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Penalized in Google?
Unwinding Google Penalties

How & When To Use Google's Disavow Tool

Included below is Bob Sakayama's url to domain syntax tool that lets you quickly convert urls with bad links into a form you can submit in Google's disavow tool. Jump to Bob's url to domain syntax tool

You are mistaken if you think Google's disavow tool is a get out of jail free card.  These are screenshots from the tool, starting with the warning "Simply disavowing them isn't enough."  And if you don't vet your links appropriately, you might disavow valuable links and harm your ranks further.  That said the tool is a valuable new resource to manage legacy links that may be harming your search performance.

If you received an unnatural links warning and have seen a rank loss, then you are going to need to remove links before using this tool, and then file a reconsideration request.

If you have not received a warning, but have seen precipitous rank loss on terms you optimized with links, you probably should still make an effort to remove the unnatural links, but you may be able to use the tool to recover.  We encourage you to file for reconsideration because you may trigger a response from Google that is helpful.  Of course, don't just file a reconsideration request without first making an effort to clean house.

ALWAYS file the domain: syntax list, not the url list.  This is because in many cases, the links coming to you from certain domains may not all be indexed by Google at the time you download your links from WMT.  We find that often there are links discovered later that are also unnatural, coming from some of the same domains already vetted.  Filing using the domain syntax preempts this problem.  Here's an example of that syntax:


Use Bob's tool at the bottom of this page to make a text file (.txt) with one domain per line and then submit to

One interesting weirdness is that you upload a .txt file.  But should you want to add to it, if you download it, you get either a Google doc or a csv, NOT a .txt file.

Upon upload, the improved version of the tool now give you an error message if any of your syntax is a problem.  It also displays a summary, showing the number of domains and urls.

if you have a list of urls, here is a tool from penalty expert Bob Sakayama that converts those urls to the domain syntax after removing duplicates. This link will reset the tool below: click to reset (or refresh the page)