How To Use Google Disavow Tool? Inform Google About Bad Links

Have you ever listen about the Google Disavow Tool?

I am sure you might be…

Here in this post, you will be going to know everything about the Google Disavow tool.

Recently, I came in touch with this, the reason behind this was one of my mistakes which I did at the starting of my blog. Read the complete case study here…

Mistakes make men perfect, and I have an awesome habit to learn from the mistakes I have done in past. This always helps me to achieve my Goals.

Because when you fall once, you know why you fell then you will never do this again and the result you will never fall again.

Now let’s look at what is the Google disavow tool…

What Is The Google Disavow Tool?

Google Introduced “Google Disavow Tool” in October 2012, Google Disavow Tool helps publishers to let Google know about the backlinks of their site which they want Google to ignore while deciding their rank in Search Engine Result Page.

This tool will let you inform Google about the toxic backlinks of your website which you don’t trust on, which you want Google to ignore totally.

But it is not that much easy as you are thinking, this is not a tool which you can use to tell Google that hey, Google I want to Disavow these links. That’s it.

No, That’s not easy as it looks…

Wait, read this scariest warning from Google itself.

How To Use Google Disavow Tool? Inform Google About Bad Links

Using this tool without knowing how to use it? can impact on your website’s SEO negatively. You should first be clear about the bad links on your website. But I am sure you don’t know what are those links?

First, you should understand, what types of links are bad for SEO? Here are some types of links which are bad:

  • Link exchanges
  • Participating in blog networks
  • Paid links that pass PageRank
  • Hiding links in CSS and Javascript
  • Backlinks from foreign language websites
  • Automatically Generated Backlinks
  • Irrelevant backlinks

Here is the complete guide of the same: 18 Types of Backlinks Violating Google’s Guidelines+

Find Toxic Backlinks Pointed To Your Domain

As I said, I did a mistake, I purchased backlinks from Fiverr just by spending $5.

So, for creating tons of backlinks I did that. And in my case, I knew that what are those bad links, It was easy for me.

But might be not in your case, you have to find the bad quality backlinks pointing to your site, which is tougher than using the Google Disavow tool.

I have two methods which you can use to find toxic backlinks on your domain, the first method makes this task pretty easy.

Method 1: Find Toxic Backlinks Using SEMrush

You can easily find toxic or low-quality backlinks using the SEMrush tool. Let me tell you, SEMrush is the best SEO tool which makes SEO related tasks like keyword research, site audit, on-page SEO etc easy.

You need to perform a backlink audit using the SEMrush backlink audit tool to find toxic backlinks pointing to your website.

SEMrush will show you the overall toxic score of your website’s backlink profile and all the toxic backlinks along with their toxic score.

It will make easy for you to find the low-quality or toxic backlinks using the SEMrush backlink audit tool.

How To Use Google Disavow Tool? Inform Google About Bad Links

Grab SEMrush 14-day free trial by clicking here… and perform a backlink audit to find toxic backlinks.

SEMrush really makes disavowing toxic backlinks using the Disavow tool because it creates disavow file automatically for you.

So, you don’t need to do it yourself…

When you get the list of all toxic backlinks, you can use the To Disavow button under the Delete button.

How To Use Google Disavow Tool? Inform Google About Bad Links

You can find all the toxic backlinks or domains you added using the SEMrush tool in the Disavow tab, and export them as the Google disavow file.

How To Use Google Disavow Tool? Inform Google About Bad Links

This is why I recommend using the SEMrush for finding all the toxic backlinks for your domain. It also creates Google disavow file for you so you don’t need to do it yourself.

Long story short, SEMrush makes this whole task pretty easy.

Grab SEMrush 14-Day Trial

SEMrush is a bundle of many amazing SEO tools which makes SEO related task pretty easy.
Get SEMrush 14-day trial and use it for finding toxic backlinks which are pointing to your domain.

Method 2: Collect Links From All Available Sources

In this method, you need to use the Google search console which is also known as the Google webmaster tool.

You need to download the list of all the links pointing to your domain. Here is how you can do:

First, Go to Google search console and login in using your Google account.

Now, go to Search Traffic>Links to Your Site to find the links pointing to your site.

Links to your site

You will be seeing the list of links which is pointing to you as like the below image.

Links to your site

On the next page, you will see a list of the domains and total no. of links, which are pointing to your site. Now click on Download More Sample Links to download the list.

Download your backlinks list using google webmaster tool

After clicking the Download More Sample Links, downloading will start immediately and you will get a list of links pointing to your site in CVS format.

Here are also some tools which will play a major role in finding bad links pointing to your website:

Note: Not the all links are bad quality links rather some of them are, you can’t upload the same file. you need to filter quality links out and keep bad links in the file.

Here you need to filter out all the bad quality backlinks, backlinks from the low-quality quality website, irrelevant website, spammy website.

I highly recommend you to use the SEMrush backlink audit tool to do this, it will easy to find the toxic domains pointing to your domain.

It will be difficult to find only bad links in the list you got from Google search console.

How To Create a Disavow File?

Note: If you are using the SEMrush then you can skip this section because SEMrush will create the disavow file itself, you don’t need to do anything.

If you are thinking that your work is done here and you just need to upload the file you got from GWT in Google Disavow tool…

Then you are wrong my friend!

