Google Disavow Link Tool

Last Update: Oct 18, 2012


Back in the pre-panda/penguin days many people unfortunately bought back links to their site in an attempt to game the system and increase their rankings. This technique at one time was extremely effective but the release of the Panda update by Google caused a lot of people that used this method to lose their ranking.

Many people I know have spent a lot of time trying to get rid of these links in an attempt to restore their sites credibility and be able to get ranked again but that is a very long and hard path to walk down because the people that sell those links are in no hurry to remove them.

I have even heard of people paying to have the links removed and I know many people have scraped their websites altogether and just started over from scratch but depending on your situation and the extent of low quality backlinks to your site Google may have a solution for you to finally regain control of your site.

First it is important to know when and if you should use the disavow tool, the only people that will want to use this tool are people who are getting a warning from Webmaster tools that you have unnatural backlinks to your website. You don't need to use this tool just because you have one or two backlinks you don't like.

Google understands that any site can get some spam and that some people will even try to manufacture backlinks in an attempt to make your site look like it's spam so that your rankings get hit. People have been known to try this in an attempt to eliminate competition but Google is not easily fooled so don't worry unless you have received a warning from the big G.

I'm sure using this tool will also have implications that Google is not telling us about. I have no doubt that they will be gathering information and who knows what they are likely to do with that information but the way i see it if your site has already lost it's ranking and you have done everything you can to have the poor quality backlinks removed the tool may be of some use to you.

Using this tool is more or less an admission that your site is of poor quality and i have a feeling Google will be looking very closely at sites that use the tool to determine this but if you're making a real attempt to clean up your site it's something you may wish to consider.

I would love to hear your thoughts. Leave me a comment below and let me know what you think of Google's latest.

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Recent Comments


I give up, I'm not going to argue anymore.
I never paid for any links from anyone.
The software isn't BH.
Scrapebox on the other hand is, but that's another story!!
Have a nice day!

Yeah, backlinks are bad for the most part these days. If this is the focus of your SEO plan, then you are going to be in trouble. Content, site development and engagement should be the focus of any SEO plan these days.

I was not trying to argue with you, just having a discussion. I'm sorry if my opinion differs from yours I personally believe that software manufactured links are BH and whether you bought or got the links for free it' amounts to the same thing.

I don't mean any offence in voicing my opinion.

I would agree, anything that is "back link" software is not a good idea to use and this is unfortunately why you may have succumb to one of the updates Neil. This is part of the learning experience though and I think you are going to come out of this as a much better marketer.

I don't think Ty was trying to offend you, rather state his position on back links. Shake hands and move on. Both of you are the "good guys". :)

No you're right I meant no offence at all. I'm not upset at all I just see it as a difference of opinion. I hope your not upset with me Neil.

It's bit late for me, I sacked 3 websites which had a ton of decent content but good old Google didn't like my backlinks.
I never used a paid for site, all were done free, however I did use software so I expect that is just as bad.
20,000 bad backlinks approx per site stuck all of them at #500,000 plus.
Which meant zero money.
Was this WH or BH marketing?
WH as everyone was doing it.
Now I don't add backlinks at all unless I know they 100% safe.

I would consider it BH since they were in essence fake or manufactured backlinks. If you are using spinning software to submit article or something of that nature to multiple directories or anything basically that is not a real and substantiated backlink it's most likely not going to help your site.

All the links were to proper websites.
Sites which had PR of 3 to 9.
Wasn't BH, that's the problem, the assumption is always made that it was.
The problem was Google hit these sites hard which killed off millions of blogs, mine included.
One of my sites was 4 years old, had 500 pages of decent content.
(I never put garbage articles on any of my sites)
And Google buried that one as well.

If those sites got their ranking through black hat methods and got dinged for it then the sites connected to it are bound to get hit as well. I have no idea exactly what kind of back links you had but I do know the big G want's only real authentic backlinks, anything manufactured runs the risk of harming the site even if the site is good quality content...I don't agree that quality sites should get hit because of backlinks, I mean if the site is good regardless of backlinks then ideally they should be left alone but Google's algorithm does not look at that.

I linked to the Educational sites, Governement sites anything that had a decent PR and allowed comments and were Do_Follow, I own software called Blog Comment Demon which is widely regarded as the best to use, except it's a complicated to use. The software isn't BH, never has been.
See your making the same mistake again BH Methods, which it isn't.

I'm pretty sure Google considers that to be BH. It makes no difference if they are edu sites or not all those are is students that make their own pages on the colleges servers and sell backlinks to people, it's not considered the same as if the college actually back linked to your site.

The sites that are set up just to provide backlinks to people are junk, even the .edu ones. I have no idea about your link software but unless the link comes from a real site it makes no difference.

I just tried to share this link on Twitter and it wouldn't let me because it thinks this site is unsafe or spammy...really??

This doesn't apply to me either, thankfully. But I can't understand how people who are creating quality content and using white hat tactics get those spam links in the first place. Also, why can't they just remove them from their site (especially if they own the domain name to it) without deleting it entirely?

People creating quality content and using white hat techniques will never need this tool, this is for people who have used some shady techniques and want to clean their sites up and bring them up to the new standards.

A backlink is a link from an outside website leading back to your website or in other words if I add a link from my website that leads to a page or post on your website that would be a back link for you and an outgoing link for me.

