Matt Cutts, Google’s head of search spam, answers a question about disavowing links in his latest video where a user writes in to ask:
Should webmasters use the disavow tool, even if it is believed that no penalty has been applied? For example. if we believe ‘Negative SEO’ has been attempted, or spammy sites we have contacted have not removed links.
The primary purpose of the disavow tool, Matt says, is to clean up links acquired as a result of doing bad SEO.
Once you have exhausted all other options in attempting to get those links removed from the web, it would be a perfect time to use the disavow tool.
If you’re at all worried about someone maliciously doing negative SEO to harm your site, or you have reason to believe someone has already done so, Matt says this would be a great time to use the disavow tool as well.
Matt says there’s no reason to worry about disavowing links even without receiving a message about them in your Google Webmaster console.
If you have been proactive in monitoring your backlinks and you see a strange pattern arising, then Matt says feel free to go ahead and preemptively disavow those links.
To sum it up, if you’re at all worried about links pointing to your site that may cause you to get hit with a spam penalty, just go ahead and disavow them
What has been your experience with negative SEO? Have you ever had to use the disavow tool to get rid of bad links? Share your experience in the comments section!
See Matt’s full video response below:
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