I work in marketing and one of my clients had several domains for different campaigns they were running, but we had the sites shut down because it was unhelpful. One of the sites was hacked and started sending spammy links to the main domain, all related to adult content. The site was shut down on 12/6/16 and our main domain recrawled right after, and several times in the weeks after.

Google Search Console is still showing over 4K links from this defunct site. It doesn't show up on Google, it doesn't redirect to the main domain. So why are these links still in Search Console? Is there any way I can get rid of them?

2 Answers 2


This can take up to one year or even longer until those links will start to disappear. There might also be some 301 redirects alive. Google does not update this in the console for security reasons, given penaltys should disappear before those links disappear in the search console.

  • Could you point me to some kind of source that says that? I would really appreciate it.
    – user73946
    Commented Jan 20, 2017 at 21:06
  • I don't know of any documentation, but I have heard from others that it takes a while as well. I don't know about a whole year, but I've certainly heard that it can take months. Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 10:43

You need to Disavow the links by Google Disavow tool.

Google Disavow Backlinks

Basically, you need to download all those backlinks to a text file and then edit that text file to only keep links that you want to Disavow. Moreover, you can add the domain that you want to disavow but you will need to do that manually. The file has a certain format that is not too difficult. You can find the steps and example in the page shown above.

You need to upload this text file to Google Disavow Tool and then wait for Google to remove those links from its search. It may take its own time, usually a few months. For more details, please see their documentation that is pretty good.

  • The disavow tool should only be used when there is a penalty from Google. If there is no penalty, then using the tool can't help your site and may hurt it. Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 10:44
  • I don't agree. If your site has been hacked and a spammer filled the Google search results with his own search terms pointing to his page on your site, Google Disavow is the only tool that can help because requesting those sites to remove the links is not going to work. Google says, "If you’ve done as much work as you can to remove spammy or low-quality links from the web, and are unable to make further progress on getting the links taken down, you can disavow the remaining links. In other words, you can ask Google not to take certain links into account when assessing your site."
    – user173399
    Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 14:27
  • Google says: "We recommend that you disavow backlinks only if you believe you have a considerable number of spammy, artificial, or low-quality links pointing to your site, and if you are confident that the links are causing issues for you. In most cases, Google can assess which links to trust without additional guidance, so most normal or typical sites will not need to use this tool." -- So if there is no penalty, don't disavow. Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 15:48

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