NoFollow, Disavowed Links, All Links Treated the Same in Google Webmaster Tools

In a post yesterday, I looked at several websites where I had disavowed links with Google. I was specifically looking at Google Webmaster Tools‘ “links to your site” feature, to see if disavowed links still showed up there.

John Mueller on Disavowed Links

In my post, I showed that even though I had disavowed links to a site several months ago, those links were still showing up in Google Webmaster Tools’ links to your site:

google disavow tool

Those links in that graphic above… have been disavowed, yet they still show up in Google Webmaster Tools as sample links to the site.

I shared yesterday’s post on Google Plus and we now have official word from John Mueller from Google about this:

Disavowed links are generally treated similarly to nofollow links, and we show those in Webmaster Tools as well (since nofollow links can still be useful to bring traffic to your website).

So, links that have the NoFollow attribute are treated just the same as Disavowed Links and “regular” links. They all still show up in Google Webmaster Tools’ links to your site section. The bottom line is Google doesn’t distinguish amongst them, they don’t single them out in any way. They just say that those links exist: and it’s up to us to figure out if the links are NoFollow, Disavowed, or a “regular” link, so to speak.

Bill Hartzer is Globe Runner’s Senior SEO Strategist. Connect with him on Google+ or on Twitter as Bhartzer.