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Just suppose you disavowed a link by uploading your disavow file. Even google warns that one should use the tool carefully which is logical, since it can do a lot of harm to ones ranking, it still is possible to upload disavow files again and again. Does anybody know for sure that google will count links again even though they have been disavowed once?

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    My understanding is that once you disavow a link, it stays disavowed regardless of what you do. I do not agree with this as a premise. I feel as though Google should allow a webmaster to more dynamically allow or disavow links so that mistakes can be more easily be corrected. It is possible that something has changed that I am not aware of so I will let someone else answer who may be more up on this.
    – closetnoc
    Jan 19 '15 at 19:49
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    where did you get this info? Pages can change so even if a link on a domain once was harmful, the siteowner can improve the page so that this link is not harmful anymore. it would not be fair to neve count that link again ... but this is just what i guess, no proof
    – Sporty1000
    Jan 19 '15 at 19:52
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    I am pulling this out of my memory of what Google has said before. I cannot find anything quickly on this from Google (either way) but others are saying that you can remove a link from disavow and Google will consider the link again. My Bad!! Sorry. I will research this more later since this seems to be a hot topic these days. I would rather be right than wrong! ;-)
    – closetnoc
    Jan 19 '15 at 20:05
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    no worries, I am not sure myself, hope that anybody knows, thanks for your input!
    – Sporty1000
    Jan 19 '15 at 20:08
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    I agree with @closetnoc - there is no conclusive evidence or proof as of yet to say that undoing a disavowed link actually gets recounted again in the link graph later down the line (even after numerous algorithm refreshes). You may want to read up on Cyrus Sheppard's experiment on this (he is still waiting for any of his backlinks to start passing weight back through to his site years on)... Follow up here.
    – zigojacko
    Jan 20 '15 at 8:33
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...it still is possible to upload disavow files again and again. Does anybody know for sure that google will count links again even though they have been disavowed once?

From the Google Blog post about the new Disavow tool:

Q: I uploaded some good links. How can I undo uploading links by mistake?
A: To modify which links you would like to ignore, download the current file of disavowed links, change it to include only links you would like to ignore, and then re-upload the file. Please allow time for the new file to propagate through our crawling/indexing system, which can take several weeks.

This would seem to suggest that uploading the file again overwrites the previous set of disavow links. But, as stated in the blog post, this can take "several weeks". (Note, however, it can take "multiple weeks" for links to be ignored in the first place, since they "need to recrawl and reindex the URLs you disavowed before your disavowals go into effect".)

However, in the Matt Cutts video from the same blog post he does state (highlighting my own):

6:18 "Well, what if I want to undisavow a link, or reavow it?" And the answer is, "That will take even longer." So I would say, once you disavow a link, make sure that it's a link that you really want to disavow, that you don't want to have it count anymore, because it will take a lot longer, and we might not give it the same weight if we start to allow it to be reavowed.

Note that "even longer" and "a lot longer", I take to mean as "a lot longer [than multiple weeks]".

That sounds semi-permanent to me. The warnings are justified - don't expect to be able to reverse the process.

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  • Outside of submitting another file, there is no way to say never mind (think Gilda Radner of SNL fame and her character Roseanne Roseannadanna) and maybe that is where I got the notion. I have been scratching my head all afternoon on that one. Thanks w3d! I think you gave me the logic behind my confusion. Now that is a scary thought. "Mrs. w3d, I think it's terminal."
    – closetnoc
    Jan 20 '15 at 1:39
  • However, the Matt Cutts video on the same blog post does suggest that disavowing a link is semi-permanent. I've updated my answer.
    – MrWhite
    Jan 20 '15 at 11:48
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I think it's more likely Google ignores disavows unless they also think the link is spam. If you had no unnatural links to begin with, it would have no effect. Cyrus disavowed ALL links to his blog, yet it did not change rankings. Traffic only changed after an algorithm update, which would have lowered traffic anyway.

traffic graph

I believe Google is trying to make an educated guess about which links to disavow. If it is a good link, it ignores your request to prevent you from shooting yourself in the foot. Google's goal is to disincentivize spam. Since negative SEO is possible, Google aims to automatically determine whether to count a link or not. The disavow tool was probably added as a stopgap measure or at the request of a very important client when negative SEO was buzzing. They probably don't value its input as much.

Moz has a guide on the disavow tool.

You'll still need to wait for Google to recrawl all of the links on your disavow file though. John Mueller from Google has said that it can take up to a year for all of your links to get recrawled. However, in my experiments, the longest a link took to be disavowed was three months. Most links were disavowed within a month.

For avowing...

However, Matt Cutts commented earlier in the year that it takes much longer to reavow a link than to disavow it. You would think that the next time it was crawled, Google would remove the invisible "nofollow", however, there is some type of lag time built in before the link starts to count again. The purpose of this is to make it harder for spammers to find ways to cheat the system.

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If YOU disavowed that link Google wont be counting this link to YOUR site anymore, no need to disavow it 100 times. If you say:" This link is bad, I wanna get rid of it", why would you think about that link again?

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  • Just imagine a website owner made a relaunch and the link suddenly is not harmful anymore or someone has not been that careful in submitting a disavow file out of fear of bad links ... but w3d found the evidence :-)
    – Sporty1000
    Jan 20 '15 at 7:43

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