Your Start-to-Finish Guide to Using Google’s Disavow Tool

Tereza

If you are an SEO, you should be aware that backlinks are Google’s one of the main ranking factors. They are a heavy indicator of a quality site.

It is an open secret that great backlinks push a site rank higher, bad backlinks can cause problems.

You have only limited control over which links point to your site.

Google works very hard to make sure that actions on third-party sites do not negatively affect a website. In some circumstances, incoming links can affect Google’s opinion of a page or site. For example, you or a search engine optimizer (SEO) you’ve hired may have built bad links to your site via paid links or other link schemes that violate Google’s quality guidelines. First and foremost, Google recommends that you remove as many spammy or low-quality links from the web as possible.

If you’ve done as much work as you can to remove spammy or low-quality links from the web, and are unable to make further progress on getting the links taken down, you can disavow the remaining links. In other words, you can ask Google not to take certain links into account when assessing your site.

This is a very easy process, but the scariest part of it is this:

Disavow spammy links

How to disavow backlinks?

This two-step process is very simple.

First, you’ll need to download a list of links to your site. Next, you’ll create a file containing only the links you want to disavow (remove) and upload this to Google.

Download links to your site!

  1. Select the website on the Search Console.
  2. On the Dashboard, click Search Traffic, and click Links to Your Site.
  3. Under Who links the most, click More.
  4. Click download more sample links.

NOTE: When analyzing the links to your site in Search Console, always consider the www and non-www version of your domain as for Google they are completely different sites.

Now that you have a downloaded file with all the backlinks to your site, create a text file(.txt) containing only the links that you want to disavow-one line per line. If you want Google to ignore all links from the entire domain (likeexample.com), add the line “domain:example.com+

By the way, your text file can include some additional information about the excluded links and in this case, each line should begin with the “#” character.

Learn what’s new in Google: the recap of the most important stories for the past 40-days or so.

NOTE: Don’t upload the entire list of your site’s backlinks: the text file should include only the links you want Google to ignore.

Example
Here’s a sample of a valid file:

# example.com removed most links, but missed these
http://spam.example.com/stuff/comments.html
http://spam.example.com/stuff/paid-links.html
# Contacted owner of shadyseo.com on 7/1/2012 to
# ask for link removal but got no response
Domain:shadyseo.com

If you want Google to ignore all links from an entire domain (like example.com), add the line domain:example.com.

Also, learn How to Remove Your Domain from Google Search Permanently.

Upload a list of links to disavow

Go to the disavow links tool page.
Select your website.
Click Disavow links.
Click Choose file.

Uploading a new file will replace all previously uploaded ones.

NOTE: It may take some time for Google to crawl the information you’ve uploaded. The information you have uploaded will be inserted into Google’s index as Google re-crawls the web and reprocesses the pages that it sees, which can take a number of weeks. These links will continue to be shown in the Search Console inbound links section.

Do you have lots of spammy links and still unable to remove them? Reach out to us, we will be happy to listen to your story.

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