Definition of Link Disavow

Link disavow is a process in digital marketing where website owners request search engines to ignore specific low-quality inbound links pointing to their site. This is done to prevent potential negative impacts on website rankings caused by toxic backlinks or violations of search engine guidelines. It can be achieved by submitting a disavow file to the search engine, like Google, through their designated webmaster tools.


The phonetic pronunciation of the keyword “Link Disavow” is: lɪŋk dɪsəˈvaʊ.

Key Takeaways

  1. Link Disavow is a tool in Google Search Console that allows website owners to disassociate their site from poor-quality or spammy inbound links that can damage their site’s search engine ranking.
  2. Using Link Disavow should be a last resort, after making necessary attempts to remove low-quality links manually by contacting the website owners or webmasters and requesting the removal of those links.
  3. Submitting a Link Disavow file correctly in Google Search Console is essential, as mistakes can have negative consequences for a website’s ranking. Be sure to provide a clear and well-documented list of disavowed links or domains.

Importance of Link Disavow

Link Disavow is an important term in digital marketing because it refers to the process of instructing search engines, such as Google, to disregard certain backlinks pointing to a website.

Poor quality or spammy backlinks can negatively impact a website’s search engine ranking, as they are seen as an attempt to manipulate a site’s prominence in search results through unnatural methods.

By disavowing these undesirable links, webmasters and site owners can protect their website’s reputation, maintain a healthy backlink profile, and potentially improve their search engine ranking.

Furthermore, the disavow tool can help recover from past link building mistakes, which in turn, upholds the integrity of the site and ensures it adheres to search engine guidelines.


Link Disavow is a crucial tool in the digital marketing landscape, designed to help website owners maintain and improve their website’s search engine rankings while safeguarding against penalties associated with bad backlinks. The primary purpose of disavowing links is to signal to search engines, like Google, that a specific website owner does not endorse or wish to associate their site with the backlinks in question.

This is vital as websites can accumulate low-quality or spammy backlinks that can negatively impact search engine rankings without the website owner’s knowledge. By disavowing such links, the website owner can mitigate the effects of these bad-quality links on their site’s overall search visibility.

The Link Disavow functionality is particularly useful for website owners that have been targeted by negative SEO attacks, wherein unethical competitors deliberately link their sites to low-quality or spammy resources in an effort to damage their reputation and search ranking. Site owners can utilize the Google Search Console’s ‘Disavow Links’ tool to submit a list of unwanted links they would like to be ignored and effectively ‘disconnect’ from their site.

By routinely monitoring their backlink profile and disavowing harmful links, website owners can maintain the credibility and authority of their site, preserving the integrity of their search engine performance and ensuring that visitors can access relevant and high-quality content.

Examples of Link Disavow

Link Disavow is a digital marketing term referring to the practice of requesting search engines, like Google, to disregard low-quality or harmful backlinks pointing to a website. This can prevent potential penalties and negative impacts on a website’s search engine ranking. Here are three real-world examples:

Example 1: A webmaster for an e-commerce store discovers that a large number of spam websites, possibly created by a competitor, are pointing links to their website. These spam websites contain low-quality content, which can damage the e-commerce store’s rankings on search engines. The webmaster decides to use Google’s Link Disavow tool to inform Google that they don’t want these harmful backlinks to be taken into account when assessing their website’s ranking.

Example 2: A popular travel blog has been featured on multiple websites, but some of those websites are known for propagating fake news and misinformation. The travel blog owner worries that these associations may negatively impact their search engine ranking and credibility. They use the Link Disavow tool to request that search engines ignore those unwanted backlinks.

Example 3: A local restaurant recently hired an SEO company to improve their online presence. They later discover that the SEO company used black-hat techniques to build backlinks, like purchasing links from low-quality websites and link farms. The restaurant owner disavows these harmful backlinks by using the Link Disavow tool to protect their website’s reputation and prevent any negative impact on search rankings.

Link Disavow FAQ

What is link disavow?

The link disavow process allows website owners to inform search engines like Google that they do not want certain inbound links to be considered when assessing their site’s ranking. This can be useful when a site receives numerous low-quality or harmful links that negatively impact their credibility or search ranking.

Why should I use the link disavow tool?

Using the link disavow tool can be beneficial in situations where your website has been targeted by negative SEO tactics or influenced by low-quality backlinks. Disavowing these links can help prevent negative impacts on your search ranking and protect your site’s reputation.

How do I create a disavow file?

To create a disavow file, generate a plain text file (.txt) that lists the URLs or domains you wish to disavow. Each URL or domain should be on its own line, and you can include comments using a hashtag (#) at the beginning of the line. Once the file is complete, it can be uploaded to the disavow tool provided by the search engine, such as Google’s Disavow Links Tool.

When should I use the disavow tool?

The disavow tool should only be used as a last resort when you’ve exhausted all other options for removing or correcting low-quality or harmful links to your site. This often involves contacting the webmaster of the linking site and requesting removal of the link. Only when attempts to remove the link have failed should the disavow tool be utilized.

Will disavowing links impact my search ranking?

Disavowing links can have an impact on your search ranking, either positively or negatively. By disavowing low-quality or harmful links, you may see an improvement in your site’s search ranking due to the removal of negative factors. However, if legitimate links are mistakenly disavowed, your site may experience a decline in its search ranking. Therefore, it’s essential to thoroughly review and verify the links you intend to disavow.

Related Digital Marketing Terms

  • Backlink analysis
  • Google Search Console
  • Spammy links
  • Low-quality backlinks
  • Manual action penalty

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