PUBLISHED: Jul 17, 2013 5 min read

How to Disavow Links to Remove Low-Quality or ‘Spammy’ Backlinks

disavow linksIn this episode of AmsiveDigital TV, Michael Stearne and Avinash Conda explain the importance of disavowing links using Google Webmaster Tools. Put Simply, if your website is being penalized because of bad incoming links from ‘spammy’ or low-quality sites, it’s important for you to first try and remove those low quality links. If you’re unable to make further progress on getting the links taken down, you can disavow the remaining links though Google Webmaster Tools.

SEO and Social Strategist, Avinash, points out the Structured Settlement companies are especially getting penalized by Google’s Penguin 2.0 update. If your website is indeed getting penalized by Google, here’s how you can go about removing those links and increasing your PageRank.

First, you’re going to download a list of links to your site. Next, you’ll have to create a file containing only the links you want to disavow. Lastly, you will need to upload this .txt file to Google. Here’s how to go about doing that:

  • On the Webmaster Tools home page, click the site you want.
  • On the Dashboard, click Search Traffic. and then click Links to Your Site.
  • Under Who links the most, click More.
  • Click Download this table.
After you download these links, you want to create a .txt file of only the links you plan to disavow, with only one link per line. If you want Google to ignore all the links from an entire domain, such as, add the line””. Your text file can include additional information about excluded links, as long as each line of descriptions begins with the “#” character (all lines beginning with # will be ignored). Don’t upload the entire list to your site: the text file that you upload is the list of links you want Google to ignore.
Stay tuned for more episodes of AmsiveDigital TV on SEO best practices and how to’s.
Video Transcription

0:13 Michael Stearne – Hello and welcome another episode of AmsiveDigital TV.
0:15 I am your host Michael Stearne and this is my co-host Avinash Conda.
0:22 And we want to discuss Disavowing Links with Google’s Webmaster tool.
0:29 So what is disavowing links and why would you use it?
0:33 Avinash Conda – First thing is I think everyone understand the importance of links. For that links, back links play a major role in ranking factor for a website.
0:45 So what happens is not all the links are conform, the first reason.
0:52 And especially after panda 2.0; err penguin 2.0, spammy searches like structure settlements, pay-in loans are getting penalized.
1:04 So what happens in these kinds of industries is there are lots of spammers spamming the internet, competitors because it’s a really cut-throat industry.Linking back to you, posting spammy links realizing that Google would penalized to an extent.
1:21 So what happens is when webmaster thinks that this set of links. Maybe from a domain or few links is actually hurting its ranking, he can tell Google to not consider those as a back links.
1:36 In other words disavow. He is disavowing those links.
1:39 Michael Stearne – Everyone wants to have links coming into their website but sometimes competitors will put up bad reviews and have a link back to your website. Not there website to your website.
1:55 So it’s kind of trying to trick Google thinking that; trying to feed Google bad links and that contact about your website.
2:14 And you can say “Hey wait. I didn’t do this, I am not into this, we don’t want this link.”
2:20 Avinash Conda – There are two ways to do that. One is just a huge list of links which Google webmaster tool gives you back links.
2:30 You can go in, check all the links which are bad. Which you consider bad and give it back to Google with the disavow tool.
2:37 And the other way is just disavowing the entire domain like is giving you like ten thousand links.
2:45 You know that’s a bad domain and its giving you lots of spammy links. You don’t want to list all that ten thousands links because webmaster tool itself doesn’t give you all 100% of your back links.
2:55 So you can simply go and say domain and give the domain so that it completely disavows.
3:01 Michael Stearne – Yeah, It can that the competitor might even set up a domain just pointing all this spammy traffic in you, in order to make Google think you are a spammer but you are not.
3:13 Avinash Conda – Not a spammer.
3:15 Michael Stearne – Right, you are not a spammer. They are trying to make Google think you are. You can completely disavow them.
3:24 All right.
3:25 So we have a visitor. So thank you for tuning into our episode of AmsiveDigital TV.
3:38 So whenever you are watching this, whoever, whatever.
3:41 Avinash Conda – Well that’s a typical Ruben sign off.
3:46 Michael Stearne – Well that’s a Ruin sign off. But Avinash has a better sign off.
3:47 Avinash Conda – Lets go!