Is Submitting a Disavow File a Spam Signal? – SEOForLunch Issue #42

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Issue #42
August 8th, 2017

Hey, lunch buddies.  I’m writing this newsletter as I await a clients DNS to fully propagate and the migration of their site kicks off.  Even though I’ve done a lot of these and for much larger websites, I’m always a bit nervous.  Fun stuff!

On a more personal note, I’m super pumped that over the weekend my wife and I booked a Disney Vacation.  I never went to Disney World as a kid but I’m very excited to take my 3 kids.  February can’t come soon enough.

Enough about me, let’s get to the goods!

What You Must Know

Article: Submitting a Disavow file NOT a Spam Signal?

What’s important?
Wondering if submitting a disavow file signals to Google that your site is associated with SPAM?  Garry Illyes of Google confirms this isn’t the case.

Nick’s take:
This is an instance where someone overthinks their strategy.  I’ve also heard people claiming the use of no-follow tags could contribute to spam signals since a small percentage of webmasters are even familiar with the tag. There are a lot of things to second guess in SEO, the disavow file (and no-follow tag) aren’t one of them.

SEO Tips & Advice

Another Twitter question answered by Gary Illyes was in regard to canonicaling or no-indexing identical pages located on several websites (assuming they are owned by same person/company).  Gary suggests using the canonical value.

For those not familiar, Google wrote a post on how to best handle duplicate content across multiple sites.  The solution is the cross-domain canonical tag.

I have a client that shares content across up to 3 domains. The cross-domain canonical tag is honored and we haven’t seen any duplication or ranking issues with the original canonical source.  No-indexing your duplicates limit your SEO value — avoid it at all costs.

Interesting Reads in Your Spare Time

That’s everything for this week folks.  As always, feel free to connect with metweet me or hit reply to email me directly. I respond to all emails personally.


Nick LeRoy
Nick LeRoy
Nick has 10+ years of SEO consulting experience building and executing strategies for clients ranging from multi-billion dollar consumer packaged goods to fashion entities with hundreds of physical store locations. He also writes the weekly SEO newsletter #SEOForLunch that allows you to stay up to date with industry updates in the amount of time it takes you to eat your lunch.

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