What Is Disavow Links? Steps To Disavow Links 2023

What is Disavow Links?

What do you mean by disavow tool in terms of SEO, and why is it essential for your website?

In today’s dynamic world of SEO, understanding all the tools and techniques is crucial for your website’s success. One such tool that often creates a buzz in the SEO realm is the Disavow Tool. But what is a disavow tool? And more importantly, what are disavowed links? Let’s unravel these terms in this informative piece.

What Is A Disavow Tool?

The Disavow tool is a Google-provided utility that allows website owners to inform Google about the backlinks they don’t want to consider for their SEO rankings. You’re telling Google not to count these disavowed backlinks when assessing your site’s ranking.

What Are Disavow Links?

Disavow links, also known as disavow backlinks, are the links that a website owner has instructed Google to ignore. These could be links from spammy, low-quality sites or sites that might harm your SEO rankings due to their shady reputation.

What Is A Disavow ToolWhat Is A Disavow File?

A disavow file is a simple text file that lists the URLs or domains you wish to reject. It’s essential to format this disavow file correctly for Google to recognize and apply your disavow requests.

How To Use The Disavow Tool?

Using the disavow tool is straightforward. First, you must create a disavow file containing all the URLs or domains you wish to reject. Then, you upload this disavow file to Google’s Disavow Links Tool. Disavowing should be a last resort, as incorrect use can harm your website’s SEO performance. Always try to remove spammy links manually before considering the disavow links tool.

When To Disavow Links?

When you notice a significant drop in your site’s SEO rankings, consider using the disavow tool and identify the cause as low-quality or spammy backlinks. If you cannot remove these links manually, the disavow links tool can be your savior.

How To Identify A Spammy Link And Disavow Them?

Identifying a spammy link involves a few steps:

  • Relevance: If the link comes from a website that has nothing to do with your website’s topic or industry, it could be spam.
  • Website Quality: If the website linking to you is filled with low-quality content, pop-up ads, or seems sketchy, it’s likely a spammy link.
  • Anchor Text: It could be spam if the link uses irrelevant or overly optimized anchor text. Good links usually have natural, relevant anchor text.
  • Link Placement: If the link is hidden or placed in an odd location on the page, it’s likely spam.
  • Link Type: Site-wide links, like those in footers or sidebars, can often be spam, especially if they appear on every website page.
  • Multiple Links: A site sending you many links could be a sign of spam.
  • TLDs (Top Level Domains): Some TLDs (.info, .club, .top, etc.) have been heavily used by spammers, so they might be more likely to host spammy links.

Steps To Disavow Links

Once you’ve identified spammy links pointing to your site, you can disavow them using Google’s Disavow Tool. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Create a List of Links to Disavow: Document all the spammy links you’ve identified. Google requires these to be formatted as one URL per line in a .txt file. If you want to disavow an entire domain, add “domain:” before the URL, like “domain:spammysite.com.”
  2. Go to the Google Disavow Tool:  You can find the Disavow Tool in the Google Search Console. You’ll need to sign in with your Google account.
  3. Select Your Website: Select the correct one if you have multiple websites in your Google Search Console account.
  4. Upload Your Disavow File: Click “Disavow Links”, then “Choose File.” Select the .txt file you created with your list of links to disavow.
  5. Submit the File: After you’ve uploaded the file, click “Submit.” Google will then begin the process of disavowing the submitted links.

Disclaimers Before Using A Disavow Tool

Using the Disavow Tool should be your last resort. Google’s algorithms are generally good at identifying and ignoring spammy links. If you’re not careful, you could accidentally disavow valuable links, harming your site’s performance in Google’s search results.

Additionally, the disavow process takes time. Google needs a week, sometimes a month, to process your request and take effect. If many spammy links point to your site, you may need to wait a while to see any improvement in your site’s performance or rankings.


Understanding and correctly using the disavow tool can significantly improve your website’s SEO health. Remember, knowing how to disavow spammy links is a skill, but knowing when to do it is an art. As the digital landscape evolves, it’s essential to keep updating your SEO strategies and stay abreast of the latest trends.

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Our team of experts is well-versed in handling SEO aspects like disavowing links and ensuring your website stays in the good books of Google. Whether you’re struggling with a disavow file or need assistance with your overall SEO strategy, we’re here to help.

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Author avatar
Sonam Badia