Disavow Tool Question, Bing’s SEO Checklist, MailChimp Hates Affiliates, Speedlink 33:2013

Hi everyone! Hope you all had a great and productive week. This week, I’m starting this roundup a bit different and with a question. Following a video series from Matt Cutts (and company) about types of SPAM and what to do with them, I would really like to hear from you to some of these questions.

  • Have you ever used the “disavow links tool” from Google’s Webmaster Tools (or for your client)?
  • Did you use it because you received a “manual action”?
  • Or, did you use it without receiving a manual action just because you simply don’t want to be associated with another website?
  • If you did do a “disavow”, what was the result?
disavow tool
image credit: portent.com

Really would appreciate your feedback on this as it may help clear some confusions that are “wondering” around out there. Really, the mess is widespread, some going as far as “being afraid to link at all”, as reported by WebProNews.com.

I personally did submit a disavow for a client but only because he got a “manual action” message. The submission was done only after a “link recovery” process was performed. Along with the disavow, a reconsideration request has also been sent. This is quite recent so sadly, I still am waiting for a response. I’m curious if you have done it yourself, and if you have done it differently.

Why am I asking this? Well, this recent video from Matt Cutts should shed some light. Pay attention to the question and also the response. What’s missing – “no mention about manual action”?

Should I be worried if a couple of sites that I don’t want to be associated with are linking to me?

Now on Bing’s side, Duane Forrester published a post about the 27 things that help and harm your SEO. From this list, you will see that it is not much different from what already is out there. Nonetheless, if Bing is part of your SEO strategy, you may want to look into it. Will you include Bing as part of your optimization efforts? Here’s an interesting case study that may or may not help you decide.

Finally, and one that is not SEO related. Everyone tells you about the importance of having an email list. One of the reasons is because “the money is on the list”. MailChimp, a service that offers you the possibility of rolling out your email marketing campaign for free (up to 2000 subscribers), has been touted as “not being affiliate friendly”. Is that really true? An article from clicknewz.com delves into this issue and reveals some facts that you as an affiliate marketer should know about, in case you have not decided which email management service to choose from yet.

MUST READ: 5 New Website Vulnerabilities Straight from Black Hat & DEF CON

As usual, in no particular order:

SEO & Internet Marketing

Social/Blogging/Small Business Bites

More cool stuff!

That’s it! Enjoy and have a great weekend!


DiTesco is a Business and Inbound Marketing Consultant, and founder of iBlogzone.com. iBlogzone's main objective is to help startups and small business owners achieve success in their online ventures. | More About Me and my Digital Marketing Services in SP Brazil.

15 thoughts on “Disavow Tool Question, Bing’s SEO Checklist, MailChimp Hates Affiliates, Speedlink 33:2013

  • Hi DiTesco,

    I had someone contact me to request that I remove links from comments that were left on my blog. I didn’t like the fact that they “threatened” if I didn’t remove the links that they would use the disavow tool. That got me wondering how many folks use the tool this way. Would Google even consider disavowing links that were left as part of a comment?

    I never hear any one talking about this but I’d like to know what you think.

    Thanks for another great speed link and thanks for linking to the guest post about being in the right social network. Much appreciated. 🙂

    • Ileane, that is just nasty!

      I *know* I’m in the right social network, even though I’m laying low at the moment. =) You guys rock!

    • Hi Ileane. The nerve of those people asking to remove the comments that “they have probably” put it themselves there anyway (direct or via a link builder). I don’t think that it is possible to “disavow” a link that specifically comes from a comment. If they do a disavow, my guess is that they will ask to disavow the post URL or the entire domain.

      Welcome for the link luv 🙂

      • Yes, this is what I mean. I bet a lot of those guys tried to disavow the entire domain. Just wondering if Google pays attention that they are only comment links – especially if they are dofollow….

        • I’m guessing they are Ileane, as most likely they have gotten a “manual action” and desperately asking everyone to remove links without proper analysis of their link profile. Plus, if those guys do submit a disavow with an entire domain (like yours for example), like Matt said, you have to be careful who you are disavowing because you don’t want to disavow good links. Its their loss if they decide to go that route..

  • DiTesco,
    This year, I lost a significant amount of organic search traffic and one of the things that I addressed was incoming links. In mid-July, I submitted a disavow request for a domain that’s a dating site.

