A Complete Guide of Backlink Disavow

While high quality relevant back links help improve SEO ranks, poor quality spammy links could pool down your rankings in search engine results. Now at times, you have little control over links built pointing to your website.

That could be due to many reasons.Even your digital agency may have built poor links for quick results and you are in mess now. At times, you can be target of negative SEO. Negative SEO is a tactic often adopted by competitors to build poor links pointing to competitors' wesbite to make the competitors' websites look bad in Google's eye.

While Google claims it does a fairly good job to take care of such nagative tactics, at time, you may resort to take things in your own hand.Google has provided a tool to the webmasters to directly reach out to the Google and can submit a request to ignore certain set of links or websites as far as back links are concerned. "Google Disavow Tool" can really help protect your site from link related penalties.

This article will attempt to explain when you should and you shouldn’t disavow links, and above all how to identify “bad” links. There are tools in markets which does help in doing link disavow but most of them advocate personal inspection and confirmation of each links before submitting them to Google.

This tutorial will provide you with a set of rules, tools and excel sheet that would help you classigy the links fairly well on your own. You won't be needing an expensive disavow tool for the same. Also will explain and show exactly you can submit the disavow request without any any help from an SEO agency or SEO expert.

What is Google’s "Disavow Links Tool"

Google Disavow tools provides a window for the webmaster to tell google to ignore certain links or even sites while compuing ranks for an website. However it is to be noted that it is a "suggestion rathar than a directive".

While technical process of the disavow tool is rather simple and straight, one needs to be careful to understand the underlying philosophy and process of classifying the links into good or bad. The technical process involves just 2 steps namely:

a) Clasify and enlist bad links/websites in text file

b) Submit them to "Google Disavow Tool".

Disavow this term is very familiar with the SEO professionals and website owners especially after the Google’s Penguin 4.0 update. The main aim of Google for launching Penguin 4.0 was to find out and penalized(black listed on SERP) the sites which contains spammy,low quality and irrelevant backlinks.

Thats why to keep the position on Search Engine Rank Page it is very important to monitoring the backlinks of a website time to time and remove the harmful links using Google’s disavow link tool.

Also your competitor can use black hat SEO technique to your site to rank their own URL upon you on SERP. They can make spammy backlinks for your URL from non relevant sites using unnatural keyword.

In this circumstance the only option for you is to disavow those links. There are many free or premium tools available in the market to analyze the link quality but the best tool is human eye. So the best option is to analyze each and every backlinks manually and separate the harmful links. This process is little bit time consuming but it will be beneficial at the end.

In this tutorial we are going to discuss about how to find out harmful links, prepare the final disavow sheet and how to submit the file on Google’s disavow link tool.

Step1: Collect the backlinks :

Try to find out all the backlinks of your website. You can export links from Google webmater tools. This tool is totally free and you will get maximum number of backlinks from here.

There are some premium tools like AHREF,SEM RUSH, Majestic from where you can also download the backlinks.

Extract the domain only from the backlinks by using formula on excel or you can use Buzzstream extract domain tool.

Combine all the domains collected from every source and remove the duplicates and place it on disavow template. Keep the backlinks URL on another sheet.

Step 2: Calculate the matrices:

Calculate the matrices of the domains like DA(Domain Authority),CF(Citation Flow),TF(Trust Flow). You can use https://www.prepostseo.com/domain-authority-checker link to extract DA.

To calculate CF & TF you can use majestic free extension

Update the matrices on the template.

Step3: Analyze the links/domains

This is the most important task to analyze the links and separate the spammy/non relevant links.It’s better to analyze the backlinks domain wise because if a website refers a spammy link to your website. They can do it again on future so the best option is to disavow the domain instead of any URL of those domains.

To audit the links we use different parameters discussed below:

Index check :

Search on Google site:domain name .If you don’t find any result regarding to the specific domain then the site is deindexed by Google. You should disavow a deindexed domain.

Check matrices:

You can identify a low quality domain by their matrices like DA<20,CF<15 & TF<10.

But you can’t disavow every domain of DA<20 or TF< 10.You have to check more facts about those domains like:

Fresh site :A fresh and new domain just started their work and refers your content from their page .You don’t need to disavow those kind of domains because if they keep good work their matrices will increase automatically within few months.

Local sites :A backlink from your local extension site with a lower DA & TF may be valuable for your local citation building. So you can keep the site on your backlink profile unless the site is spammy and non-relevant.

Spam check :

If a site contains malware and looks spammy by their link profile then you must have to disavow the domain. Also you can check the spam score from MOZ.

Relevancy :

A backlink from relevant content and relevant anchor text matters a lot for your sites ranking. If you find any non-relevant backlink from an unnatural anchor text like a backlink from a gambling site from the keyword “poker” .Then you must have to mark the domain for disavow.

Foreign Language Site :

If your site use only one language then backlinks from other language sites will be consider as spammy link by search engines. If your site is on English language then backlinks from any Russian, Chinese sites will be consider as spammy links. So you have to disavow those domains.

Links from network and link firms :

There are many link firms and network sites from where a bulk backlinks generates automatically. Find out those domains and list them on disavow sheet.

Step4 :

Make the disavow decision yes for those sites which is marked as harmful checked by the above parameters.

You can see in the above picture that “czemus.com” this sites disavow decision is yes. And the reason is this site is deindexed by Google.


"inward.de" this site disavow decision is also yes because this site is found as non English when we are making the disavow details for an English site.

Step4: Making the final disavow file and submit on Google’s disavow tool:

Consolidate all the domains which you want to disavow. List it on a excel sheet on column A and type =("domain:"&A1) on column B. Drag the formula on whole B column.

If you want to remove some specific URL then just save the URL. No need to use “domain:” for the specific URL Google disavow tool allow only .txt format. So, copy the column B and save it on a Notepad if you use windows or TextEdit if you are a Mac user. Save the text file on uft-8 format.

You may use some comment starting by #. Although Google does not read your comment manually. The whole process is operated by machine.

Here is a sample of .txt disavow file…

To submit the file on Google login to webmaster and open this link https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/disavow-links-main

Then choose the .txt file.

It will take almost a month to take the action by Google.

How to update the disavow file?

To update the disavow file first download the previous disavow file and add the new domains with the previous domains you want to disavow. Save the file and upload again.

How to reavow domains?

Don’t worry if you previously disavowed a domain by mistake. You can reavow the previous disavowed domain from webmaster disavow tools by the following process.

Download the previous disavow file.

Let the disavowed domains are looks like...

Now you want to reavow “opastyu.com” this domain.

Just remove the domain from the list, save the file and resubmit again.

But the time taken by Google to reavowing a domain is longer than the disavowing time. No one can tell the exact time when the link will be count as a backlink again.


I Hope you can make your disavow report and submit on webmaster tool yourself without any help of disavow expert after reading this article. If you want our disavow template fell free to comment below also if you have any question about this topic then ask on comment section.


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