Before I arrived at this company, they had a domain and website that is different than the one currently in use (but using the same company name). It was not being monitored or updated (I didn't know the site still existed on our server) and I recently discovered that it had been hacked sometime ago with a games folder. This folder is responsible for thousands of spammy gaming backlinks to our current site (and who know where else?!). In March, I deleted all the site files and removed the existing redirect to our current site within the DNS records.

How long can I expect those backlinks to stop appearing in our backlink audit reports? There are thousands of them. I'm hesitant to disavow the entire domain with Google as the offending links only come from one folder (games)- or should I? We have no intention of ever using the domain again. We keep it for IP purposes only.

Are there there other options/tools available to rid our association with this domain? Can I disavow just one folder within a Google disavow file?

  • A google core update is in process and I'm seeing site:domain.com is not showing accurate results as well ... Lots of chatter about the update: seroundtable.com/… ... which has not yet appeared on non-English sites. So its not over ... give it another week to check. Jun 2, 2022 at 18:37

1 Answer 1


Sounds like you still have access to the old domain. You could add a robot.txt file to tell search engines not to index. You will need to wait for Google to remove the pages.

But during a Core Update no actions are needed by website owners. And one can expect Google to need extra time to process the Robot.txt file. If they return 404s (depends on how you are redirecting) they will be dropped, but Google may check again if the pages exist.

Since you fixed the problem, I'ld expect everything to work out better than before the update. Clearly the bad content is gone.

Volatility during core updates

However, what you are seeing is likely related to the May 2022 core update. As of this post it has caused a lot of volatility in search rankings ... chatter all over the internet but some have been listed here: https://www.seroundtable.com/google-may-2022-broad-core-update-seo-impact-33512.html

During core updates delays in adding pages slows and some volatility is normal. This update seems to be high on volatility for english sites but the update may not have rolls out globally.

When google rolls back an update

If the update does not produce Google's expected results, Google has been known to roll back an update.

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