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How to remove backlinks to your website from low quality websites and how to Disavow websites?

Monday, May 12, 2014

Some webmasters may find their website's traffic dropped significantly after a particular day. The day before the traffic drop, might have received lots of visitors, but after that the web traffic dropped to less than 50%. Periodically Google releases some search algorithms which tracks low quality sites and penalise pages so that they may not appear in top positions of the search results there after and this will lead to low traffic to that website.



One factor which affect the your website's ranking is the backlinks that you receive from other websites, espicially from good quality websites having good ranking than yours. Each backlink to your website is considered as a vote to your website, that means those websites which had given a backlink to your's considers your website as a trusted one. Google track this votes and also from where it comes from. If you are receiving a backlink from a spammy or low quality website, this vote can be a disaster to your website. If you receive many such backlinks google consider this as a spammy method and there are possibilities that your website's rank goes down leading to drop in your site's visitors.

How to find backlinks from a Low quality website?

Do the following

Login to Google webmaster tool https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/

Select your website

Click on "Search traffic" tab on left menu

Click on "Links to your site"

On the "Who links the most" section, Click on the "More" link. Here you will see the Top domain which are linked to your website

Click on the "Download Latest Links" button

You can download the table as CSV file or Google Doc document


If Your find any of links as a spammy one, try to contact the admin of that website and request to remove the link to your website.
To get the contact info, you can try this website

http://www.who.is/whois/DOMAIN_NAME

ex: http://www.who.is/whois/mydomain.com

If Your request is ignored by the admin, you can try to DISAVOW the Website


How to Disavow Links?

Disavowing Links or domains : This advanced feature should only be used with extreme care. If used incorrectly, this feature can potentially harm your site's performance in Google's search results. Google recommends this option only if you believe that there are a considerable number of spammy, artificial, or low-quality links pointing to your site and are causing issues for your site's ranking.

Here what you have to do is create a disavow list (the file type must be .txt and it must be encoded in UTF-8 or 7-bit ASCII) which should list all urls and all domains which you wish to be disavowed. It should be listed as one item per line. Disavowing means requesting Google not to consider the back links from the pages of domains to your website while calculating the page rank of your website.

Let's discuss what should be listed in a disavow list
1. The sites which are spammy
2. The sites with low quality contents
3. Sites with low ranking


You can check your website's Alexa global rank here: http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/YOUR_DOMAIN_NAME

Ex: http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/vacanciesonline.in

From the list of backlinked websites which your get by the steps mentioned above in the "How to find backlinks from a Low quality website" section, you can find the global ranks of those websites by calling the url

http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/your_backinked_site.com

If the page rank is much lower, that yours add the domain name to your Disavow list like given below

Similarly you can also add the spam urls.

If you want Google to ignore all links from an entire domain (like example.com), add the line "domain:example.com".

Here is the sample DISAVOW.txt file

 ================
# example.com removed most links, but missed these
http://spam.example.com/stuff/comments.html
http://spam.example.com/stuff/paid-links.html
# Contacted owner of spamdomain1.com on 7/1/2012 to
# ask for link removal but got no response
domain:spamdomain1.com
domain:spamdomain2.com
================

The statements started with "#" is comment lines, this will have no effect

Save the file as "DISAVOW.txt" and this should be UTF-8 Encoded.


How to upload the list of links to disavow to Google?

For this you should be logged in to Google.

Go to DISAVOW Links tools page at https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/disavow-links-main

Here you can see a Warning message like this:
"If you believe your site's ranking is being harmed by low-quality links you do not control, you can ask Google not to take them into account when assessing your site. You should still make every effort to clean up unnatural links pointing to your site. Simply disavowing them isn't enough."

Select Your website

Click on "Disavow links" button

One the next page you will see following message:
This is an advanced feature and should only be used with caution. If used incorrectly, this feature can potentially harm your site's performance in Google's search results. We recommend that you only disavow backlinks if you believe that there are a considerable number of spammy, artificial, or low-quality links pointing to your site, and if you are confident that the links are causing issues for you.

Click on "Disavow links" button

Now Choose the "DISAVOW.txt" and submit

Now following message will appear


"Results for the submission on May 12, 2014 11:58:27 AM UTC+5:30
You successfully uploaded a disavow links file (disavow.txt) containing 63 domains and 2 URLs."

If you want to edit the Disavow list visit following page in Webmaster Tools
https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/disavow-links?siteUrl=Your_domain.com .

ex: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/disavow-links?siteUrl=http://www.vacanciesonline.in

Here You can download the list , edit it and then upload again. Uploading a new file will replace all previously uploaded ones and It may take some time for Google to process the information you’ve uploaded.


  1. Google Disavow tool : https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/disavow-links-main
  2. More information on using Google's Disavow tool : https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/2648487?hl=en
  3. Google Webmster tool : https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/





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