Another SEO professional was curious about their submission of a disavow file.
A few days after they submitted the disavow file, in which they removed hundreds of spammy links, they experienced a collapse of their website in terms of search results performance.
They were under the impression that there was some sort of a soft penalty in place, simply because they used the disavow tool.
They were also concerned about how long it would take for their site to return to normal traffic and ranking.
Their main question was whether or not there was a permanent black mark against the site simply because they used the disavow tool.
John answered that there is no black flag assigned by Google because you reported that you were doing bad linking activity in the past.
From their perspective, the disavow tool is simply a technical tool that one can use if there are any bad links you find that are pointing at your site, which you may not want Google to consider when evaluating your site for ranking.
It doesn’t mean that Google thinks you’re the one who created those links. It’s all up to you regarding the disavow tool.
This tool just helps you manage the external associations that Google understands about your website in search.
John also explained that in the majority of cases, if you’re seeing things like random links coming to your site, it’s not necessary to use the disavow tool.
However, if you are seeing something where you might be concerned about linking activity that would mislead a manual reviewer to assume that you are responsible for these bad links, it could make sense to use the disavow tool.
It doesn’t mean you actually did it and it’s not a sign that you’re admitting fault for link games. From their point of view, it’s purely a technical tool.
Additionally, John explained that regarding most manual actions, if they’re resolved and fully cleaned up, Google does not hold a grudge against your website.
They do not have a memory in their systems that treat a site negatively because of a few negative actions in the past.
Their stance is, if you’ve cleaned up the issue with the disavow tool, you have cleaned up the issue and that’s it.
With some issues, however, it does take some time for things to really be analyzed and show up in the search results and for these results to be more stable.
This is because they have to reprocess everything that is, or has ever been, associated with the website.
This takes quite a bit of time.
Don’t assume that just because you submitted a disavow file, and your site crashed in the search results a few days later that these are related.
It’s more likely that something else affected the site more so than the disavow tool ever would.
This happens at approximately the 17:58 mark in the video.