What is a link disavow tool? Things you need to know to prevent spam links



  • “I want to know how to disavow a link”

    “I want to know how to use the disavow link tool”

    If you are reading this article, you probably have similar questions as well.

    Backlinks are an important element in SEO, but some of them can also be spam links.

    That’s why you need to use link disavow tools to disavow spam links.

    However, you won’t be able to disavow links unless you know which links to disavow and how to use link disavow tools.

    In this article, we will introduce the benefits and methods of disavowing links.

    What is a link disavow tool?

    A link disavow tool is a tool that disavows (invalidates) backlinks on your own site.

    This is an official tool released by Google, and anyone who has registered their website with Google Search Console can use it for free.
    Link disavow tool

    The purpose of disavowing links is to negate the effectiveness of spam or low-quality links to your site.

    Google has introduced an algorithm called PageRank that evaluates websites based on backlinks.

    Therefore, spam links and low-quality links can lower your website’s reputation.

    It is necessary to disavow links in order to avoid lowering your website’s reputation.

    However, disavowing backlinks should only be done as a last resort, and Google has made it clear that most sites do not need to use it.
    reference: Disavow links to your site – Search Console Help

    If you see spam links or low-quality backlinks, ask the website operator who linked to you to remove the link before using the link disavow tool.

    If you contact them and they don’t reply or refuse to remove the link, use the link disavow tool.

    Benefits of disavowing links

    As mentioned above, the benefit of disavowing links is that it improves the evaluation of the website.

    Backlinks posted on your website may receive negative reviews from search engines.

    By disavowing a link, you can override its negative rating and give it a proper rating.

    If you do not disavow links, spam links and low-quality backlinks will accumulate, which will not only lower your website’s reputation but also potentially result in penalties.

    Spam or low-quality links can be perceived as intentional attempts to manipulate rankings, and can result in penalties.

    Disavowing links is done to prevent such risks and obtain appropriate evaluation.

    Steps to disavow a link using the link disavow tool

    Next, we will introduce the steps to disavow a link using the link disavow tool.

    There are three main steps.

    Steps to disavow a link

    1. Determine whether a link needs to be disavowed
    2. Create a list of links to disavow
    3. Upload a list of links to a link disavow tool

    I will explain each.

    step 1. Determine whether a link needs to be disavowed

    First you have to decide which links to disavow.

    Google announces the following links that should be disavowed:

    In most cases, Google can evaluate which links are trustworthy without you providing more information. Therefore, most sites do not need to use this tool.

    You should disavow a backlink only if:

    1.Your site has many spammy, artificial, or low-quality links.


    2.If such a link has caused or may require you to take manual action in the future on your site.

    Quote source: Disavow links to your site – Search Console Help

    Specifically, the following links are likely to be worthy of disavowal:

    Links likely to be worth disavowing

    • Spam links
    • Paid link
    • Massive links from specific websites
    • Links with too many keywords
    • Links from unrelated websites
    • Links from websites intended for excessive mutual linking

    First, check Google Search Console to see if there are any backlinks from such websites.

    Google Search Console has a link report that allows you to download a list of linked web pages.

    1. Open the link report in Google Search Console.
    2. Click “Other sample links” in “Export external links” at the top right of the screen to download the list of external links (select any file format).

    First, let’s take a look at this data and see if there are any links that should be disavowed.

    Step 2. Create a list of links to disavow

    Once you’ve decided which links to disavow, it’s time to create a list.

    The link disavow tool allows you to register the links you want to disavow in bulk, so you need to list the links in a text file.

    The file formats specified by Google are as follows.

    Deny list file format:

    • Specify one URL or domain per line to disavow. You cannot disavow an entire subpath (such as example.com/en/).
    • To disable a domain (or subdomain), prefix it with “domain:”. Example: domain:example.com
    • The file must be a UTF-8 or 7-bit ASCII encoded text file.
    • The file name must end with .txt.
    • The maximum URL length is 2,048 characters.
    • Maximum file size is 100,000 lines (including blank lines and comment lines) and 2 MB.
    • You can add comments by starting the line with #. Lines starting with # are ignored.

      Quote source:Disavow links to your site – Search Console Help

    According to the method specified by Google, it is as follows.

    Example of link you want to disavow


    #Reject each domain


    #What to disavow for each web page


    In this way, the link disavow tool allows you to choose whether to disavow links by domain or by web page.

    If you want to disavow an entire domain, add “domain:” at the beginning of the sentence and list the domain.

    If you add # at the beginning of a sentence, that part will not be read by the link disavow tool, so use it as a memo.

    As in the example above, if you separate what to disavow by domain and what to disavow by web page, it will be easier to organize and reduce the risk of accidentally disavowing the wrong link.

    Once you have finished scrutinizing the links you want to disavow, save them as UTF-8.

    Step 3. Upload a list of links to the link disavow tool

    Once the text file is saved,Let’s upload it to Link disavow tool.

    1. First, access the link disavow tool.
    2. Click “Select property” to display the website’s domains registered in Google Search Console.
    3. Select the domain you want to take measures against (the domain that receives backlinks from the link destination you want to disavow).
    4. Click “Upload Disclaimer List”.
    5. A file selection screen will be displayed, so upload a file containing the links to be disavowed.

    The request for disavowing the link is now complete.

    When using the disavow link tool, be careful not to disavow the wrong link.

    If you accidentally disavow valid backlinks, your SEO rankings may suffer.

    If you accidentally upload a link to disavow, please re-upload the correct list.

    Uploading again will overwrite the disavowed link.

    How long does it take for a disavowed link to take effect?

    It has not been clearly announced how long it will take to take effect after applying for link disavowal using the link disavow tool.

    At the Google SEO office-hours held in October 2021, Google’s John Mueller said about the period from applying for link disavowal using the link disavowal tool until it becomes effective, saying, “It will be effective in 3 to 6 months. I think there will be.”
    reference: English Google SEO office-hours from October 29, 2021

    For this reason, it is unlikely that a request to disavow a link will have any effect in a short period of time.

    If you want to immediately disavow a link, in addition to using the link disavow tool, it is a good idea to ask the operator of the website that has the link you want to disavow, asking them to “please remove the link.” Probably.

    In any case, it takes a certain amount of time to disavow a link using a link disavow tool, so we recommend that you regularly manage and examine your backlinks.

    [Summary] Utilize link disavowal tools for appropriate evaluation

    The disavow link tool is a tool you can use when you want to disable spam links or low-quality links.

    However, the link disavow tool is a tool to be used as a last resort when there is nothing you can do, such as when the link cannot be removed or the source of the link cannot be contacted.

    Links are an important evaluation target in SEO, so you need to use them to get proper evaluation from links.

    When using the link disavow tool, please refer to the method introduced in this article.

    We provide SEO consulting and agency services, so if you have any trouble with SEO, please feel free to contact us.