I have malicious links like .pw and .in on my google reject list. Everyone already knows these sites. It hurts my site as there are too many links on these sites. That's why I block them on my reject list.

An SEO expert told me that you only block +18 or hacklink links, you know those links are bad in google already. He said you don't need to block those connections.

Do you think I should add these links to my google disavow list?

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    Why are you using the disavow tool? Does your site have a manual action against it from Google? Commented Sep 13, 2021 at 18:23
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    You are more likely to hurt your site than help it if you use the disavow tool when you don't have a manual penalty for unnatural linking from Google. To quote Google , "You should disavow backlinks only if: You have a considerable number of spammy, artificial, or low-quality links pointing to your site, AND The links have caused a manual action, or likely will cause a manual action, on your site." Commented Sep 13, 2021 at 18:41
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    Google knows to ignore most spam links without you telling about them. When you use disavow preemptively, you are very likely to disavow some links that help your SEO. That ends up hurting your site. Unless you are the one creating the links, getting some spammy links just happens and isn't likely to hurt your site. Commented Sep 13, 2021 at 19:05
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    @ardacar The links are unlikely to "count" by harming your search rankings, if that's what you're worried about. I would say that your blocking behavior is "wrong" if it does not abide by Google's guidelines - i.e. if the links you are blocking have not caused a manual action, or are not likely to cause a manual action. Are you worried about receiving a manual action? Commented Sep 13, 2021 at 19:07
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    To your original question, when you say "links like .pw and .in" do you mean that you would disavow any links to your site from domains under the .pw or in country codes? Commented Sep 13, 2021 at 20:11

3 Answers 3


Disavow only in Manual Action cases

As Stephen mentioned, according to Google:

You should disavow backlinks only if:

  1. You have a considerable number of spammy, artificial, or low-quality links pointing to your site, AND
  2. The links have caused a manual action, or likely will cause a manual action, on your site.

So, if you have a solid reason to believe that your website will receive a manual action - e.g. if you have been doing blackhat link building - then the disavow tool could be considered.

If you do not have a manual action against your site, and you don't "think you're about to get such a manual action (because of paid links or other link schemes that violate our quality guidelines)" , then use of the disavow tool can be more harmful than helpful. Google also states this in their original blog post about the Disavow Tool:

If you've been notified of a manual spam action based on "unnatural links" pointing to your site, this tool can help you address the issue. If you haven't gotten this notification, this tool generally isn't something you need to worry about.

A new tool to disavow links | Google Search Central Blog

Do Manual Clean-up First

Furthermore the disavow tool is designed to be used after you clean up unnatural links you've built from other websites, so emailing those sites and requesting removal of those links is the first step. It doesn't sound like you've been doing black-hat link building though, so that's another reason the disavow tool might not be helpful.

Right now it can be a difficult task to clean up a site’s backlinks, and from listening to the SEO community we wanted to provide a tool that could help after site owners had already taken substantial steps to try to clean up their site’s backlinks.

Matt Cutts, former Head of Web Spam, Google

"The vast, vast majority of sites do not need to use this tool in any way."

From the blog post:

Q: Will most sites need to use this tool?

A: No. The vast, vast majority of sites do not need to use this tool in any way. If you're not sure what the tool does or whether you need to use it, you probably shouldn't use it.

A new tool to disavow links | Google Search Central Blog

The fact that your question here is about a somewhat subjective edge case is evidence to me that the disavow tool is not the right tool for this job.

If you didn't create these links, it's not your problem

Q: I didn't create many of the links I'm seeing. Do I still have to do the work to clean up these links?

A: Typically not. Google normally gives links appropriate weight, and under normal circumstances you don't need to give Google any additional information about your links. A typical use case for this tool is if you've done link building that violates our quality guidelines, Google has sent you a warning about unnatural links, and despite your best efforts there are some links that you still can't get taken down.

A new tool to disavow links | Google Search Central Blog

Google is already excellent at filtering out spam

From your question it seems like you are not being specifically targeted in a direct way, but that you are getting a base level of spammy links back from these sites just as everyone else are, i.e. from your post "Everyone already knows these sites." With that in mind, Google anticipates some a certain background level of internet backlink spam and accounts for it in their algorithm:

In general, Google works hard to prevent other webmasters from being able to harm your ranking. However, if you're worried that some backlinks might be affecting your site's reputation, you can use the Disavow Links tool to indicate to Google that those links should be ignored. Again, we build our algorithms with an eye to preventing negative SEO, so the vast majority of webmasters don't need to worry about negative SEO at all.

A new tool to disavow links | Google Search Central Blog

Note that they advise caution even if you are on the receiving end of a negative SEO attack, let alone receiving targeted backlinks which it doesn't seem is the case, let alone your case where your site is subject only to internet background noise, as it seems from your question.