Some steps are remaining to finish your work…

You can’t upload an excel file on Google Disavow tool, you need to convert it to .txt file then you can upload it.

Very easy, right?

No, Not that much…

Be careful while using the disavow tool because it can make negative impact on your website if you did any single mistake there.

Follow the steps in your excel or Google spreadsheet which I am going to share you here…

Open the file of bad links you collected from the various tools, you only need one column where all your backlinks will be placed. Now follow me:

I am assuming then your backlinks are placed in A column. As shown in the below image:

How To Use Google Disavow Tool? Inform Google About Bad Links

Remove Subdomains

You can disavow a link in two methods, first is URL or Domain. I will prefer to go with Domain because one single domain may be pointing many links to your site so it will be easy for you to disavow the domain. And any new link from this domain will be disavowed automatically.

So, for this, we need to make domains separate from the URL.

Here is the formula to do so…


It will look like this:

How To Use Google Disavow Tool? Inform Google About Bad Links

Now you got the referring domains in the B column.

Remove https:// and www.

You also not need https:// and www. with your links, but before this, we need to convert B column in values, for this, highlight the B column and Copy and then paste as value by right click.

How To Use Google Disavow Tool? Inform Google About Bad Links

So we are going to take Find and Replace feature in work. Highlight the B column and press CTRL+H to open the Replace function. And put https:// in find what and replace with leave empty.

How To Use Google Disavow Tool? Inform Google About Bad Links

You can see that https:// removed from every referring domain, now do same for www.

When both removed from domains then your file will look like:

How To Use Google Disavow Tool? Inform Google About Bad Links

Remove Duplicate Domains

Your file may have duplicate referring domains, so you need to remove duplicate and keep a single domain.

For this, press CTRL+A+A and then ALT+D+F+F, this will add the filter on your data. Now sort your data as shown in the image.

How To Use Google Disavow Tool? Inform Google About Bad Links

And now put this formula in column C…


After putting this, it will add the Unique and duplicate remark in front of every domain. Like,  if you have a single domain 4 times then it will add one unique and 3 duplicate.

Your file will look like:

How To Use Google Disavow Tool? Inform Google About Bad Links

Now, filter the column C for Unique only. You will get only unique domains…

How To Use Google Disavow Tool? Inform Google About Bad Links

Your file will look like:

How To Use Google Disavow Tool? Inform Google About Bad Links

How will Google know that you want to disavow domain, not URL?

For this, you need to add domain: before every domain, you can easily do this with using this formula…


How To Use Google Disavow Tool? Inform Google About Bad Links

Now, It’s almost done. Google Disavow tool needs a .txt file which contains all your links which you want to disavow. So, now you need to create a .txt file for your links.

Create a text file, named it whatever you want. And copy all the data which you have in column D (Final Links as you can see in above’s image) and then paste in that text file, Save the file.

It’s done, now only need to upload the file in Google Disavow tool…

Upload Google Disavow File

Now you have the Google disavow file which contains only toxic domains/backlinks which are pointing to your domain, whether you create it using SEMrush or manually.

Open Google disavow tool by clicking this link…

Google Disavow Tool
How To Use Google Disavow Tool? Inform Google About Bad Links

Click on the Disavow Links button to upload the file you have created. Here you need to upload .txt file, not the excel file.

Now click on the Submit and it’s completely done.


It is not that much tough as it is looking, you just need to follow every single step carefully. But again, I must say that using SEMrush can make it easier.

You should disavow the domain not URL because doing so can save your site lifetime and Google will ignore all the links from that domain.

I always hunt for the bad backlinks pointing to my blog and disavow them using the Google disavow tool.

If you still have any query then drop in the comments…

How To Use Google Disavow Tool_

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Ravi Dixit

Ravi Dixit is a Blogger and Affiliate Marketer, He is the founder of StayMeOnline Who Loves to help others. Travelling and learning new things online are his first love. "I only want a life without any boundaries- Ravi Dixit"

Affiliate Disclosure: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. If you buy any product using an affiliate link placed on this blog, it will not add any extra cost in the total price of the product rather I will get some commission from the company. This will show me 💖 from your side, for more details read this...

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8 thoughts on “How To Use Google Disavow Tool? Inform Google About Bad Links”

  1. Hello Ravi,
    This is exactly the post I was looking for am also facing some Spam link on my website.
    one of my biggest mistake, I added my website link on directory submission website. now I will follow your tips. Thanks for sharing some great information about Google disavow tool.

  2. Thanks for the great article, i have questions

    1- when dead website “not working at all” is pointing to my website is that link count bad backlink?

    2- i asked in google search console forum about using google disvow tool and they said don’t use it until you have created these bad backlinks. i have thousands of dead websits pointing to my website, what should i do ???

    • You should disavow all those backlinks from the “not working websites”. However, Google is pretty good in ignoring the bad backlinks but still, you should not let Google handle everything.

  3. I have also bought backlinks 🙄🙄 from fiverr “100 backlinks” for Rs 1500/-.
    I have read this article now and m really concerned.
    I purchased that gig yesterday. So what to do now. Please suggest.

    • First, you need to check the sources you got the backlink from, if they are from the irrelevant, toxic and spammy website then you need to disavow them using the Google Disavow tool.


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