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How to Disavow Backlinks

Disavowing bad backlinks is an essential activity for marketers looking to maintain their website’s positioning on Google. Having quality backlinks on a website is a telltale sign of a healthy website with strong SEO and a good domain score. But the nature of the internet means there is always the chance that some of your backlinks come from spam websites. There is some debate about how much these bad backlinks can affect your site’s health and traffic. However, disavowing backlinks on Google Search Console can be an effective preventative measure to safeguard your website. 


Check out our guide below to why disavowing backlinks is important and the steps required to do so. 

Importance of Backlinking

Having backlinks on your website from other sites that have a good domain score is a great way to improve your website. While it can be time-consuming to accrue these quality backlinks, having them on your website boosts your site’s credibility in the eyes of Google’s algorithm. 

In contrast, having bad backlinks can result in algorithmic penalties for your website. This can mean that Google will not promote your website as much because it views it as of poor quality or spam. ‘Bad’ backlinks come from websites with a poor domain score. These websites often contain spam or are for the purpose of generating clicks for their own financial gain. You can check the credibility of your backlinks on SEO websites such as Semrush.

The Google algorithm is unpredictable and if you see your traffic drop you should explore all possible reasoning for why this has occurred. Disavowing backlinks should be used as a last resort. 

Why Disavow Backlinks


Disavowing links is a way for you to block specific backlinks from linking to your website. Doing so can in certain circumstances, boost your domain score. This tool should be used with caution, as Google indicates that this is a serious tool that, if used wrongly, can negatively impact your site’s performance. This tool should only be used if you are sure that a link is from a spam website. 

Disavowing backlinks is something you should absolutely consider if there is a manual action against your site on Google for ‘unnatural linking’. If you do not have a manual action but the large majority of your backlinks are from low domain score websites that score highly for spam and you believe this will eventually cause a manual action, then you should consider disavowing. You should especially consider disavowing if in addition to this, your site has recently dropped significantly in the search rankings and you have explored all other options to improve this. 


How to Disavow Backlinks on Google

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Check out our 3 step guide below for how to disavow backlinks on Google. 


1. Identify the Links you Intend to Disavow

By looking at a website’s site score and spam score, you can identify which backlinks you do not wish your website to be associated with. There are numerous tools online you can use to see how reputable a site is, such as SEMrush and Moz. 


2. Create A Text File of the Backlinks you wish to Disavow

Once you have identified the links you wish to disavow, begin to list them in a text file, which will later be uploaded to Google Search Console. 


3. Upload Disavow List to Google Search Console

A text file of the websites you wish to disavow can be uploaded to Google Search Console. Once you have uploaded a website to a disavow list, it is difficult to retract this. Even if you upload a fresh list without the links you have disavowed, users have reported that this has little impact on their domain score. 


As stated above, disavowing backlinks can be a very effective tool in disassociating your website from spam websites that diminish your site’s credibility. Although, it is important to note that the tool should only be used if you fit specific criteria and have explored all other options to improve your website. 


Are you interested in improving your site’s credibility and ranking on Google? Contact our SEO Specialists at Patch Agency today to get started.


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