It could possibly hurt

If you accidentally disavow even one good backlink from a .pw or .in domain, say from a Palauan or Indian blogger with high domain authority, losing that single backlink is likely to hurt you more than disavowing all the other spammy links combined, because Google is so adept at devaluing spam in the first place.


Google's ranking algorithm is like your immune system - it's highly trained to ignore all this unimportant background stuff to focus on deliberate black-hat link-building and other willful backlink issues. I don't believe you're giving it enough credit by discriminating against entire TLDs like this. If it were that easy to prevent spam, Google's engineers would have just blocked .in and .pw in their algorithm.

Furthermore, I believe the notion that treating the entire .in and .pw TLDs differently than you do with other domains would give you an SEO boost is a bit naive. If this strategy were good at giving your site a competitive SEO edge, it would be shared in SEO circles and Google would put special effort into tweaking their algorithm to reduce this artificial competitive edge by webmasters who use the disavow tool, putting everyone at square one again of not needing to use the disavow tool.

In my opinion, discriminating against entire TLDs because you are afraid of a potential manual action based on backlink background noise is a complete non-starter. I highly recommend against it, as I strongly believe it cannot help your site.

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    Exactly what harm can rejecting such links do? What kind of sanctions or filters can be applied to the site? Commented Oct 1, 2021 at 16:19
  • @roman-mikhol Yes, I'm wondering that too. That's why I gave the question a bounty. Commented Oct 1, 2021 at 16:40
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    @Roman It's not disavowing spammy links that's as much the problem, it's doing entire TLDs which throws the baby out with the bathwater. Since Google is so good at automatically filtering links anyways, it only takes a single false positive (perhaps a link from an Indian blogger with decent domain authority) to make the disavowal strategy hurt you. Commented Oct 1, 2021 at 17:08
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    @MaximillianLaumeister However, Google claims that I can reject both the entire domain and individual links. support.google.com/webmasters/answer/2648487?hl=en In addition, yesterday I checked the work of google disavow tool and it turned out that an error occurs when sending the list of domains. However, a list of individual pages has been retained and should be processed within a few weeks. Commented Oct 1, 2021 at 17:22

Thousands of sites are hacked every day, and Google's algorithms are smart enough to detect when backlinks are not natural. It just doesn't count such links.

  1. This is also reported by Barry Schwartz in his Twitter.

It would be "really rare" that disavowing links would help you purely algorithmically to rank better in search

  1. I also have my own experience when more than 1000 links from different domains came to one of the pages of my site, and this did not affect its rating.

The mere fact of using google disavow tool cannot harm your site if you use it correctly.

“No, no, the disavow tool is purely a technical thing, essentially, that tells our systems to ignore these links.

It’s not an admission of guilt or any kind of bad thing to use a disavow tool.

It’s not the case that we would say, well, they’re using the disavow tool, therefore they must be buying links.

It’s really just a way to say, well… I don’t want these links to be taken into account.

And sometimes that’s for things that you have done or someone working your website has done in the past.

Sometimes that’s for things that you just don’t want Google to take into account for whatever reason.

And both of those things are good situations, right? It’s like you recognize there’s a problem and this is a tool that you can use to resolve that. And that’s not a bad thing.

So it’s not the case that there is any kind of a red mark or any kind of a flag that’s passed on just because a website has used the disavow tool.”

Summary: In my opinion, the Disavow Tool is completely useless today.


Just came to say everyone here is very very very wrong about spam links and the disavow tool.

Google is NOT perfect at dealing with Negative SEO and thats exactly why you have it updated every 3 months. They're selling a product too so take their word with a grain of salt.

I had a site with +100k traffic all my backlinks were good and traffic started to drop until 10k...a year later.

Checking backlink profiles through ahrefs and mostly through google.

Addition of spammy content started exactly around the week when my traffic dropped. Google tells you when those links were crawled through google webmaster.

I've also seen videos of experts on negative SEO, talks and lectures and everything they said made sense with how those backlinks around my site were build.

Imo, it does have an effect on you, but whoever's doing negative seo or if it's being done with no one behind it, has to do it slowly over a period of time and watching out for a "tipping out".

Companies hire people to do this they dedicate their whole life to become experts at it, sometimes there are hundreds of thousands of dollars involved in just ranking for a few good keywords.

So you bet that company will try everything in their power to either remain at the top or get to the top.

TL;DR: if you see a huge drop in traffic and you notice spammy back links from low quality sites being crawled around the same time (you can only see the correlation months after its happened) then my friend you MAY be dealing with negative SEO. There may be other causes SURE!!!! BUT this MAY be very likely be the reason IMO.

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