• google_debate
    • March 16
    Google Disavow – The Great Debate

    A video from Moz’s popular Whiteboard Friday series was the cause of major debate within the SEO community. The main idea behind the video was to provide insight into the supposition that submitting to Google a disavow file after suffering a Penguin hit can reverse it without having to manually remove those links.

    Josh Bachynski, who delivered the video, stated that there are SEO marketing professionals perpetrating claims that Penguin penalties can be lifted by simply handing in a disavow file to Google. He, however, stated that there was no evidence corroborating this claim (image via shutterstock).

    Penguin and Link Attrition

    Penguin and Link Attrition

    According to Josh’s analysis, the sites which served as the evidence for the hypothesis had shown some improvement in the months following a penalty from Google Penguin algorithm. However, these sites had also lost links in the months following the penalty, which disproved the hypothesis that the disavow file was solely responsible for the recovery that was witnessed, in which case, the argument cannot be proved or disproved using those illustrations.

    In order to validate Bachynski’s claims, the following angles need to be considered:

    Is it plausible to expect that no links will be lost by a site in between Penguin rollouts?

    Penguin Rollout

    In the real world, this is not possible. There are many reasons that might cause a site to lose links – changes in domains, renewed, refreshed or sold domains etc. – and these happen to virtually all sites at some point. To prove this, you can use Majestic or Ahref tools to study a large number of sites over some period of time.


Khalid Janjua is a business owner and entrepreneur from Manchester, United Kingdom. Khalid is currently working on Saturn-Tec, a website which provides design & cheap web solutions. Follow Khalid on Twitter: @hybridlava. Follow the development of @saturntec.