How to Disavow Bad Backlinks. If you’ve tried to remove your bad backlinks by reaching out to website owners but have been unsuccessful with some some of them then it is time to move on and disavow them. This basically means asking Google to ignore certain links when it is analyzing your website.
Google started allowing website owners to Disavow Bad Backlinks in 2012 and disavowing any remaining bad backlinks can quickly help you improve your backlink profile.
Steps to Disavow Bad Backlinks
- Create a blank link audit spreadsheet file in excel
- Add any spammy links we have identified with a score of 5 or higher in column B
- In column A at the top paste the formula =left(B1,find(“/”,B1,9)-1)
- Copy this formula down and you will end up with the domains that link to you (not internal pages)
- Highlight column A by selecting all the cells and pushing CTRL-C to copy and then select Edit –> Paste Special –> Paste Values Only
- Now you are left with the domains and not the previous formula
- With column A still highlighted click Edit –> Find and Replace, and type in http://. Leave the replace field blank and press “Replace All”, do this again for www and https://
- Sort column A alphabetically and remove any duplicates of the same root domain. Now we have a list of all potentially spammy links at a root level
- MOST IMPORTANT STEP: Now audit each link. Does it make sense? Is the website of reasonable quality? Is it relatable to your industry? Remember removing backlinks can hurt your rankings so make sure you only disavow low-quality, spam backlinks
- Copy any spammy links that clearly have no purpose and are of low quality into a new spreadsheet into column A
- In column B add the formula =”domain:”&A1and copy the formula to all the rows
- Now we have a list of the domains we want to disavow at a root level, they should read: domain:spammy site.com
- Copy all of these into a word or text program and save as a .txt file or as plain text
- Log in to your Google Webmaster Tools Search Console and select the disavow tool.
- Upload this plain text file and remember it replaces all previous disavow files so if you find new links you want to disavow in the future just add them to this text file and upload the updated file with all historical and new domains you’d like to disavow
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