In this article, I will show you how to use the Google disavow tool efficiently to get rid of bad backlinks.

It is been a while since I wrote a blog post in my SEO category. In the last few weeks, I was extensively researching the Google link disavow tool. This bad link removal tool tells Google’s algorithm not to consider a few links when calculating search rankings. Especially those links which are low in scores and can potentially harm your rankings in the search engines. All you need to do is create a disavow file with all the links which you do not want Google to consider and submit it to the disavow tools in search console.

Before we even begin if you are new to link building read my article on “8 effective ways to create backlinks”.

Link penalties are still happening. Yes, this is true. A bad domain authority website purposely linking to your website will do damage.

Why and when should I use the Google link disavow tool?

Let me answer these two questions one by one. The meaning of disavowing a link is telling a search engine that their algorithms should not consider ranking of a particular link while calculating the SEO ranking for your website.

Why?

However, we have always believed that a link pointing to your website is always good. Isn’t it? Well not always. Webmasters have always exploited this link building feature to set up backlinks from spammy websites for their clients.

We know that a bad quality link hampers the ranking of your website and a good quality link will always increase your website score.

Check out this article on how to effectively build backlinks for your website.

Now we know that poor links will affect our site ranking. So should disavow all the links pointing to our website? No this tools has to be used very cautiously. Just do go on a link disavowing spree.

In-fact they have a warning up front for you.

Warning from Google search console for webmasters os using this link removal tool
Warning from Google

So use it with caution and be careful as a mistake can hamper the ranking of your website.

When?

So I answered why to let me explain as when you need to use this advance feature.

If you see the links pointing towards your website from either of the below-mentioned websites categories then its time for you to report these links.

  • Websites which are created only for link promotions and sharing
  • Sites which are considered as spam in nature
  • A lot of people try to embed links in comments make sure that you use a comment filtration plugin for WordPress like Akismet.
  • Backlinks coming from non-targetted countries. E.g. my website is in English and I got a few backlinks from Russian websites. It makes no sense.

So if you see links coming from the above categories of websites, its time for you to remove backlinks with the Google link removal tools.

Google link disavow tool helps you to remove backlinks which are affecting your SEO score, however, You should first try to get these removed by speaking to the link owner first.

I will talk about this in the next section. So this was the answer to when you should use the link removal tool

How to check the links to my site?

There are a lot of tools available but I use MOZ. I did not use the paid version at the start, but now I have their paid version and it rocks.

My advice would be to start by creating a free account and check the backlinks to your website on MOZ. Once you need more extensive analysis you can check their pricing plans.

Now I checked the backlink profile and found few links pointing to my site which had no relevance to what I was blogging about.

An unsecured website in a difference language is a red alert

Another example of a Russian language website linking back to my website.

A Russian language website pointing back to my website.
You need to remove backlinks like these to jump start your SEO rankings

So Moz gave me all the links which were pointed towards my site. I started copying all these spammy links in a note pad and saved this note pad file.

I named this file a disavow file. This file will be submitted to the backlink removal tool in the search console.

Disavow file has to be a note pad file with all the links that you want to disavow.

I had about 32 bad links pointing to my website. This was a huge red flag and I wanted to disavow all of them. So I sent emails to all the webmasters requesting them to remove the link of place a no-follow link attribute.

I did get response from four sites. However, after waiting for 4 weeks now I was getting impatient. So I decided to disavow all the backlinks.

Before using the link disavow tool

I sent emails to a lot of people who were the owners of the website links. These links were affecting my ranking and I wanted to get rid of them quickly.

There are different ways by which you can find the contact details of the website owners. Check their website, it should have a contact us page.

If not you can use WHOIS domain finder tool. This tool will give you all the information of the domain owner including their contact details.

Details of my website on WHOIS domain finder

Just be polite in your approach and I can bet that 90% of the owners will honor your request.

So you identified the bad backlinks, contacted the owners to remove them but still a few are left. SO it is time to disavow them with the help of disavow tool.

Using Google Link Disavow Tool

I hope you have created the notepad that has all the bad links pointing to your website. Keep it handy. As you need to submit this to bad link removal tool.

Using the tool is so simple thanks to Google.

Open the Google links disavow tool by clicking this link. https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/disavow-links-main

You should see a scree like the screen shot below.

Screen where you start the disavowing procedure.
First step to disavowing links

Now once you click on DISAVOW LINKS you will see a warning from Google.

Warning from Google.
Warning from Google before you start disavowing links

Now when you click the Disavow Links again you will get a pop again telling you that this is an advance feature. Also, you will get the option to upload your .txt file.

Final links for disavowing links in the tool.
Next screen in the link disavowing procedure

So you upload the notepad file and click on submit. You will get a small notification in the same window if your submission is successful or not.

After I submitted the .txt file I got the below mentioned notification.

Notification after successful submissions of bad links.
Notification after successful submissions of bad links.

There you go. It’s all done now. You should see the change in the rankings and traffic in about few days.

Just make sure that you make this disavow file with utmost caution. Double check all the links before submissions.

So that was all about the Google Links disavow tool folks, if you have any questions please leave a comments below and I will answer you back.

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