What’s this about?

I’m really intrigued by this train of Google discussion.

It’s around Link Spam and whether Google uses / used the disavow files webmasters submitted to populate their spam combatting algorithms.

Google says no. Webmasters say yes. (SNAFU, really.)

I’m in the “it’d be rude not to” camp, but don’t think Google used the files directly. I also think both sides are talking at cross-purposes.

Read all about LinkSpam algorithms and Disavow files by clicking the link.

#SEO #SEONews #LinkSpam #Disavow #Google

Google LinkSpam Algorithms Don’t Use Disavow Files


  • It’s funny this was discussed this week by Gary Illyes, because I was just turning something like this over in my mind.
  • In a carefully worded statement, Google said they didn’t process webmaster disavow files for link spam as that would just be playing into black hat hands.
  • Hmmmmm. I think this might be one of those “half-accurate” answers.
  • Should Google Ignore or Penalise Link Spam?

Google Disavow Files Not Used For LinkSpam

Actions to take:

  1. There’s not really a lot of action to take here, aside from trying to get a better understanding how Google works.
  2. Oh, and not bothering with disavow files, as Google has the “ignoring links” thing down pat.
  3. So, perish the thought that Google might use information submitted by webmasters to create a link spam methodology, and don’t use disavow files.
  4. Got that?
  5. Click here to contact me to discuss Google’s link spam activities and how it catches people.


You’ll have to pardon my mild doubt here, but a number of years ago, Google (basically) said it couldn’t cope with link spam any more and it would just de-rank you for rubbish inbound links.

Then, you were able to create and submit a disavow file based on your backlink profile which may or may not be rather shonky.

And voila, a few years later, no more need for disavow files, Google has this link spam thing cracked again.


I was beginning to wonder if the whole disavow thing wasn’t one of the largest social hacking experiments undertaken.  Get webmasters to report bad links and at-scale you can start to identify patterns of bad links. You don’t need to use the disavow files themselves, you just need to crawl pages mentioned in them.

Like all spam activity, there are always innocent examples of spammy behaviour, and there are spammy examples of innocent behaviour. I would be very surprised if Google didn’t use some of the data in some way to create a better link spam combatting machine, even after throwing out the black hat / negative SEO false matches.

More info:

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