Many years ago I used to disavow and it worked. I remember seeing traffic going up after disavowing crap backlinks.
From my experience this worked up to 3-4 years ago.
My impression is that Googlebot gave up on it. There is just too many websites and so much negative SEO going on that they can’t keep up. But maybe my impression is wrong.
Do you guys disavow still?
I had a few people doing negative seo towards our website with crap backlinks using anchor text such as “nazi” “beast porn” “child p….” and other horrible things. I was disavowing them for a while then I just stopped.
What’s your experience? Especially I’d be interested to hear from people who manage many sites and have mass data.
Google is better at identifying spammy backlinks than it was in the past and since it’s a relatively advanced SEO tactic, not every webmaster is expected to know about it or how to action it. So you’re likely not getting as much benefit from it as you did in the past.
Unless you have a manual penalty for links, there’s no need for it since Google already makes decisions on which links to take into account and which to ignore automatically.
If you want more info on the topic, it’s best to read from Marie Haynes as she is probably the best in the industry when it comes to removing penalties and creating manual disavow files. A few months ago she updated her annual report on disavowing links.
Google has an amazingly bad QA, so… while disavowing doesn’t do much, try to refrain from purging your disavow list. Somehow this event seems to register as “bunch of spammy backlinks *just appeared*, let’s penalize this schmuck”.