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Google’s New Disavow Tool: Smart or Dangerous?

The new Google Disavow tool can have a profound impact on a website’s rankings in the search engines. This tool is Google’s 20th Panda update and serves not only as a stat update, but also as one that affects the functionality of the algorithm. Disavow is an advanced tool that allows you to indicate to Google which backlinks to your web site to ignore. This is especially good news for those who were adversely affected by Google’s April changes to their algorithm which saw Penguin penalizing web sites that had poor quality, spammy backlinks. Once a backlink is created it’s hard to get rid of, so those sites had very little means of getting past the penalization. Disavow is now here to change this so that webmasters can show Google which backlinks to not to count towards their ranking. This post will discuss the pros and cons of the new Google Disavow tool.


1. Disavow now gives webmasters the ability to remove backlinks that are out of date, dead, or simply gone bad.

2. Web sites that were hit hard due to the presence of bad links from black hat SEO and other tricky digital marketing tactics can now clean up the link profile of those links that caused them to have a bad Google ranking. Disavow will delete those poor quality links that have been affecting your site ranking.

3. Spammers are stripped of their powers and this is handed to webmasters instead.

4. Thousands of webmasters will now go to work helping Google to identify and weed out the bad guys.


1. Webmasters who are affiliated with certain link farms may never disavow them.

2. As Google admits, Disavow does not offer a 100% surety of removing bad links from your web site.

3. The random or misinformed disavowing of links could hurt both the link owner and the website owner. The link will decrease in value, and in the future it will make very little sense for the web site owner to try to obtain links from highly authoritative pages that are on the same domain.

4. Your competitor could try to get your web site under Google’s radar by disavowing a link to your site. This would cause you to be flagged as a link farm.

5. The overall effect of the tool is not yet worked out to determine the harm that could come to innocent webmasters who have done nothing to warrant a punishment.

Here is an idea of when to use and when no to use Disavow.

  • Use it only if you tried removing a link manually and that failed.
  • If Google manually penalizes your site.
  • If your Reconsideration Request was denied.
  • If your web site was hit by Penguin.
  • If you fell prey to negative SEO (other users are building bad links to your web site).


This latest move by Google continues to trigger debates among those in the Internet marketing community. As the pros and the cons reveal, while there are some positives associated with the roll out of this tool, there are also some potential adverse effects that need to be addressed. Google’s Disavow can be regarded as a smart, but dangerous tool.

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