I've been using the Google disavow tool for a while, but recently found a domain that doesn't apper to use "normal" letters. The domain is кузбасс-ворота.рф. When I add this to my disavow file, I get the error (from Google):

The file disavow.txt must be either a pure ASCII character file or a UTF-8 encoded file.

I couldn't find any additional information on how to do that, however. When I save the file, there is an encoding option in the save dialog, but I do have UTF-8 selected. Does anyone know how to get Google to accept a file with non-english letter domains?


I tried using a Unicode character converter, which produced:


But I just get:

Domain line with invalid domain.

  • Is this a URL/domain you have downloaded from Google Search Console > "Links to your site"?
    – DocRoot
    Commented Oct 8, 2016 at 8:16
  • 2
    That error - "ASCII / UTF-8 encoded file" does ring alarm bells, (but you say it already is UTF-8 encoded?). However, have you tried representing this domain as Punycode? eg. xn----7sbbbh0au1bathasd.xn--p1ai
    – DocRoot
    Commented Oct 8, 2016 at 8:32

1 Answer 1


Use any Punycode converter tools to find normal domain name for this type of domain names. I'd recommend punycoder.com.

Then disavow the new displayed domain name (xn----7sbbbh0au1bathasd.xn--p1ai).

  • 1
    It would be nice if there was an official way to do this rather than relying on an undocumented "feature" of a private third party. I think the Punycode comment was on to something. Google did accept the domain, but it's hard to know if Google actually converts the name internally or is just disavowing the literal string.
    – Nick
    Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 0:37
  • 1
    International domain names all have an ASCII representation so that they work with all the tools that were built for the original domain name spec of ASCII characters. RFC 5891 is where you can find the specification for international domain names that calls for the punycode representation. Wikipedia has a good document on Punycode that explains how it works and is not to hard to understand. There are many tools to convert, the Alexa one seems to work, but you can search for a different one if you prefer. Commented Sep 23, 2017 at 13:41
  • If Google is "disavowing the literal string", it is probably doing the right thing. It would be disavowing using the ASCII representation of the domain name. It seems likely that they use the ASCII version internally. Their tool clearly doesn't know how to do the conversion. Commented Sep 23, 2017 at 13:43
  • @Nick "It would be nice if there was an official way to do this rather " You can install the idn or idn2 command on any Unix like system to convert back and forth Unicode and IDNA forms. Commented Oct 11, 2022 at 20:21

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