Disavow tool

Has using the Google disavow tool in Webmaster Tools removed a penalty on your site?

No. Not that easy upon using the tool. Disavow tool only helps you to clean bad links to your site yourself as much as possible. You still need to send a reconsideration request to Google and let them evaluate your site before they can consider it spam-free.

Don’t rely on the disavow tool to cure your problems. My quick advise for you is to switch over to a new domain and start on a fresh page.

No. Disavow tool is just for removing unwanted/unnatural links. There are some techniques also to disavow links. If you want to remove backlinks by using disavow tool then read all the information of that tool and then try it. You must request for reconsideration to Google after removing your links if you want to recover the Google Penalty.

I notice you often give that advice. I’ve thought about it, and it seems both unnecessarily drastic and at least as much work as removing a penalty. Could you elaborate a bit more on your reasoning, and also your method?

If you start again with a new domain, then you have to start again with link-building; you’ve lost any good links you had along with any spammy ones. Of course, you could set up a redirect from your previous site, but then surely that just tells Google that this is effectively the same site trying to disguise itself with a new domain? If you don’t redirect from your old site, you lose all your previous visitors/customers who have bookmarked your old domain. If you reuse your existing content, surely Google will either regard it as duplicate content, or again recognise it as the same site under a new guise - especially if you are using the same hosting/IP address.

Maybe I’ve misunderstood what you mean, but it seems to me that approach would cause as many problems as it would solve.

For sure, i will be glad to explain:

As I am leading a top SEO agency, we always seek the fastest and most secure way for our clients to get rankings. Have you tried recovering from a penalty? or using the disavow tool? If you did play with those well, you would surely arrive to something similar as what i am going to mention below.

The problem with most white hat optimizers is that they don’t practice on the dark side as well which makes them not real scientists.

When you play with many websites that got hit by a variety of penalties, you would easily arrive at the conclusion that fixing a website is not realistically possible. Once a penalty got hit, it’s nearly over. Google never pull of the red flag on your site even if your traffic returns back. They are not stupid to remove a flag on a website that used black hat techniques in the past and “might” use them again in the future one way or another. After any kind of recovery, your website will never have the potential it usually had. I have real evidence of this not to mention that i am not the only one who agrees on this fact.

The disavow tool is Google’s answer for negative SEO. It is never that useful and negative SEO became more dangerous than ever for new businesses as black hat optimizers knew that webmasters need to struggle for months until they can recover “partially” from any kind of hit or penalty. In other words, if you lost your rankings and recovery is not guaranteed then why would waste more money, time and resources on an almost-dead website? Surely you won’t need to link back or from to it anymore. It now in the red zone in Google’s eyes - Let it swim by itself in the Cyberspace…

However, starting with a new domain is far much easier and safer if you are a real white hat optimizer. Your visitors will link back “again” to you naturally if your site deserves that. However if you are a gray hat or black hat optimizer then surely it might be a problem for you. Ironically speaking, it is never a problem for them as well as their system of marketing is more like raising and burning so that thing is part of their daily work really. (For all members on here, i highly discourage any kind of black hat SEO).

Hope that clears up some thoughts in your mind. What i typed above is not just my opinion but it is a fact that is proven by many well reputable optimizers and testers.

Our company serves above 20+ new clients per month and what is written above is based on real data and experiments not just hypothesis or assumptions.

All the Best!

To answer your question above, when changing your domain name it won’t ever be considered again as duplicate content. It is also advised to change your IP address when changing the domain name. If a person can’t afford changing his domain then he must not work online from the start.

Besides that, if you got hit by Google, you are lost clients anyway! When someone gets a hit, it can never be easy or smooth. Have you seen a guy got hit by a car and recovers in no time? of course a business will lose clients naturally by changing their domain name but that is surely much easier and better than trying for months to recover from something they are not sure of after they have already lost traffic, rankings and such. Keep in mind though that “recovering” can never be in full fashion.