Remove Spam Backlinks using Google Disavow links Tool

Google Disavow backlink tool is one of the best tool provided by google to clean up the bad backlinks. We could now easily communicate Google to remove spam backlinks using Google Disavow links Tool.We all know that if we get more backlinks linking to your site then higher will be the ranking of the site. What if there are huge irrelevant ant spammy sites linking to your site? What if there are adult sites or gambling sites linking to you or worse then that could be a Russian or Ukraine spam sites pointing to your site.

In 2012, Google came up with Penguin update with algorithm changes followed by Panda update which was a nightmare for a lot of websites. All of a sudden people faced their search engine ranking went down drastically. Even the largest e-commerce website eBay was a victim of Panda update.

What is Google’s Disavow Links tool?

Most of the people tried a trick of spamming the web by creating backlinks using comments, paid links, guest blogging, paid articles etc. Google started noticing the SPAM backlinks and started punishing those websites who had irrelevant or low-quality links.

The SPAM links hurt your website ranking severely and hence Google came up with Disavow tool where you could tell Google not to count any of the backlinks from specific domains. All you need to do is get the list of backlinks from webmasters and find the SPAM links in it. Later create a .txt file and include all the irrelevant links which you think is spam or low-quality links and upload it to the tool.

Google Disavow Warning Message

In other words,  you can ask Google not to take certain links into account when assessing your site.

Google does provide you with a fair warning message while using the Disavow tool.

This is an advanced feature and should only be used with caution. If used incorrectly, this feature can potentially harm your site’s performance in Google’s search results. We recommend that you disavow backlinks only if you believe you have a considerable number of spammy, artificial, or low-quality links pointing to your site, and if you are confident that the links are causing issues for you. In most cases, Google can assess which links to trust without additional guidance, so most normal or typical sites will not need to use this tool

The above warning message indicates that you should make some effort manual before using this tool which indicates the effort should be made from you as well as from the tool. Check out the below Matt Cutts video on this for more details.

Using Google’s Disavow Links Tool

Use this tool only if your site is affected by SPAM links and the ranking has gone down drastically. Else it is no recommended to use.

Step 1: Login to you Google webmasters account and check the total no of backlinks pointing to your website in the “Links to your Site” section.

Remove Spam Backlinks using Google Disavow links Tool

You could download the complete backlinks into CSV file or Google document and analyze it later.

To get the complete list of backlinks you could also use 3rd party backlink tools such as Aref’s, SEMRush, MajesticSEO tools to get more details. It does provide you details like when the link is created is the link still active or deleted and the SPAM score of the website etc.

You could also use Moz tool to verify the spam score of the backlinks. Check out Moz tool about Domain authority and Spam Links article for details

Step 2: Create a text file and enter the list of low-quality links which you have analyzed. Enter the URL’s one per line which you wish to Disavow. If you would like to Disavow the entire domain then just enter the domain name instead of the URL. For Eg: (example.com) will disavow all the links from example.com domain.

Step 3: Once you have created the text file the visit Google Disavow Link tool page and click on the Disavow link button as shown in the below screenshot.Google Disavow Link

Disavow Text File Guidelines

  • Only .txt file format is approved
  • Encoding of the text file should be in in UTF-8 or 7-bit ASCII
  • Each line should contain one single link or a single domain
  • If you would like to remove the domain then the syntax you should follow should be domain:example.com
  • You could record the manual efforts you have put on to remove the low-quality links using the comments. Start the comment description with # and write the details about it.
Disavow Sample Text File

Sample Disavow Text File

Step 4: Once you click the button you will get a popup window to upload the text file you created. Upload the file and submit it to Google Disavow tool to complete the process.

You have now successfully reported all the spam links to your site to Google and google will take some time (1-2 weeks)to process your request and gradually your site rankings will go up.

Adding additional Links to Disavow Link tool

If you feel like you have left out any of the low-quality links then visit the Google Disavow Link tool page and download the text file. Modify and re-upload the text file back to tool and Google will process the new data in 1-2 weeks time.

When to use Google Disavow Tool?

You should not use Disavow tool every time you find a spam link or low-quality links. You need to use it only if it is necessary and below are some good reasons which you should use Google Disavow tool.

  1. If you get a manual webspam action in the Google webmaster tool  then you should use the disavow tool. Manual penalties are the main reason why google has come up with a Disavow tool in the first place.
  2. If your sites received an algorithmic penalty and the search engine ranking position(SERPs) drops drastically then you could use this tool.
  3. If you see a lot of low-quality backlinks to your site which you have not created it then it’s better to use Disavow tool to get away from manual penalty.

Matt Cutts Video on Disavow links

Should I use the disavow tool even if there’s not a manual action on my site?

Check out Matt Cutt video on disavowing tool whether to use it if you have not received any manual action on your site.

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