Since announcing the disavow tool in October 2012, Google hasn’t given much insight regarding how to properly identify links that should be disavowed, leaving webmasters and SEO professionals to use their best judgment.
Many have attempted to compile comprehensive inbound link lists by combining data sources from multiple link indexes. Debate has also raged as to whether Google uses the disavow information to identify websites participating in link schemes.
In a blog post recently published by Ralf Schwoebel of sno.pe, new details have surfaced from Google that shed some light on both issues. The post details Schwoebel’s recent disavow attempt, as well as some questions posed to Uli Lutz, Google Search Quality Engineer.
Lutz gave three interesting bits of advice in his answer:
- Focus on links reported in Google Webmaster Tools
- Google does not use disavow data to harm websites’ rankings
- Don’t be afraid to use the site-wide disavow functionality
SEO professionals and webmasters will be relieved to know that it isn’t necessary to compile a comprehensive list of inbound links from various indexes. Simply using data supplied by Webmaster Tools will suffice, saving time and money.
Lutz’ revelation should also put to rest the ongoing debate about whether Google uses disavow information to harm websites listed on disavow lists, though the debate about negative SEO will likely carry on.
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