"Less" need for users disavowing bad links?
In a typical brief and short statement, Google’s Gary Illyes commented, that Google has “less need” for users disavowing bad links
The background here seems to be that Google Penguin 4.0 is more granular and will allow effects of the “Penguin signal” on various scopes like pages, directory or even groups of keywords.
However, the statement was quickly taken out of context calling the “Disavow Tool” dead, or claiming that there would be no more need for disavowing bad links at all. Google didn’t say that, at all.
What Gary Illyes said, on the other hand, was, that the changes in Penguin 4.0 would devalue spammy links.
Read on and learn what the above statement implies and what changes you should expect to see in the way Google treats links.
A few days after Google announced the Penguin roll out, Garry confirmed with one Tweet that Google hasn’t changed the recommendations for the disavow tool after the Penguin launch.
@BruceClayInc we haven't changed our recommendations for the disavow tool with this launch
— Gary Illyes (@methode) September 26, 2016
Regarding past recommendations, we can always look back on what Matt Cutts said back in 2013. This hasn't changed a bit since then.
@joshbachynski disavows can help for Penguin.
— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) June 28, 2013
What Gary Illyes said, on the other hand, was, that the changes in Penguin 4.0 would devalue spammy links, rather than “demote” (aka Penalize) the whole site.
This is interesting news, because if it’s true (and we’re still waiting for the Google engineers to read all that and maybe have Garry pull back), then this could have the following implications:
- Google would change the impact of links again – Pre-2012 it was Zero to 100 in impact, after Penguin April 2012 it was a High risk (-100) to 0 to 100% (full ranking impact).
- All sorts of SEO experiments would not only be faster to measure (because of the Real Time Aspect of Google Penguin 4.0) but also only affect only portions of the site.
- The limited negative impact per 2. would mean that more aggressive “SEO testing” or blatant “link spamming” could start over again and find new heights. Especially in the case where only parts of the site’s rankings or pages would be impacted, but others not.
- Google said they might act faster and harsher with Manual Actions if they find abuse, which is totally possible but doesn’t negate 3 or 2
In any case, none of the above means that the use of the Disavow file is over, especially since even Google mentioned it's used for Manual Actions and other parts of the algorithm.
So far it doesn’t look like the full impact and opportunities of Google Penguin 4.0 are all analyzed or fully understood. However, we already see sites dropping (partially) but also recovering from past Google Penguin 3.0 penalties.
By no means is the disavow file or Disavow Tool useless, just because Google hopes to find more spammy links automatically.