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Google’s Disavow Tool: what is that and how to use it?

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Google’s Disavow Tool: what is that and how to use it?
Category SEO

Today, Google’s Disavow tool has become an important part of any link building strategy and should be used by any serious business owner or blogger that wants to build their website’s authority on the internet. What exactly is the Disavow Tool? How does it work? Can it be used against you? Read on to find out all about Google’s tool and how you can use it to your advantage in your own marketing strategy.


Have you noticed a sudden drop in traffic on your website and you suspect it is the result of unnatural links pointing to your website? An unnatural link is any link from a domain that Google has determined may be manipulative or misleading. The most common type of unnatural links are paid links, but they can also include links from spammy sites or forum posts. Unnatural links will hurt your site’s ranking in Google search results. However, they can be remedied.

The purpose of the Disavow Tool

Link building strategy

Disavow is part of the Google Search Console that allows websites to lower the value of an inbound link, helping to prevent link-based penalties. Using Disavow is an important part of any backlink strategy. A link waiver basically tells search engines that you don’t want them to consider specific links when indexing your site. This allows you to cut yourself off from low-value websites that use Black Hat SEO.

Warning: Remember, however, that disavow action is a strong suggestion, not an order.

Who and when?

Disavow Links Tool requires experience from the webmaster, and people who only know the basics of SEO should not use it, because they may inadvertently remove valuable links and the operation will not bring the expected results or even damage the page’s rank.

It is worth using the tool for reporting unwanted links only when you receive a notification about unnatural links (i.e. Google imposed a penalty on the page in the form of a manual filter, but if it is an algorithmic filter, eliminating harmful links does not guarantee the site will return to its position. before imposing a penalty).

How to choose links to Disavow Tool?

Choosing the links that you want to disavow is largely a manual process. You can start by looking at your competitors’ links, which you can find through tools like Ahrefs or Majestic SEO. They will show you the domains linking to your competitor, as well as their PageRank and Trust Flow. The more trust they have with Google, the more powerful they are in influencing rank positions. From there, you can use this information to choose which links you want to get rid of.

Risks related to Disavow Tool

The disavow tool does not guarantee that you’ll see a drop in your link profile. If Google wants to penalize you for spammy links, they can do so without the use of this tool. The risk of using it is that if you disavow all the links on your site, you may be setting yourself up for another penalty.

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Step 1: Decide if it is necessary.

Google usually does not need help determining which links are trusted, so it is not necessary to use this tool for most sites. To use the tool, you must meet two conditions: you must have a lot of spam links in your resource and you have been fined by a search engine.

Step 2: Create a list of links you want to disavow.

Prepare a text file listing the sites or domains you want to relinquish and submit it to Google. There should be one URL or domain per line that you want to relinquish. To relinquish a domain (or subdomain), add “domain:” to it. The file must be a text file in UTF-8 encoding or it must be in 7-bit ASCII code. The file name must end with .txt. The maximum file size is 100,000. lines and 2 MB.

Step 3: Submit the list.

You may submit one disclaimer list for each service. Sending a new list for a service will replace the existing list. Opt-out links will still appear in the report. To send a list of websites or domains that you want to give up, go to the dedicated Google page, select a service from the list, upload a file.

Step 4: Disavowing all links.

If you want to remove all of the service-specific disclaimer data, follow these steps. If you want to replace the old list with the new one, you don’t have to do them. Just submit a new list. Use the same page and click “Cancel Ignored Links”. The list of ignored links for the selected service will be removed. Your list may not be included in the index for a few weeks, the next time the web is indexed and the displayed pages are processed.


Link building is the process of acquiring links from other sites that point back to your site. In doing so, you’re creating visibility for your website in search engine results pages. Link building is a vital SEO strategy because it helps search engines categorize your site and rank it higher than others. However, you need high-quality links – that is the key.

The disavow tool can be a powerful weapon in your arsenal when it comes to dealing with link spam and other harmful links. Just be mindful that you should only use the tool when absolutely necessary, as it is best used as a last resort. If you need help understanding how to use this tool, contact an SEO agency for assistance.

Aleksandra Pietrzak
Curator at the National Museum in Poznań, graduate of Art History at the Jagiellonian University and Contemporary Art at the Pedagogical University of Krakow, curator of exhibitions and author of scientific and popular texts. A lover of contemporary art, literature and travel.
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