Well isn’t that an interesting question!
This was something that was a concern for me and most likely is for many others doing SEO and building links since Google never really does a full disclosure on anything. At least this question it seems they have answered quite well in my opinion.
First off the question that was being answered in this latest video by Matt Cutts of the Google Web Spam Team is:
“Should webmasters use the disavow tool, even if it is believed that no penalty has been applied? For example. if we believe ‘Negative SEO’ has been attempted, or spammy sites we have contacted have not removed links.”
Matt started off by saying in his video that the disavow tool was mainly created for site owners who might have hired an SEO agency and ended up with bad SEO and need to clean up their link profile.
The Tool of Last Resort
It is a tool of last resort for many after trying to get the links removed by contacting site owners and not succeeding.
For others who monitor their link profiles regularly and find suspicious links to their sites, much like another site owner who I am aware of who has had over 100,000 links built to his site from someone doing a negative SEO campaign on him you can and should use the disavow tool.
If you are a site owner and suspect negative SEO on your site then definitely be proactive and start disavowing the links long before you ever receive a warning letter in your webmaster tools from the spam team.
This is good news for all site owners in general! This at least gives us an opportunity to limit the effects of those who choose to attack our sites with negative SEO.
It is a huge shame that Google has put this onto all of us, and open this opportunity for those who rather spend their time and resources on de-ranking the competition rather then rank their own sites.
The Almost Good News
From watching the rankings of this fellow site owner while they disavow links while the negative seo attack is continuing, the ranking of their site has dropped somewhat but it is not gone. Somedays they rank on page one and others they go to page 2. So my conclusion is if you remain proactive and not reactive there is a good chance that a negative SEO attack is likely to not succeed in the long run.
Therefore, feel free to use the disavow tool if you need to, and don’t wait too long if your site is under any negative SEO attack.
Watch Matt Cutts Video on Should I use the disavow tool even if there’s not a manual action on my site? Below