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How-to 5 min read August 23, 2019

How to reject bad external links via Google Disavow Tool

Bad external links should be rejected so that your website is not punished by search engines. Sanctions significantly decrease positions of your website and traffic to it. Let's consider the rejection of external links via Google Disavow Tool.

Why external links can be bad

Each specialist can encounter a situation when bad quality links start to negatively influence the website ranking. If you cannot reject such links yourself, you need Disavow Tool.

Essentially, links will not disappear from the donor websites and will not be considered by Google. Search engines mostly analyze themselves whether to trust links or not. Thus, you have to be absolutely sure that the links negative affect your web resource. Their deletion is a last-ditch method.

What links negatively influence your website

Of course, the indicators aren't obvious. There are Google patents that deliberately decrease website ranking for a certain period of time. In that case, you should better rely on the analysis of your donor website.

If you figured out that purchased links negatively influenced your website, use your best efforts to independently reject such links. Contact administrators of the donor websites, reject them yourself or find another way to get rid of such links.

Your purpose is to independently get rid of as many malevolent links as possible. In cases when you cannot do that independently, you can use link rejection in Disavow Tools.

Link rejection in Google

Go to the Search Console panel and find Search traffic in the menu on the left, then locate Links to Your Site, as shown in the screenshot:
Links to your site in Google Search Console
Press More:
Who links to your site the most in Google Search Console
For that, select the Download more sample links button in the new window, export the table data to your computer:
Download sample links to the site in Google Search Console
You need to download this table to check every link. You can use any convenient analyzer. The purpose is to figure out if among donor websites, there are the ones with a filter. Prepare a list of bad links in the same document and save it in the .txt format.

Put down the domain: directive to reject external links from the same donor. All links from this domain will be rejected. A hashtag "#" is used before every comment. The command in the document is based on the following logic: #comment (for example, most links are deleted but allowed; and in the new line, there should be links for the further deletion or For instance, the document may look like this:
Text document for rejection the links in Google
When you are done with the text document, follow the link:
Google Disavow Tool
Choose the website for which you want to disavow links and press the button for disavowing them. As a response, you will see the window where you will be asked to upload the text documents with the links.
How to disavow links in Google search console
Google emphasizes that this function is risky and may harm the website performance in Google's search results.

If you found out that you didn't add all links to the document, just fill it up with them. The system may require up to several weeks for link rejection; therefore, they may still be displayed in the console panel.


Links are rejected in two stages. First, you need to download the existing links via Google Search Console. Then, you need to check each one in the analyzer. The purpose of that inspection is to find those falling under the influence of the search engine.

You need to copy all links for further rejection of the TXT document. You may reject all links from your domain, or you may only reject some of them using the domain directive which was described in the article. To leave comments which would explain why you couldn't disavow a link yourself, use # before a comment.

Link rejection in Google Disavow Tool may be harmful for your website optimization, so try not to use it. The system provides a caution when uploading the text document.

This article is a part of Serpstat's Checklist tool
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Checklist is a ready-to-do list that helps to keep reporting of the work progress on a specific project. The tool contains templates with an extensive list of project development parameters where you can also add your own items and plans.
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