Does it Make Sense to Remove / Disavow Links? via @onreact_com


Tad shares a good case study on removing the manual penalty from one of his clients. I am sure many of website owners feel the same way:

  • 10 reconsideration requests have been sent: "We had to remove and disavow legit links we haven’t paid for just because Google might assume that they were paid based on the context for example."
  • Finally the penalty was revoked: "Then one day, when I already almost have given up, the penalty got removed and the rankings… stayed the same."

The time and effort spend on that process and the frustration felt both on the SEO and client side was crippling to the whole optimization process. We literally had to stop everything else to deal with this menace to the site. Afterwards the effort seems completely out of the proportion given the outcome.

My own take...

What that client received doesn't look like a manual penalty to me:

(I am not sure if it's the exact screenshot from that specific case though but this is Tad's screenshot)

I received the same notice for one of my very clean sites and I assumed that:

  • Google didn't like some of my backlinks and they just removed those links from their link graph
  • Google seems to assume those links might be out of my control, so I just did nothing (even though Google did assume I could submit a reconsideration request if I wanted to)...

But what Tad is describing further doesn't seem to be the case: As someone was replying to him and in the end he somehow knows that the penalty was removed... so I am confused :)

What are your thoughts?

Update: Further to this discussion, there's another question to address: Should I Disavow Nofollow Links?

Wondering when this whole confusing stops :)


Marie has a very insightful

Marie has a very insightful article on the exactly the same warning Tad's client received:

A great comment (and another

A great comment (and another point to what Tad was sharing) from Dave Davis at the URL above: "This is incredibly frustrating. Hundreds of hours cleaning up links, contacting webmasters to get links removed and producing an amazingly concise disavow file. Penalty removed message yet 3 months later, no change in rankings. Meanwhile, top 10 results are polluted with sites with a couple of hundred directory backlinks as their ONLY backlinks. A new domain, brand and contacting the webmasters of all your old "good links" asking them to change the link is out next option."

Different Screen Shot

Hey Ann,

thank you for sharing!

This is indeed not the same notification screen shot as I decribe here. In this case I know that the site hit has been building bad links. I even advised the webmaster not to build them because they were artificial but he didn't believe me as it was done by a well-known SEO agency by a big publishing house.

I wanted to show a current notification. I hope this isn't confusing.

Sincerely, tad

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