link disavows

Link Disavows Good or Bad?

With new google algorithms being rolled out constantly, many people wonder whether link disavows are good or bad for their sites when it comes to their rankings in the search engines.

We all know that a bad backlink can harm a website, but is a link disavow the answer? In this post, we'll discuss exactly what a link disavow is, and how choosing to disavow links could be the only way to save your website from itself.

What Is A Disavow List?

A disavow list is a list of backlinks to your site that are deemed dangerous, spammy and not worth keeping as part of your link profile.

These lists are often generated using a professional disavow tool, and that your disavow file is then submitted to Google Search Console through Google's disavow tool in order to be removed from your link profile.

These disavow lists often content unnatural links from spam sites, spammy backlinks pointing to your site that are auto-generated, and any other type of potentially toxic backlinks.

Are Link Disavows Good or Bad?

Link disavows are seen as being a great way to disavow backlinks and clean up your profile, and remove all potentially dangerous or spammy links from spammy pages that may have had you in a penalty in the past.

These services are known to have many benefits if carried out properly, from ensuring your backlinks are safe, eliminating and removing risky links from your profile, helping to lift you out of Google penalties from recent algorithm updates and potentially improving rankings.

So in general, link disavows are definitely a great service to have done, so long as your disavow is carried out by an experienced professional.

How often should you disavow links?

As a general rule of thumb, it's advised you look at removing your spam links every year or so to ensure any bad links are removed entirely.

Ignoring spammy links pointing to your site over an extended period of time can lead to an increased chance of landing in a Google penalty, and more times than not, people are surprised at just how many questionable links pointing back to your site you end up with from past link building campaigns.

Most sites nowadays will have bad backlinks that the owners simply aren't aware of, which could be identified and dealt with by a professional backlink audit company.

Examples of links that should be disavowed

There are many examples of links that should be disavowed from any link profile, including:

Private Blogging Networks (PBNs)

Private Blog Network links, or PBNs for short, can be amongst the more spammy links in your profile, and if identified by Google, can be a big factor as to why you're not raking online for your chosen keywords.

Unnatural links such as these can sometimes be picked up by Google employees themselves, landing you in a penalty can effect you site wide.

That's why it's important to act on any bad links as soon as you can, as sometimes you may not even know that a PBN link is pointing back to you until it pops up in a disavow tool.

Low-quality directories

These low quality links can appear harmless, but a good disavow tool such a link research tools will quickly identify which of these directories are simply bad backlinks, and help you to move them into your disavow file.

Most sites will have some directories pointing to them in some capacity as part of a natural link building campaign, however, some of these can be extremely low quality links, and possibly worth removing.

When used properly, a good disavow tool will be able to locate any bad backlinks, including low quality directories, and help determine which need to be added to the disavow file.

Comment and forum spam

These spammy links often clog up a link profile contribute to the number of unnatural links pointing back to your site.

Disavowing links such as these is a great way to quickly clean up your entire link profile, as adding low quality links to a disavow file and removing them through google's disavow tool will help.

Again, a disavow tool will help identify these better than any, and provide you with the option of removing them.

Negative SEO

Negative SEO attacks are a serious problem for many site owners, particularly in more difficult industries.

This manipulative link building technique is essentially carried out by a competitor that purposefully builds bad links to your site in order to negatively effect your rankings.

But don't worry, these spammy links, often from spam sites in general, can be identified through a good disavow tool, and then removed through google's disavow tool.

You'd be surprised how many of these links can end up as part of your disavow file..

Paid Links

Paid links are backlinks that have been paid for by the website owner. Now with paid links, it's not necessarily the case that all paid links are bad links, however often times, within your paid links there are some that are worth submitting to Google's disavow tool in google search console.

This link building technique often returns a bit of a mixed bag of quality, so they're certainly worth looking at.

Any unnatural links, spam links or low quality links often raise a bit of a red flag. A link disavow specialist will be able to use a disavow tool to identify which are worth adding to the disavow file, and removing through Google's disavow tool.

Hacked sites

Hacked sites are never good for any backlink profile, and often fall into the category of link spam with irrelevant anchor texts and high toxicity scores.

Link schemes like these can often fall under the same umbrella as negative SEO, but sometimes, site owners will buy links pointing to their site, without knowing they're hacked.

These unnatural links are yet another example of why individuals look to disavow backlinks, as this link building method can seriously pull your entire site down as part of the updates in google's algorithms.

What We Learned from Creating 120 Disavow Files in 2022?

Our team created 120 disavows files across 2022, and our findings might surprise you.

The biggest takeaway from our testing was that so many businesses and website owners out there, no matter how big or small, are wasting money on poor quality, spammy and dangerous backlinks that point back to their site.

