Disavow

Joran Hofman
March 6, 2021

What Is Disavow?

Disavow is a Google Search Console tool for disavowing publishers' links to remove spam and low-quality backlinks that link to their website. When a link is disavowed, Google is informed that a third party has created it and is not relevant to the website.

Why Disavow Links?

Links are the essence of the Internet since its creation. They allow the user to move from one place to another with ease and interact with the different websites they visit. Over time, these were increased in an accelerated way and began to be used to manipulate search results. This is why search engines like Google have created algorithms to maintain the quality of the SERPs.

A website has links, but there may be links not generated by the owner or toxic links, either because they belong to an untrustworthy site or because someone wants the website to not be seen or relevant.

To avoid this type of link, Google creates the Disavow tool; its use is recommended only in really necessary cases, such as when risky links (spam or low quality) can damage a website, causing it to be penalized by Google.

How To Disavow Backlinks?

To disavow links using the Google Search Console tool, you can do the following:

First of all, a link audit should be performed from the Search Console Link Report page. To do this, click the large "Export External Links" button at the top right of the screen and select "More Sample Links".

When determining which links are to be disavowed, they are listed using a text file (* .txt) and sent to the tool mentioned above.

This file must be presented as follows:

  • Each entry must be on a different line
  • Each entry must start with "domain:" (without quotes)
  • The file name is not important.

If this is the case and to avoid listing each URL to reject, the entire domain can be blacklisted.

Once the file is uploaded, Google will take approximately 24 hours to not take into account the listed domains in the classification of its pages.

It is important to mention that spam or poor quality backlinks can have a negative effect on the ability to rank a website in the long term, so it is recommended to audit them from time to time and, to track the backlinks of a web page, you can use the tool that SEMrush makes available.

SEMrush

What Kind Of Backlinks Should I Reject?

It is recommended that you disavow or reject backlinks with the following characteristics:

Backlinks from websites that have a spam score greater than 5 (based on a scale of 0 to 17, with 0 being the lowest score).

Backlinks with anchor texts that are not related and/or are from another country are in foreign languages and those with a low domain authority score.

Hidden backlinks, it is recommended to reject backlinks of this type. They usually have blank anchor text or many spaces.

Backlinks of pages with explicit sexual content, Backlinks of pages that only contain links, Image directory backlinks, Spam backlinks in comments.

Explore more glossaries