disavow backlinks
Infographics | disavow backlinks

Types of backlinks, including Dofollow, Nofollow, Sponsored, and UGC links, help your site receive more credit and get a better position in Google results. But if you do link building incorrectly and send spam and low-quality links to your site, you have made a big mistake. After that, you should try to remove inappropriate links and make your site healthy. So if a tool warns you that your backlinks are toxic, you need to get rid of them, and the easy way to do that is to disavow them, right? To use this tool correctly, you must first know what disavow links mean, what disavow links tools are, and how to use them. In this post on the smart strategy blog, we provide you with a full guide on this topic.

Disavow links meaning

The disavow links meaning is simple. Links are the most crucial factor in Google search engine ranking. A look at the most critical Google algorithms shows that it can be problematic when a backlink is given to a page unnaturally or for harmful SEO purposes (which are usually made by competitors to destroy the competitor’s site).

For example, you may buy backlinks or use PBNs against Google’s guidelines. First, Google recommends removing these spam or low-quality links from the website as much as possible.

If you removed these links and it was not possible to remove the rest of these unnatural links, you can ask Google to disavow the links. In other words, you can ask Google to ignore these links when crawling your site.

disavow links meaning | Smart Strategy


What is considered a bad backlink?

As a site owner, you need to know what is a bad backlink.

According to Google, any link created to improve the ranking of a website unnaturally is considered a bad backlink. That’s because google requires you to focus on creating content that links organically.

You probably have bad backlinks if you are currently buying backlinks to drive traffic to your website. Some examples of bad backlinks are:

  • Footer links
  • Purchased backlinks (paid)
  • Link Exchange
  • PBN private blog network

If you deal with spam backlinks that may lead to a Google penalty, you should get rid of them as soon as possible. The good news is that sometimes Google recognizes such backlinks and ignores them.


when and how to disavow links

Disavow links tools help you to prevent spam and malicious backlinks that link to your site in a paid or unnatural way. But when and how to disavow links?

We advise you to disavow backlinks only if you believe many low-quality and spammy backlinks have entered your site and if you are sure that these links are causing problems for your site.

In most cases, Google can evaluate which links it can trust without additional guidance, so many regular sites do not need to use this tool.

However, It’s better to know when to use Disavow link tools. Next, we will tell you when to use this feature.


1- When your inbound traffic and rankings drop suddenly

A sharp drop in ranking and a significant drop in incoming traffic indicate a problem with your site. As we said, you have to be very careful. So, first, ensure where the problem comes from and whether it is related to malicious backlinks or spam.
If you are sure it is related to unnatural links, you can use Disavow links tools. This tells Google that you are trying to fix this problem.

2- When your site is spammed with harmful SEO backlinks

If your site is attacked by many negative SEO and black hat links, you should consider removing these backlinks. If you do not know whether your site has been shot and whether the external links to your site are of quality, you can use the available tools to monitor this case.

3- When you know that the SEO team has created spam links on your sites.

There are many cases where webmasters partner with companies to do SEO work. Unfortunately, many of these companies make strange promises, and if you don’t choose the right company, you have to take the risk of black hat methods and unnatural link-building.

4- When you manually do something on your site

Manual and non-automatic actions are not usually done. Despite this possibility, such actions exist, and if you know that you have done such a thing, use the disavow tool.

There are different types of manual actions, and be careful to remove backlinks only when you have been warned, and the actions are unnatural. If the issues are related to spam content from users or worthless content, you can remove this content without using the disavow tool with the help of different methods.


What does google’s link disavow tool do?

Google Disavow Links is Google’s new tool to neutralize malicious and harmful links for the site. What does google’s link disavow tool do?  how to use the google disavow links tool?

First, you must create a text file containing these links’ lists. The file format that will have these links is simple and as follows:

  1. On each line, put a URL or domain that you are rejecting. Note that you cannot revoke permissions for entire folders.
  2. To exclude a domain or subdomain, prefix it with the value “domain:” so that it reads, for example, domain: example.com.
  3. The file must be a UTF-8 or 7-bit ASCII-encoded text file, meaning do not use Microsoft Word-style, text editors.
  4. The file name must end with .txt.
  5. You can leave a comment by putting the # sign at the beginning of the line so that Google ignores them.


what does google's link disavow tool do | smart strategy

Step 1: Perform a link check

Your website has good links and wrong links. You should identify bad links by using an online link audit tool. Unfortunately, many of these tools estimate the value of a tie but also provide false positives.

Step 2: Find spam links.

After you have your list of links, you need to identify spam links. The most effective way to do this is to manually visit each link and determine if it is reasonable and valuable. Then, try and reject links on sites that look suspicious.

Step 3: Format your link list and upload it to Google’s Disavow Links tool

In the Google Disavow tool, click on all warning notifications to get to a dialog box that lets you upload a file. Select the property you are working on and upload the file you created with all the wrong links to disavow.

Step 4: After uploading, monitor your progress

The effects of denial take about a week to become apparent. Google evaluates your backlink profile and searches ranking after recovering rejected links. Annotate the file you uploaded with links to deny and closely monitor progress.

Google Disavow link tool
Google Disavow link tool

What happens when you disavow links?

What happens after you disavow links? A request will be sent to Google to ignore those links to your domain. Successful disavow links are not considered to determine your website’s search engine ranking.

However, you should be aware that Google is under no obligation to honor your link cancellation request. The documentation clearly states that your submission is to deny an offer. The content also explains that the Disavow tool is a means of undoing the actions of a poor SEO team or correcting bad linking practices. So, you can hope they will honor your disavow link request instead of penalizing them.

If needed, you can remove a previously uploaded disavow file. But it’s unclear whether Google immediately retrieves the links and their impact on your ranking or keeps a copy of the list.



The Disavow links tool can be intimidating, especially if you don’t know how to do it. If you overdo it, you can harm your website’s SEO. Therefore, website owners should familiarize themselves with this tool to ensure that the result is a good profile. If you have any questions about this topic, please get in touch with us through our smart strategy SEO services.   visit our linkedin profile to see our content summaries.