Someone is doing a negative SEO attack on my site 301 redirecting toxic sites to my site. I have done research and nobody online seems to have an answer.

Would disavowing the domain doing the 301 work or do I need to disavow all the links to the 301ed domain that subsequently are redirecting to me?

Is there any way in .htaccess to cause a redirect loop for for the redirects?

  • Check request header if they have HTTP_REFERER so you can do something otherwise I thin there isn't any solution.
    – Kamran
    Dec 27, 2019 at 21:54
  • Start by telling me how old is your website and how mny links have been built on it since it started?
    – kali kim
    Dec 27, 2019 at 23:03
  • 1
    How do you know it's a 301 redirect via an intermediary domain? Is GSC alerting you to this issue?
    – DocRoot
    Dec 28, 2019 at 16:38

1 Answer 1


You shouldn't disavow anything unless you know that those links are causing ranking problems or penalties for your content. In most cases, Google already knows that those domains are spammy and completely ignores them. They won't hurt your site when your competitor redirects them towards you.

If you do need to disavow, it isn't clear if you can disavow the redirecting domain or if you need to disavow all the domains linking to the redirecting domain. It would certainly be easier to disavow the redirecting domains. Google's John Mueller weighed in on a similar question about redirects and disavow, but wasn't really able to answer it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0FC1K25Z3w&feature=share&t=28m34s I'd start with disavowing the redirecting domain and see if that improves the rankings or gets the penalty lifted.

In .htaccess you can throw a 403 Forbidden error based on the referrer. See How do you block a referer but for a specific URL using .htaccess? Unfortunately, doing so isn't going to help much for two reasons:

  • Googlebot never sends a Referer header, so Googlebot won't know that you are trying to block the links.
  • The redirecting domain doesn't always appear in the Referer header. It only will for direct traffic to that domain. When somebody on Page A clicks on a link to the redirecting domain and gets sent to your site, Page A appears in the Referer, not the redirecting domain.

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