Disavowing backlinks is the process of telling search engines, particularly Google, to ignore certain inbound links (backlinks) to your website that you believe are low-quality, spammy, and potentially harmful to your site’s search engine rankings.

It’s important to know that your site is only in danger from spammy backlinks if you initiated and participated in a paid link scheme. Google is excellent at detecting patterns that such activities produce.

Key points:

  • Backlinks are links from other websites that point to your site
  • Low-quality or spammy backlinks, that you obtained as part of a link scheme, can negatively impact your site’s search engine rankings. This is because buying links, in order to manipulate search rankings, violates Google’s spam policies.
  • Buying links in order to boost your rankings can result in Google penalties.
  • It’s fine to pay for advertorial-style links, as long as any backlinks have the sponsored tag.
  • Google’s Disavow Tool allows website owners to submit a list of backlinks they want Google to ignore when assessing their site’s link profile. This should only be done if you’ve participated in a link scheme or have received a Google manual penalty for doing so.
  • Disavowing backlinks should be used cautiously and only when necessary, as it can potentially remove valuable links and harm your SEO. It’s best to use an SEO professional to do disavowals.
  • Before disavowing, try to have the links removed by contacting the linking site’s webmaster.
  • Don’t pay a marketer a monthly fee to monitor for bad links. This is not necessary.