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Google gives a warning on its disavow links tool, that says:

This is an advanced feature and should only be used with caution. If used incorrectly, this feature can potentially harm your site's performance in Google's search results. We recommend that you only disavow backlinks if you believe that there are a considerable number of spammy, artificial, or low-quality links pointing to your site, and if you are confident that the links are causing issues for you.

What exactly is the risk of using this? If I have a bunch of spammy links that a competitor built, would there be any potential harm of disavowing them?

EDIT: In my particular case, my main site has been delisted from Google's search results, and at approximately the same time, I noticed that I've started getting a lot of spammy links to my site. No warning has been issued by Google in webmaster tools, but I want to disavow the spammy links anyway.

  • this seems illogical to me. An update of a disavow file can contain more or less links, why would google not consider a domain that mistakenly has been disavowed? I do not see any evidence anywhere that google does not count links in the future once it has been in an disavow file ... – Sporty1000 Jan 19 '15 at 19:38
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You could potentially remove links that have added weight to your SERP rankings. If you remove the wrong links, the content that those links were pointing towards could drop in the search rankings.

If I have a bunch of spammy links that a competitor built, would there be any potential harm of disavowing them?

If you know for sure that that a competitor pointed spammy links towards your website (negative SEO), then go right ahead.

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When you use disavow tool for removal of unnatural link. But first, you know about actual effect of disavow tool. This tool help to Google about your back link consideration. Means when you use disavow tool then Google don't consider your back link as a vote. I want to say that suppose you remove some link with the help of disavow tool then Google never consider any back link from that particular domains in future. So if you make any back link from those domain( remove domains with the help of disavow tool) then Google never provide you weight age of back link. So beware about use of disavow tool.

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