make them ineffective or blacklist/ignore them.

    The only disadvantage I can see with this tool is, you are most likely to lose some rankings if you stabilize after disavow, don't expect to be where you previously was before the penalty. Some of those actually play a positive role on your ranking.

    The second option is to dilute, I guess what you are suffering from is penguin (anchor over optimization).
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  • Profile picture of the author InitialEffort
    There are couple of things that you can do with the bad links. You can:
    (1)Delete the bad links.
    (2)Destroy those bad links.
    (3)Disavow - disavowing links can take some time, even months, as per Google’s webmaster, as they need to re-crawl and re-index the links you disavowed before your disavowals take into effect. In addition, there can be the time delay for data to be refreshed in various algorithms.
    (4)Dilute the bad links by building more quality natural links.
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  • Profile picture of the author Backlinko
    The disavow tool isn't proven to work at this point so I wouldn't use that as my backup plan.

    In fact, here's a story of a guy that disavowed 100% of his links and it didn't do anything:
    Disavowing 100% Of Your Links Doesn't Alway Remove Google Link Penalty.

    I think you're better off building a site from scratch or working hard to remove those bad links/dilute them with good links.
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    • Profile picture of the author goendul
      Originally Posted by Backlinko View Post

      The disavow tool isn't proven to work at this point so I wouldn't use that as my backup plan.

      I think you're better off building a site from scratch or working hard to remove those bad links/dilute them with good links.
      Just my opinion, I prefer to build a site from scratch than remove those bad links. Secondly, your site is already on red signal by google so it will need more effort in SEO
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  • Profile picture of the author bhartzer
    Rather than removing the bad links via the Disavow Links Tool, why don't you just get those links updated so they point to your competitors and not to your site?

    I mean, really, look at these two scenarios:

    1. Dear Webmaster of Site A:
    Please remove the link to my website, as it's a bad link and I don't want it anymore--it's hurting my site's rankings. If you do not remove the link, I'm going to add it to my disavow list and disavow your site with Google.

    2. Dear Webmaster of Site B:
    We have updated our website and changed our URL. Could you please update the link to our web site so it links to this new URL (http:///www.domain.com/)

    The webmaster is more likely to update the link to your site (which would then be a link to your competitor) than they are to remove the link. If they remove it, then they may charge you to remove the link.

    I'm not suggesting that you do this, but certainly it would be a possibility.
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  • Profile picture of the author Lanx
    i do NOT understand why people can be suckered in so easily. just stop and think for a quick second.

    stop thinking -
    omg! my site my site my site! i will do anything to get you back!

    no stop think.

    google has ALREADY looked at your site.
    they have already said, something doesn't look Google enough here.
    They have already marked down what "they" believe is bad, then they go,
    "lets see what this guy has to say"
    and they say... just write down... anything.

    they compare their notes with yours and say thanks!

    Doesn't anyone watch tv? or is in law enforcement? this is
    good cop vs. bad cop

    only google is making you the bad cop, and the suspect, hoping you'll flub and "give it up"

    think!

    if you've been flagged by google.
    keep building links

    if you've been de-indexed by google

    zip up that site, get a new host and ip, burn that site, make a new one.

    in essence google is forcing you to churn and burn, because disavow will not work.
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  • Profile picture of the author bhartzer
    disavow will not work.
    Disavow works. Trust me, it works. You just have to do it right, and disavow the right links. Not every link out there that you "think" might be junk.
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  • Profile picture of the author Christine99
    in my view, Don't remove the low quality links and stop to get links from low quality links but keep building high quality back links to impress the Google.
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  • Profile picture of the author XenG
    hey guys, my biggest concern about this is HOW DO YOU RECOGNIZE BAD LINKS? I know spam, etc. etc. But how to tell exactly? I am planning to remove bad links and this would be first time for me. I'd like to know more about identifying such links.
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  • Profile picture of the author williamrichard
    Remove the bad links of your website and try to get the high quality backlinks.
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  • Profile picture of the author benjwal
    For bad backlinks remove use - Google webmaster Disavow tools.
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