One SEO professional asked John during the submitted questions Q&A about spammy backlinks.
This SEO pro went ahead and added thousands of these links to a disavow file. However, they are concerned they may have taken out some good links in the process. And there wasn’t a manual action levied against the site.
They are wondering if it is a good idea to test this by removing the disavow file, and then adding it back in if things didn’t improve.
John answered that his assumption is that for most websites, you don’t need to use the disavow file.
It’s easy to get things wrong. But that doesn’t mean all sites shouldn’t ever be using it.
From that perspective, it’s hard for John to say that SEO professionals will absolutely see an improvement or any sort of problem regarding the disavow.
However, he would take this as something where you can go through your disavow file and incrementally take out individual parts of the disavow and see how this works.
This way, you can remove some of the risk by just blindly switching things on and off – and figuring out which parts of the funnel actually don’t cause any problems.
And perhaps in the end, you will figure out that you didn’t need this at all.
It also takes away the risk of “if I turn this off completely, will everything blow up?” Which is likely not to happen. It should be fine.
This happens at approximately the 33:34 mark in the video.
John Mueller Hangout Transcript
John (Submitted Question) 33:34
Let’s see, I think we talked about the different states. I have a site that has a lot of weird spam links pointing to it. I added thousands of these to the disavow file. But I’m concerned that I might have taken out some good links in the process. There was never a manual action.
So I’m wondering whether it would be wise to test this by removing the disavow file with the option of adding it again later if things didn’t improve. I mean, you can always test this kind of thing.
John (Answer) 34:00
So my assumption is that for most websites, you don’t need to use the disavow file. And it’s easy to get things wrong. But that doesn’t mean that all websites should never use it. So from that point of view, it’s hard for me to say that you will see an improvement or kind of a–sort of a problem with regards to that.
But I would almost take this as something where you go incrementally through your disavow file, and maybe split it up into parts and then incrementally take out individual parts and see how that works for you. And that way, you kind of remove some of the risk by just kind of like blindly switching things on and off to kind of figuring out which parts of the file actually don’t cause any problems.
And maybe in the end, you’ll figure out that well, you didn’t need this at all. But it kind of takes away that risk of like, if I turn this off completely, will everything blow up? Which probably it won’t, probably it’ll be fine.