Google announced that the Disavow Links tool will finally be migrated to the new Search Console interface with improvements. Google has also updated the support page with new instructions. The response from the search community was lukewarm.
Deactivate the link tool
The link deactivation tool enables publishers to signal to Google that spam links should not be counted.
The disavow tool was requested by publishers as part of Google’s Penguin algorithm. Google initially declined to allow publishers to opt out of links.
Google’s penguin algorithm was a link algorithm that penalized websites with spam links. Some publishers lost traffic for months and longer while waiting for the Penguin algorithm to be updated.
The editors were understandably dismayed by the algorithm and were tasked with contacting any website owner they might have purchased a link from.
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Sites that had bought links in the past and forgot them were also under a penguin penalty and faced the seemingly difficult task of contacting websites to remove links, including sites they may not have bought links from, but they looked suspicious.
Because of this, the SEO community practically asked Google to refuse links. Eventually, Google recognized the value of the tool and approved it.
The link deactivation tool was always used to deactivate spam links that publishers or their SEO companies were involved in creating.
Alternative uses of the Disavow tool
At some point along the way, the SEO community started using the tool to drop random spam links that they believed were causing their sites to fall in the rankings.
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Google did not have this type of use in mind when it was published. Google’s instructions clearly state that it should be used for links that have caused or are likely to cause manual action. There is nothing in the instructions on how to use it to fix failing keyword rankings.
Googlers like John Mueller agreed that Google is good at not counting random links and not using the tool on random links.
The instructions to the support page for the Disavow tool recommend that you only use it in the event of manual action or to disable links that are likely to cause manual action.
Google’s recommendation contradicts the use of the tool by some SEOs and publishers who are using it in the hopes of improving the slipping rankings.
Disable improvement of the link tool
In Google’s announcement, three improvements to the popular tool were announced.
- Improved interface
- Download a disavow file as a text file
- Error reports for uploaded files are no longer limited to 10 errors
Today we’re finalizing the migration of the Disavow Link tool to the new Search Console interface
✅ Improved user interface
✅ Download a disavow file as a text file
✅ Error reports for uploaded files are no longer limited to 10 errors
Read more at https://t.co/KSY9a4o3Pp pic.twitter.com/TRKFx0XCEI
– Google Search Central (@googlesearchc) 17th November 2020
Updated Disavow Tool support page
Google has also updated the Disavows support page to include additional information and instructions.
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For example, a maximum file size of 100,000 lines and 2 megabytes is now specified.
There is also additional information on removing all rejections.
SEO Community is happy?
Many of the responses to Google’s announcement indicated that they were underutilized. Judging from the responses, many in the search community seemed more concerned about the return of the requirements indexing tool.
It would be nice if you could complete the ‘migration’ of the requirements indexing tool first ?!
– Ryan Murton (@ryan_murton) 17th November 2020
Thanks .. but when will we get the URL Inspection Tool back ..
– Sameer Fattepure (@SamirFattepure) 17th November 2020
Oh nice … anyway … pic.twitter.com/tHEwPKnIwZ
– Derek Hawkins (@Derek_M_Hawk) 17th November 2020
Will the URL Inspection Tool be reactivated?
– ❤Kristen❤ (@Kristen_MarieNY) 17th November 2020
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One person was grateful for returning the tool, but also asked about the Request Indexing Tool.
Brilliant! How does the requirements indexing function work? Oh, and while we’re on the subject, do you too often get annoyed about sending sitemaps and does this make GSC ignore a site? Ask for a friend. BTW, she is single and loves all things YOU.
– Anna Marie (@fujiwaratouge) 17th November 2020
The muffled response may be an indication that the disavow tool is not as important as the requirements indexing tool.
Official Google Disavow support page