Google Unveils New Disavow Links Tool

Peter Roesler, President - Web Marketing Pros

By Peter Roesler

President, Web Marketing Pros

It’s here! Google finally has launched its new tool to disavow links. This cool tool was first announced by the leader of Google’s spam team a few months ago.

The disavow links tool is now live and you can check it out here. The tool was fully beta tested by several SEOs for several weeks. After the new tool was announced by Matt Cutts at the Pubcon conference this week, Google also officially announced the disavow links tool on Google’s Webmaster Central blog.

Cutts has pointed out that the new tool needs to be used carefully. He also said that publishers should first attempt to remove unwanted links in other ways. They should, for instance, work with site owners that are hosting such links, or with the companies they might have purchased links from.

According to Google, the format will be to detail URLs in text file, either one at a time or to exclude all links from a certain site by domain. The format will be as follows:

Both of these formats may be put into one file. An example is below, which we pulled from Google’s blog post about the new disavow tool:

# Contacted owner of on 7/1/2012 to


# ask for link removal but got no response

# Owner of removed most links, but missed these


In the example above, any line that starts with a # (pound) sign is considered to be a comment and is ignored by Google. The domain keyword shows that you want to disavow any links from all pages on a given site (which, in this case, is You also may request to disavow links on an individual page (in this case, three pages on

After you create this file, you then will access the disavow link tool on Google Webmaster Central. You choose your site, go through the various warnings, choose your file and then submit it.

Be aware that the link disavowal does not happen right away. According to Cutts, it may take several weeks for the disavowals to take effect. He also noted that Google does reserve the right to not use a submission if it believes there is some reason to not trust it.

You may want to use the new link disavowal tool if your site was hit by the recent Penguin update. That update hit sites that might have purchased some links or may have gotten them through spamming.

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