How to Disavow Links

How to Disavow Links

Backlinks are one of the most crucial elements in developing a powerful website. However, that adds to the general sense of ambiguity that surrounds backlink management. Forget about debating the morality of obtaining backlinks; how about getting rid of them? Should the typical SEO worry about disavowing links?

In contrast to some other areas, Google has been very open about backlink disavowals and their role in your SEO toolkit. Let’s look at the reasons for and procedures for disavowing links.

Why Disavow Links?

Regarding penalties imposed on your web page, link disavowal is the only use case that Google recommends. Whether you are intentionally complicit or not, if you receive a notice from Google concerning “unnatural links,” you are being penalized.

Being a webmaster includes responding to Google penalties when they occur. If you use white hat SEO, that shouldn’t be a problem, but maintaining a clean backlink profile is crucial to your long-term SEO plan.

Semrush provides tools to manage the entire process of disavowing links from beginning to end to make your life a little easier. With Semrush’s Backlinks Audit Tool, you can integrate your Google Analytics and Search Console accounts. You obtain more accurate backlink data in this manner.

What Is a Bad Backlink?

The bulk of natural backlinks are “excellent backlinks”; they symbolize the ideal internet that Google aspires to, where quality material is regularly and unapologetically referred. The majority of them won’t significantly boost traffic to your website, but they are steadily establishing you as a reliable, knowledgeable source.

On the other hand, “bad backlinks” are nearly usually artificial (though there are exceptions). Links that can be purchased in bulk from dubious SEO websites and deliberate backlinking strategies using a secret backlink network are two of the worst offenders (PBN). Here are Google’s “link scheme” policies.

It’s also possible to “organically” get a link from one of those incredibly spammy-looking websites that are nothing but links and product lists. These links can also be removed without risk because they were presumably not added by a human and don’t help your website.

Negative SEO Attack

The subject of a particularly dishonest tactic known as a Negative SEO Attack is bad backlinks. At this point, everybody with even a basic understanding of SEO is aware that buying hundreds or thousands of backlinks will almost surely result in a penalty for your site. Instead, you can use those links to attack your rivals by buying all of them and directing them to their website, making sure they receive a penalty.

A victim of a negative SEO campaign has no other option except to disavow all of the links that specifically targeted their website.

When to Disavow Links?

In case it wasn’t obvious, disavowing backlinks is not something you do randomly. It is a rather severe move that, for better or worse, has a considerable impact on your search ranking.

Generally speaking, you should only remove a link that you are certain is harming you. For a more complete list, see the Google Quality Guidelines.

Be aware that a link from a website with low traffic or domain authority is not necessarily a poor link. Although each link is a vote of confidence in your website that Google considers, it usually won’t do much alone.

What Takes Place When a Backlink is Disavowed?

So what does a link disavow actually accomplish?

It is an instruction to Google to disregard those links pointing to your domain. If the link disavow is effective, it won’t affect your ranking in the search results in any way.

Google expressly states in their instructions that providing the disavow file is a “recommendation” and that they are not required to honor your request for link disavowal.

You can anticipate them to honor the link disavow rather than taking punitive action as they describe it in the same literature as a tool to correct faulty linking practices or undo the job of a subpar SEO you engaged.

Can I reverse a link disavow?

Probably, yes. A disavow file you previously uploaded can undoubtedly be removed, but it’s unclear whether Google keeps a copy of the list or whether they quickly restore the connections and their impact on your ranking. This makes trying to manipulate search rankings by using link disavowal a bad idea.

How to Disavow Links in Google Search Console

Everyone whose website contains a Google Analytics tracking tag also gets access to Google’s Search Console tool, which contains details about the site’s linking structure.

From Search Console’s Link Report page, you may perform a link audit. Simply select “More Sample Links” by clicking the large “Export External Links” icon in the top right corner of the screen. Choose the file type you want to export it as.

When you get to the dialogue box where you may browse your directories and select a file to upload, go to the Google Disavow Tool and click through all of the warning prompts.

Make sure to choose the right property if you have several accounts.

Then click “Open” to add the disavow file you previously prepared to the disavow tool.

Google will stop factoring in the specified domains when evaluating the ranking of your pages in the following few days.

Here are the procedures to use the Google Disavow Tool, briefly summarized:

  • Step 1: Determine the connections you wish to disavow in.
  • Step 2: Make a list of the links you want to remove. Divvy up by domain and/or URL.
  • Step 3: Use the Google Disavow Tool to upload your disavow list as a.txt file.


After learning how to utilize Google’s disavow tool, it’s critical to keep an eye on your backlink profile and disavow just the links you actually need to get rid of. You can enhance your website with the help of this advice!

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