Should you Proactively use the Disavow File when no Penalty Exists? Yes!
 by Casey Markee

Should you Proactively use the Disavow File when no Penalty Exists? Yes!

  • We continue to receive conflicting advice on the proactive use of the Disavow File. Some SEOs say that we should only be using the Disavow File if we have a clear manual or Penguin-related algorithmic penalty. Others say that it's okay to use it for negative SEO related issues or when we find links with which we do not want to be associated. Which is it?

Answer: It's funny that there is such conflicting information out there when this is one area where Google has been VERY transparent in their advice. The most on-point resource to address this question is via a Matt Cutts' Webmaster Help video titled Should I use the disavow tool even if there is not a manual action on my site? The video was released in November 2013, is less than two minutes in length, and can be viewed below:

The video has a lot of great information including this specific quote that should resolve some of your conflict:

"If you are at all worried about someone trying to do negative SEO or it looks like there is some weird bot building up a bunch of links to your site and you have no idea where it came from that's a perfect time to use disavow as well."

Cutts goes on to say in the video that not only is the tool okay to be used as a preventive measure in the case of negative SEO, but also in instances involving "a misunderstanding, an algorithm ranking your site lower and to combat a possible spam report against your domain."

So, to summarize, there are three major reasons a site owner should be using the disavow file:

  • 1. Use the Disavow Tool if your si...

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