When people buy backlinks they are paying to have backlinks added to other peoples pages leading back to their page so that's why you can't just delete the link.

As for Twitter it's saying that because the link is showing up in the wrong format. It's just a technical bug. if you use a URL shortener which twitter requires it will tweet with no problem. I will report the bug.

Thank you for the comment I hope this clears it up a bit =)

seeing as i only started my IM career 4 mos ago it's not something that applies to me however it sounds like a 'permanent' feature and on always wants to consider all the alternatives before pushing the button

yeah no doubt about that. Using this tool is something you should only do if you have nothing to lose by doing so. In other words if you're already sand-boxed it can help, otherwise keep clear of it.

I'm extremely glad I didn't fall into the pit of back link purchasing. I was close at one point being told by people that it was necessary. Nice post Ty.

Panda was already out when i started all this IM stuff so I never did all that but I can imagine how some people got wrapped up not knowing any better

It's always good to get information and Panda and Google's attempts. Thank you.

You're very welcome =)

While many people seem to think Google hates Internet Marketers, it is clear that they are working hard to work "with" the ones that are good and provide decent content, they make our lives easier if we are prepared to provide them with good content to rank, this tool shows that.

I don't think Google hates marketers I just think they expect a certain level of professionalism so that they can deliver the best possible search results to the users.

I like most people these days have a love hate relationship with Google but I am all for the changes they are making because I have seen first hand how they have greatly improved the search results over the years.

In the end i think abiding by their guidelines forces you to produce a higher quality of work and that's something we should all be striving for anyway.

yeah i dont think google hates marketers either but lots of "bad" marketers complain that they do, which is a good thing because i want google to hate them, im glad google are putting a lot of effort into content instead of using lazy ways to determine quality like they did in the past, like the Ching Dynasty after overthrowing Ming, they knew they were the best in the world and didn't bother to improve, then the British came along and beat them 3 times, so they had to improve their technology....well, i guess it is a bit of a tenuous comparison now i think about it

I'm with you on that I want Google to hate bad or unethical marketers too. I am tired of them giving the rest of us a bad name.

I know so many marketers that do their very best to produce quality content and provide their readers real value but they all get lumped in with the jerks out there that use pressure tactics and flat out lie to people and play off there emotions to get them to buy something that is absolute garbage.

I even see people on here all the time getting tempted to do things like buying back links or wanting to submit the same article to multiple directories for the back links and these are people that know it's not good but the temptation is so strong because the gurus really know how to wrap up a box of shit in a nice neat package but all this kind of thing does is thwarts the efforts that these people make and the gurus couldn't care less that they are hurting people.

I think WA proves that you can make real money and have real success by being ethical and helping people to achieve their dreams. I can't imagine anything better than making a living helping people.

couldnt agree more, i wrote a blog a few years back and looked into seo and stuff and thought "well all this looks like a bunch of spamming and time setting up irrelevant backlinks, i just wanna write my content and get ranked for it" fastforward to 2012 and i find WA again and see things like "only good content will get you ranked, none of this blackhat nonsense please" and i thought "oh thankgod for that"...

i know some people are lazy and want to do blackhat type things, but i actually cant be bothered with stuff like that, if i could make a million dollars by sending a thousand emails a day i wouldnt bother, even if it was 100% guarantee (ok..maybe i would be tempted) so when i learned that google made it "harder" for these people, thus making it easier for someone who just wants to write, i thought "where do i sign?"

Yeah I'm the same way. I have no interest in making money by spamming people. I want to make money doing something that i enjoy and that helps people. I can think of no better way to make a living than that.

I think some people have it in their heads that they have to screw people to make money but they end up just screwing their selves up

Great post Ty.

I personally think that this is a good move by Google and one that is more strategic than people may think.

They are going to quickly find out who the gamers are and which ones are disavowing all of their links. Once a gamer always a gamer right? Well, maybe not the case but who knows how Google is going to interpret this.

It may carry some "red flags" on your GWT account if you are in there disavowing links on all of your site. If can't hurt you if you have been gaming backlinks, but it may impact you if you are doing things ethically and trying to clean up and tidy some of the stray links that others have added to your site.

I am guessing that the people that bought links that now realize that they have to clean up their act will be able to benefit from this but I watched a video by Matt Cutts and he is flat out saying that you should not use this tool unless you are in that boat. He's saying don't use this to try to basic house keeping.

He suggest that people go to all the effort they can to have poor backlinks removed from the net altogether and that this tool should not be used by the vast majority of people.

I figure if your site is already in the sand box and you want to make a serious effort to get it out this will be a good thing but otherwise stay away from it.

Yeah, I saw the video. Google has been rolling out many new "tools" for cornering gamers and those that have been creating quality content, getting backlinks in very natural ways (and through unique content) and have been aiming to build helpful authority sites have and will not be hit.

If people are finding that every update is affecting them in one way or another or they are having to use tools that Google creates to get back in the indexes,then I think these folks need to a self assessment on what they are doing.

I agree with that, I think a very small number of people willing to do that self assessment and make the changes needed to bring their sites up to the current standards are the ones who can benefit from this...which is to say a very very few people because most people are either already doing the right thing or will continue doing the wrong things.

Just use Google Webmaster Tools and notify Google of back-links you don't want to be included. If somebody successfully uses a program that spams back-links and deranks your site, that only proves Google doesn't work. I'm pretty sure Google Webmaster Tools will do the trick.

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