Jump to content

  • Log in with Facebook Log in with Twitter Log In with Google      Sign In   
  • Create Account

Subscribe to HRA Now!

 



Are you a Google Analytics enthusiast?

Share and download Custom Google Analytics Reports, dashboards and advanced segments--for FREE! 

 



 

 www.CustomReportSharing.com 

From the folks who brought you High Rankings!



Photo
- - - - -

Is There Value In Disavowing Links If You There Is No Penalty?


  • Please log in to reply
6 replies to this topic

#1 ttw

ttw

    HR 5

  • Active Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 395 posts
  • Location:San Mateo, California

Posted 07 December 2015 - 07:25 PM

I have just started using Link Detox to determine if our clients have links/domains pointing to their sites that could be harming them in organic search.  In a few cases 7%-9% of links have been flagged as a high priority to be disavowed.  
 
I would be interested in your opinion on the following:
 
1)   If your site does not have a Google penalty is there an advantage to disavowing pages that have been flagged as high risk?  When I go to those pages they look spammy and have no real value other than an inbound link.  
 
 
2)  If a client acquires another website/company and that website is now 301 redirected to the client's site, would "high risk" inbound links from the acquired company cause a problem for my client?  
 
 
3)  A client has taken down content from their site that was completely unrelated to their current business.  Is there a benefit in disavowing those links to the old content that are deemed by Link Detox as being high risk?
 
Thank you,
 
Rosemary



#2 chrishirst

chrishirst

    A not so moderate moderator.

  • Moderator
  • 7,718 posts
  • Location:Blackpool UK

Posted 08 December 2015 - 02:40 AM

 

 

 If your site does not have a Google penalty is there an advantage to disavowing pages that have been flagged as high risk? 

 

None at all, because nobody outside Google know what are "high risk".

 

The ONLY links you need to "disavow" are ones that you placed or had a third party working on your behalf 'building' links.

 

Links that 'just happen' may well turn out to be "good links" despite what some tool suggests, or they may be on URLs  already ignored or discounted by Google.



#3 qwerty

qwerty

    HR 10

  • Moderator
  • 8,695 posts
  • Location:Somerville, MA

Posted 08 December 2015 - 06:24 AM

You definitely don't want to rely on any algo that tells you which links are dangerous. Check them carefully and decide for yourself. If you really believe they could lead to a penalty, I think you should disavow them. You may be erring on the side of caution, though. That is, it's quite possible that the site is currently benefiting from some of these links, and you might actually see a drop in rankings after you disavow them. That doesn't mean they never would have caused a problem is you hadn't disavowed them, though. You need to decide for yourself whether it's safe to leave these links as they are.

 

I had a situation a couple of years ago where I noticed a bunch of new links to the site I was working for. They were all very low quality directories, clearly operated by the same people, that actually included a blackmail feature: for $5, they'd remove a listing. And there were a few hundred of them. I disavowed them as I discovered them, maybe 20-40 of them a month. And I didn't see any changes to our traffic trends during this period.

 

But for all I know, Google already knew both that these directories were trash and that my site was in no way at fault for having these links, so they might never have paid any attention to these links. If that's the case, I wasted many hours finding, examining, and disavowing the links. So maybe I'm a hero, and maybe I wasted time obsessing over nothing. I'll never know.



#4 ttw

ttw

    HR 5

  • Active Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 395 posts
  • Location:San Mateo, California

Posted 08 December 2015 - 07:01 PM

Thank you both for responding. My follow-up question is "How can you tell if a page is 'high risk'?  There are lots of ugly directory pages around but what should we be looking for?



#5 qwerty

qwerty

    HR 10

  • Moderator
  • 8,695 posts
  • Location:Somerville, MA

Posted 09 December 2015 - 06:12 AM

It can be a lot of work, and that work can end up feeling like a waste of time, but you want to look at who they're linking to, who's linking to them, and if it's a directory, I found it was helpful to examine how the site's structured. This network of directories that linked to my site was placing our listing on pages that didn't make sense, or just sat out there with no indication of a logical taxonomy.



#6 Michael Martinez

Michael Martinez

    HR 10

  • Active Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,325 posts
  • Location:Georgia

Posted 09 December 2015 - 10:42 AM

I would not pay money to any service that claims it can identify high risk backlinks.

 

1)   If your site does not have a Google penalty is there an advantage to disavowing pages that have been flagged as high risk?  When I go to those pages they look spammy and have no real value other than an inbound link.  

 

What does "look spammy" mean?  I have been discussing spammy sites with people for years and I have rarely found general agreement on anything beyond "yup, this 1-page domain consisting of a spun article with keyword-rich anchors is spammy".  SPAM is really hard to define once you get past the egregious examples.

 

Members of the Google Web spam team have occasionally said there are different degrees of spam, and they apply different levels (or types) of penalties.  You may not know if a site has been designated as spam because it ranks just fine for thousands of queries, but its links won't pass value.
 

2)  If a client acquires another website/company and that website is now 301 redirected to the client's site, would "
high risk" inbound links from the acquired company cause a problem for my client?  

 

Bad links would cause a problem if the search engine felt they were too influential or helpful.  Being "risky" in some person or tool's opinion means nothing in SEO.

3)  A client has taken down content from their site that was completely unrelated to their current business.  Is there a benefit in disavowing those links to the old content that are deemed by Link Detox as being high risk?

 

I would not use a disavow tool in this situation.  In my opinion it would be better to do one of the following:

 

  • Replace the content with a page explaining what has changed

  • Just remove the content and let the old URLs end in 404 errors

  • Replace the content with "bridge" content that is relevant to both the old links and the new business, but this is an advanced content strategy and is not something I would trust to a casual writer



#7 chrishirst

chrishirst

    A not so moderate moderator.

  • Moderator
  • 7,718 posts
  • Location:Blackpool UK

Posted 10 December 2015 - 09:33 AM

"Spam" is a bit like porn, ... You can't quite describe it, ... ... But you will know exactly what it is when you see it.
 
However a paper from  Alan Perkins on The Classification of Search Engine Spam is still the best definition that I know of.






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

We are now a read-only forum.
 
No new posts or registrations allowed.