How to Find Toxic Backlinks and Submit to Google’s Disavow Tool

Google’s new Disavow Links tool has gained immense recognition in a very short period. That said, the question of which links to be disavowed still remains an elusive issue, and in this article, I intend to show you how to identify and neutralize such attacks, which SEO is also often exposed to.

Google’s new Disavow Links tool has gained immense recognition in a very short period. That said, the question of which links to be disavowed still remains an elusive issue, and in this article, I intend to show you how to identify and neutralize such attacks, which SEO is also often exposed to.

In regards to such, I’m going to mention a solution that I believe all followers of SEO will be interested in: the Google Disavow Links tool, which can foresee negative SEO attempts on websites and report back to Google that these malicious attempts are not actually originated from the targeted website. Previously, Yiğit Konur, one of our authors, had mentioned a video about the subject by Matt Cutts in his article “Google has Finally Found a Remedy for Negative SEO!”. (it is only published in Turkish) In addition to that, the first video of SEO TV named “Link Analysis Methods Against Negative SEO” contains useful information on the topic. In this article, I’ll attempt to consolidate everything and to show the reader how to go about with this process.

Negative SEO efforts, having been quite common especially recently due to increasing competition in certain industries, cause many individual and corporate web entities to be evaluated negatively by Google. Malicious backlinks undoubtedly come at the top of negative SEO efforts. These are backlinks directed to your website from sites that are not related to your person or organization. Their purpose is to make Googlebots associate your website with gambling or adult sites and thus to lower its position in web searches. Additionally, your website may have competitors that aim to decrease your average link profile with low-quality links in blog comments, a type of attack that even SEOZEO has been exposed to lately. Therefore, it is a necessity to run regular backlink analyses and report those coming from harmful sites or irrelevant URLs to Google. Thanks to the Google Link Disavow tool, you can report to Google that your website is not affiliated to these links, avoid certain types of punishment such as not being listed by search engines and allow Google to have a much healthier evaluation of websites.

Backlink Analysis

Let’s start with some one of our partners’ tools that allow users to evaluate backlinks to their websites. A good starting point is to first evaluate where the backlinks are coming from by using the Open Site Explorer of SEOmoz and the Site Explorer of Majestic SEO, which are compatible with the data from Google Webmaster Tools. The question of which of these tools to pick is answered in detail in another article published by our blog, named “8 Best Backlink Analysis Tools“, in which you can comparatively evaluate the best backlink analysis tools and pick the one that is best for your budget. Using one or multiple tools mentioned in that article will allow you to comprehend the state of your website with regards to your backlink profile with ease.

Detecting Malicious Backlinks

After the backlink analysis is finished, giving you an informative list, it will prove difficult to weed out every single harmful link if your site has thousands of backlinks. At this point, to identify malicious backlinks, I recommend the use of NetPeak Checker, a simple and comprehensible tool to use. With the help of NetPeak Checker, backlinks can be filtered in many different categories and be stacked in different “.txt” files accordingly.


For example, by using a filter on language, it will be easy to separate links from websites in languages that seem irrelevant. Similarly, it is possible to cross-filter the backlinks with their Alexa rankings and pick out the links of no use or malicious intent. In other words, by sorting backlinks by their Alexa rankings, you can distinguish the good links from the bad and take them off your “list of harmful links”.

One important warning for our readers in Turkey and other non-English speaking countries pertains to the common pitfall of rejecting all links that are not in the language of that particular country (read: English). Unfortunately, this usually causes these websites to miss links coming from social networks and internet services with very high traffic, such as Facebook, Google and Twitter. In such cases, it would certainly help to rank by Alexa rankings, since these links will appear at the top, thus allowing users to remove these links from the block list. An advantage of NetPeak Checker is that it lists the flag of the country that is of most interest to our search in the ranking called “Alexa Local”. This way, if filtering by language doesn’t work well, you can identify the country of origin of sites using the Alexa’s traffic information.

Use of Google Disavow Links Tool

After identifying the harmful backlinks, it is sufficient to collect these links in a “.txt” file and upload it to Google using the Disavow Links Tool.


In this process it is important to consider to which extent these links will be disavowed. If you’d like to block a link just on specific page, that will be sufficient. However, a much more effective parameter as we also use in SEOZEO against backlink attacks.

To demonstrate this, let’s assume that you have a malicious backlink coming from the following address:


Blocking this URL will block that specific page, but not the website. Instead, the following blocks all links from this domain, whether bad links came in the past or will come in the future:


To conclude:

The Disavow Links tool will have cleaned your harmful backlinks in a matter of weeks, and thus demonstrate a healthier and superior backlink profile to Google. If your site has received a warning regarding unnatural connections, it will be of use to write up a request for your site to be reevaluated. My personal recommendation is to run regular backlink checks and to report the malicious links before they accumulate, which will protect your site from harmful attacks and protect its position in Google rankings.

Wishing everyone a nice backlink profile!

Bir önceki yazımız olan Effects of Social Media on SEO başlıklı makalemizi de okumanızı öneririz.

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