Google Disavow Links Tool Now Available

matt-cutts-pubcon-vegas-2012The long-awaited Google Disavow Links Tool is now available. Google’s Distinguished Engineer Matt Cutts announced the new Google Webmaster Tools feature today during his PubCon keynote, urging all SEOs and webmasters to proceed with extreme caution.

Cutts said the goal with the launch is to keep the tool simple. To disavow links, all you have to do is upload a text file, with one URL per line (full domain or specific page), of links you want Google to ignore. These are the links pointing at your site that you’re telling Google that you don’t trust.

“Most sites shouldn’t use this tool,” Cutts said. “Use caution. Don’t just start disavowing links. Please start slow.”

Cutts said Google will look at links you want disavowed as a “strong suggestion.” It can take several weeks to be disavowed, and he said ideally you should make the effort to remove the bad links from the web, but this tool is for those backlinks you are unable to remove.

Cutts said the tool is meant to help websites trying to clean up paid links, either done through previous bad SEO practitioners, or if they have perhaps recently bought a domain that has existing on-page and/or off-page SEO issues.

How it works:

  • Go to Google Webmaster Tools.
  • Select your website.
  • Google will prompt you to upload a plain text file with the links you want to disavow.

Here's a sample file:


Hashtags are comments, which Google ignores. The file size is limited to 2MB.

Cutts goes through the tool in this video:

Check out the URL here:

Cutts first mentioned the impending arrival of the Disavow Links tool in June. Bing's Disavow Links tool launched in July.

About the author

Danny Goodwin formerly was Associate Editor of Search Engine Watch, where he also covered the latest search marketing and industry news. He joined Incisive Media in October 2007, in charge of copy editing columns that appeared on both Search Engine Watch and ClickZ. Prior to a life in the search industry, he worked in the journalism field, working in numerous newsroom positions, before later working as a freelance copy editor.