Each and every time we'd carry out a disavow, no matter how many times we'd convince ourselves that "this site can't have spammy links", lo and behold we'd see another batch of bad links that was dragging the entire site down.

The key here is that so many are buying links without taking into account toxicity levels, anchor text diversity, trust and so many other factors that determine the quality of a link, scary really!

Who Has the Best Link Audit Service?

With so many link audit companies offering a sub-par audit, it's commonly believed that there's only a handful of excellent link audit services out there, which are the following:

Backlink Doctor

Backlink Doctor are one of the few companies that people actually recommend when you ask around, and that's because their experience and know-how in the industry truly is second to none.

Backlink Doctor use the best disavow tool in the industry to manually audit your entire link profile, weeding out any bad links that simply shouldn't be pointing to your site.

They then provide you with an accurate and reliable disavow file for you to submit to Google's disavow tool in google search console.

Better yet, they even describe why they wouldn't recommend that link to begin with, as well as pointing you in the right direction for a link rejuvenation package post audit, too.

So it's no surprise to see why Backlink Doctor are so fondly thought of within the industry, with so many loving the reliability of the disavow file they send them, their communication and services in general.


Searcharoo are another excellent link audit company that offer a tremendous level of quality for the price of each audit.

Again priced competitively, Searcharoo do all that they can to ensure their clients have a detailed audit carried out for their site, with a detailed plan of what to do after the audit is carried out.

Searcharoo will then send you over a complete disavow file as a txt file ready to be added to Google Search Console!

Searcharoo's testimonials say it all really, with so many of their clients so happy with their link audit services, and what they did to improve their websites.

So be sure to get in touch with Searcharoo is this service for a full backlink audit, disavow file and reliable service.

Advanced Tips for Link Audits?

Whilst it's always great practice to have link audits carried out to identify bad links, it can sometimes seem confusing what the best action to take is after you disavow links.

Some people actually develop a bit of a fear of link building after an audit is done, but in actual fact, building high quality links after you disavow links is one of the best things you can do.


How Many Links Should I Disavow?

There is no set number to how many site links you should disavow as part of a link disavow file.

Instead, the best thing to do is to analyse the data that a disavow tool returns, in order to determine which links need disavowing.

This is best to be left to a professional with an in-depth understanding of backlinks, and which links need adding to your disavow file from your site's profile.

Should I Disavow Links On A Penalized Site?

If your site has been penalized, then a disavow can be a great way to potentially get yourself out of a Google penalty.

Google's guidelines state that manual action may be taken if a site is deemed to have links from spammy pages, and this can in turn effect your Google rankings.

We'd always recommend that you use a professional company to carry out your disavow, as they use the best disavow tool on the market to ensure your disavow itself is as accurate and reliable as it needs to be.


To summarise, good quality link disavows have been designed purely to help business owners remove their problematic and toxic links from their existing backlink profiles.

Most sites online will have backlinks with spammy links or manipulative link building tactics point back to their site, which can be seriously negative effect you in relation to Google's algorithms and stance on bad links.

These services, coupled with rejuvenation packages, are an excellent way for companies to clean up their site in Google's eyes, whilst pointing a massive amount of power and trust to their sites.

Ajay Paghdal
Outreach Labs Founder
🕒 7 mins read
Last updated on
Dec 12, 2023

Subscribe to the best link building newsletter ever

Article by
Ajay Paghdal
Outreach Labs Founder
Ajay enjoys tinkering with new link building strategies, building teams and processes around it and in general, has enjoyed being a part of the industry for the past decade.

Articles you'll love

🕒 10 mins read
YouTube SEO 101: A Quick Guide
As the second largest social media, YouTube proves how powerful videos are. It has gone beyond an education and entertainment platform and has expanded into a promising business channel. Many […]
By Ajay Paghdal
🕒 4 mins read
Why Every Business Needs a Website
Regardless of the size and industry of your business, if you want to ensure your business's success, you should create a competitive website. Simply put, developing a robust website is […]
By Ajay Paghdal
🕒 12 mins read
Using SEO For Lead Generation – Everything You Need To Know
Pulling in quality leads is no walk in the park, especially in a crowded online marketplace. SEO for lead generation cuts through this noise so that your business aligns with […]
By Ajay Paghdal
1 2 3 5

Always Consistent. Always Quality.

Your link building campaign, large or small, is our priority. We've got the muscle to scale up and the heart to give you our full attention.

Trusted by Experts

I've been at REH for years and seen lots of outreach services. Your system stands out with its transparency and efficiency. I'd happily recommend it to anyone looking for real results.

Edward Richardson

Co-founder, Renewable Energy Hub

Contact Us
Blank Form (#6)
Team members
Link built

© 2024 All Rights Reserved.

Please visit our Privacy & Cookie Policy and Terms.