What does it mean to Disavow Links?

superhero with a long list of disavowed links

When you disavow links you tell search engines to ignore them for ranking calculation.

Some people say that disavowing a link is the same as putting a NoFollow tag on it, but based on our experience this is an over-simplification.

To disavow links with Google, one needs to create a disavow file in a specific format and upload it to the Google Search Console (GSC), formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools (GWT).

A disavow file can be created and maintained inside LRT and the Link Detox components to improve efficiency and avoid mistakes in this very error-prone process.

To disavow links with Bing, one needs to add every link or domain to a disavow user interface in Bing Webmaster Tools (BWT).

Disavowing happens on three possible domain scopes

  1. Root Domain Level - i.e. everything under *.spamdomain.com
  2. Host Level / Sub Domain Level - i.e. every link from blog.spamdomain.com
  3. Page Level- i.e. all links from a specific page https://blog.spamdomain.com/linkfarm.html

Because mistakes can happen, good and helpful links are often found to be disavowed.

The reasons are a multitude, but the effects are always negative - a drop in rankings. Therefore, it is strongly recommended to re-visit the list of disavowed links in a disavow file audit to re-avow or un-disavow the formerly bad links.

Document Created: 2013-04-04 - Document Last Updated: 2022-04-04

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