Many webmasters complained that they were unable to remove all SPAM links from third party websites pointing to their websites and that they should be able to tell Google about it, so that Google do not penalize their website for low quality incoming links.
Well Google answered it with the Disavow tool.
What is Disavow tool?
Disavow tool is a way to tell Google the links to your website that you think are SPAM. For example profiles links that you never created, or links bought for the purpose of passing Page Rank. If Google discounts those links there is a possibility that your websites’ rank may improve.
How can you find the Disavow tool?
You need to have a Google Webmasters account to access it. If you don’t have one you can open an account here. There you will have to register your website to use the tool.
How to use the Disavow tool?
1. First open a Notepad.
2. Copy paste the URLs that you think have SPAMMY links pointing to your site. Each URL should be in a new line. For ex:
As you can see, links in the page pageA.html of domain1.com will be discounted. But ALL links coming from the website domain2.com will be discounted. Be careful here.
NOTE: You can find the spammy links in your webmasters account itself. You need not keep looking in the Internet using any other tool. There are many tools out there ready to take your money. But what you need is already there in your webmasters account. You want to tell Google to ignore spammy links pointing to your site that Google knows, not what Google has already discounted or has not indexed.
To know the links those points to your site in the webmasters tool do the following:
From the homepage, select the site you want, navigate to Traffic > Links to Your Site > Who links the most > More, then click one of the download buttons. This file lists pages that link to your site. Copy paste the links in your notepad that you think are SPAMMY.
3. Save the notepad with any name. But we suggest name it like this – Disavow-SiteName.txt. Now upload the notepad in your webmasters account Disavow tool.
Google will take several weeks to take into account the links present in the notepad to discount them. However remember that it’s not an instruction, it’s just a suggestion. Google may or may not take the Disavow links suggestions as told by you.
Disavow is also no guarantee that your website may get its rank back. WHY? Because Google have thousands of pointers to decide ranking of the pages. If your website has some other elements that Google may not like, there is little chance that your sites’ ranks will be back.
Please do not use Disavow tool to SPAM Google or try to beat out your competitor by first getting a link and then trying to tell Google that your competitor has a Spammy website. This is called negative-SEO. Google is smarter than you think. They have automated as well as manual checks in place to know what is Spammy and what is not. Your one or two link does not do anything – you may only harm your own website.
Google has also made it very clear that Disavow will not do any harm to any website. So negative-SEO is just not possible.
You also got to first try to contact the webmaster of the concerned websites and ask them to remove the link to your site. If they do so, there is no need to mention that link in your Disavow tool. If you are unsuccessful, put the links in the Disavow tool.
If your site is totally out of index you may need to send a reconsideration request to Google. By just mentioning the Spammy links in the Disavow tool your job is not over. Yes if only links were the issue, you need not send a reconsideration request.
Remember, Disavow is just a tool to tell Google what you think could be Spammy links or something that you don’t want to be counted among incoming links. Google will do the rest. Using Disavow is no guarantee that your site will get its previous ranks back – but you should give it a try. You never know!!!