If you remove a URL from a disavow file it could take some time before you see actual results in the search results. I asked John Mueller and Gary Illyes from Google about removing a URL from your disavow file, and whether or not we need to wait until the URL is crawled again.
“Hey @JohnMu @methode if you remove a URL from disavow file, do you have to wait til URL is crawled/cached again?”
In other words, if you disavowed a link to your site–but later remove that link from the disavow file, how long will it take for Google to recognize that you’ve removed that link from your disavow file? When you disavow a URL, or tell Google to ignore a certain link to your site, we know that once the URL has been crawled and cached by Google, Google gives you “credit” for disavowing that URL.
But what if you were to disavow a URL and then remove it? What would happen then, and how long would it take to see any results from removing the URL from your disavow?
The final answer seems to be “All indexing changes take an indeterminate amount of time, so I wouldn’t worry about the timing. Do the right thing, let it settle.” according to John Mueller from Google.
One of the responses, though, was from Gary, who implied that you’d need to only wait until your page was recrawled and re-cached in order for it to take effect.
You can read the entire thread on Twitter or see it below:
— Bill Hartzer (@bhartzer) April 27, 2017
Here is my personal experience with recently removing a URL from a disavow:
I reviewed a client’s disavow file recently, and they had a lot of URLs in there that they were disavowing. The previous disavow file was uploaded in January 2017, and they hadn’t seen a whole lot of lift from the last disavow file. So, there were URLs in there that needed to be removed because I felt that they just weren’t bad links–they were questionable, but not link spam that the site had created intentionally. So, I removed a LOT of URLs. In other words, I removed a URL from a disavow file. Again, LOT of URLs, hundreds.
Five days after the disavow file was uploaded, we’re seeing a 2 percent lift in referrals from Google organic search. However, it appears that this is better quality traffic–the leads are seeing a 12.5 percent lift since the updated disavow file was uploaded.