Google’s John Mueller said in a hangout video that it was possible to recover from a Penguin penalty without removing bad links. Instead of removing bad backlinks, it might be better to build good backlinks:
“We look at it on an aggregated level across everything that we have from your website. And if we see that things are picking up and things are going in the right direction, then that’s something our algorithms will be able to take into account. So in the hypothetical situation of someone who doesn’t know about any of this and they realized they did something wrong in the past and they’re working to improve that in the future, then that’s something that our algorithms will pick up on and will be able to use as well.
Still, if you’re in that situation, it wouldn’t be that I’d say you should ignore the disavow tool and just focus on moving forward in a good way, but instead really trying to clean up those old issues as well. And it’s not something where we’d say that using the disavow tool is a sign that you’re a knowledgeable SEO and that you should know better about these links.
It’s essentially a technical thing on our side, where we don’t take those links into account anymore. It doesn’t count negatively for your website if you use a disavow tool. It’s not something you should be ashamed of using. If you know about this tool, if you know about problematic links to your site, then I just recommend cleaning that up. […]
I wouldn’t say that you have to have more than 50% [good links] and then the algorithm will disappear for your website. Let’s say there are lots of shades of gray involved there, where the algorithm could say, well, this is looked really bad in the beginning. They worked a lot to kind of improve things overall. Things were improving significantly across the web with lots of good recommendations for this site. So it’s kind of headed in the right direction. So it wouldn’t be that it disappears completely, but maybe it’ll kind of step-by-step improve.”
How to get better backlinks and how to remove bad backlinks
The link tools in SEOprofiler help you to get better backlinks and they also help you to remove bad backlinks. If you want to, the link disinfection tool can also create a disavow links file for you. If you haven’t done it yet, try SEOprofiler now: