Digital Marketing

Value Of Disavow Tool After Latest Penguin Update

It has been six months, since Google released Penguin 4.0 update. It is awesome as it provides websites an opportunity to set things right instead of suppressing the sites. While the first Penguin would bury the entire site for spam linking, the Penguin 4.0 simply devalues spam. And rest of the links could be removed with disavow tool. But do websites still need using the disavow tool. Penguin 4.0 is an advance algorithmic update that has removed punitive aspect of Penguin.

What is the disavow tool?

It is the tool of Penguin era and it is used for disavowing low-quality links. Sites hit by Penguin can list the links they want to disavow and submit their files to Google so that the search engine removes the low-quality links while indexing the sites. But with Penguin 4.0, websites have started to ask questions regarding usability of disavowing tool as the new Penguin update doesn’t penalize sites. It is more lenient towards sites with low-quality links. But the disavow tool is still beneficial for sites.

Here are three biggest reasons for using the tool. If your site falls under any one of the reasons then you should use the tool.

Manual actions still exist

Google has a manual action team called webspam team and its job is to assess and evaluate the quality of links. It the team finds Penguin-real-time-affected labels next to the links, the team could decide to have a deeper look at the site and suggest manual action due to those links. The only way to prevent such action is to use the disavow tool to complete the cleanup effort. If the bad-links aren’t removed manually then you’re certain to face the manual penalty.

There are other algorithms that use links

Penguin update is just a way to discourage link spam as there are other ways as well. Google has Payday Loans algorithm to test link quality of payday loans sites. But this algorithm isn’t only for these sites but for others as well. This algorithm is also used to check link quality of other sites on high-competition verticals.

Can we trust that Penguin is able to devalue all spam pointing to our site?

If you go through the official description of Penguin algorithm, you will find that doesn’t penalize sites but devalues spam. It seems that websites need not worrying about bad-links pointing to their sites but if your site relies on Google organic ranking for business then you can’t totally on Penguin to ignore unnatural links that could hurt your website.

Use disavow tool if you:

If you’ve made large number of links for SEO

If your site has faced manual action in the past for unnatural links

If your site is under obvious negative SEO attack

You need not disavow

Google takes action against a site only when it finds that the site is indulged in manipulative SEO and that it is trying to influence its ranking with links that sound spam. There is simply no need to worry if you’ve only made a couple of directory links in the past.


Should you use disavow tool? It is the prime question that needs to be answered in the Penguin 4.0 era. No doubt that Penguin is the best algorithmic update by Google but the websites are still worried about manual action that Google could take, if it finds sites involved in link manipulation. While there could be a lengthy discussion over the topic, the summary could be that you should use disavow tool, if your site has unnatural links. Don’t leave your website ranking to chance and make sure that it isn’t hurt by Penguin 4.0.


Udit Khanna is a Digital Marketing Course professional at Expert Training Institute, an expert in Digital Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Pay Per Click, Social Media, etc. who helps companies attract visitors, convert leads, and close customers. Previously, Udit worked as a marketing professional for various startups and tech companies. He graduated with B.Sc from IGNOU with a dual degree in Business Administration (Marketing & Finance).

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