    At the time I requested the disavow, that site had 1,256 links to my site. I never heard back from Google about that request and when I just checked, there are now 1,392 links from them. I downloaded the table but I can’t tell when the most recent link from them was.

    I’ll need to follow up on this. (If you have any ideas what I should do next, I’m open to suggestions.) Thanks for reminding me of this and thanks for the link to my #FridayFinds post.

    • Hi Sherryl. I know I’ve seen a hangout recently from Google Switzerland and sadly I can’t remember. Essentially, one of the key points that I got from that hangout is that even if you submit a disavow and Google does in fact treat them like you want them to (i.e. “disregard or don’t count”), those links will not be removed from the list of links that Google provides you on WT, they remain there. This is one of the reasons why it is difficult to assess success.. I may be wrong here, but that’s what I understand. I guess the only way to know for sure if it worked is if you see “signs” or recovery, e.g., increase in impressions from search queries, increase in organic traffic, etc..

      A question. Did you send the disavow due to a “manual action”? Normally Google would respond saying that no manual action was found on the site (on GWT they also have a new feature called “manual action viewer”). If there was no manual action, it could be more complicated, because the “hit” in principle was due to an algorithm change, and that is a different issue. Recovery, if possible will need to be assessed on a totally different way.

  • I haven’t had to use disavow tool in the past, but now that I got Manual Action notice in my GWT, I might have to.

    I do think we are better off removing the links someone wants us to, because 1. they were probably built for link building purposes thus not healthy for our sites and 2. because it is way too easy for them to use disavow tool and we are not sure yet how Google reacts to that.

    • Hi Ana. Makes sense. Often times when someone wants a link removed is because they did some sort of “link building” in the past. That is specially true for sites that have low authority and those that were trying to get links to boost their rankings. But that really would be only if it were in the comments section, right? Or are you referring to just links overall, regardless of where they are..

      As for “them” using the disavow tool, yes I totally agree that it is way too easy, and the danger is there. Like you said, we really don’t know how Google reacts to this type of situation. Good point!

  • I read up on the disavow tool back when it first came about. I haven’t really followed up on it much since. One thing that I haven’t seen an answer for is should I be concerned about backlinks to my site that are linking to me with the nofollow tag? Or, should I only be concerned with dofollows?

    I remember reading somewhere that the disavow tool was the equivalent to telling Google to nofollow a dofollow link from some site or page to mine.

    Some had said only worry about dofollow links pointing to yours. While others said you should be concerned with both. I just have yet to see an official answer, but it is very possible I just missed it somewhere.

    Anyway, do you have any thoughts on whether one should disavow both dofollow and nofollow incoming links?

    • Hi Ray. Absolutely a “million dollar question”. Maybe one of the reasons why it has not been specifically clear whether to disavow “nofollow” or “dofollow” is because we really don’t know for a fact how search engines treat these attributes.

      “I remember reading somewhere that the disavow tool was the equivalent to telling Google to nofollow a dofollow link from some site or page to mine.”

      In theory, if Google says that “nofollow” does not pass PageRank (or sort of saying “do not count this link”), then one should only be concerned from links pointing to our site that are “dofollow”. Makes sense.. Anyway, I will delve in a bit deeper on this and let you know if I find something that “contradicts” this theory. Heck, I’ll even put it up on Google Webmaster Help. Maybe it gets the attention of Matt Cutts 🙂

      • Thanks for the input. I was leaning towards nofollows to my site shouldn’t hurt any, but it sure would be nice to hear it from someone at Google. If you find anything official on it do let me know. I would love to see and read about it.

        • Hi Ray. Here’s an official one from Bing. Still waiting from Google. Actually Duane’s response is not our theory. If I understood it right, he mentions to disavow even if it is a nofollow link. Interesting too is his “paraphrase”.. https://twitter.com/DuaneForrester/status/369455210009075712

          Let me know what you understood from his response.

          • Thanks for that. It’s always nice to see and hear it officially. I am not as concerned with Bing as I am with Google at least right now.

            I do have some strange blog comments, trackbacks, pingbacks, and such that link to my site that I did not do. The majority are all nofollow so I haven’t been to concerned with them, but if Google or Bing say I should be I will try to free up a little time to check them better and possibly do a disavow on them.

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