Matt Cutt's Machete Approach on the Bad Backlinks

          Discussing about the usage of the disavow tool is on the roof, after the new video released by the Head of Google Webspam Team Matt Cutts. The rules are already the same but still there are so many mistakes people commit while requesting and uploading the file for disavowing links.  On the recent video, Matt Cutts clearly explains about the Do’s and Don’ts on the usage of the tool. Let’s have a brief look on it.  

Disavow Tips



If you find backlink which is irrelevant or from a spammy site and if you are sure to remove it from your site, always send a request to the webmaster of that corresponding site as your initial step.  Delaying or on no response, you can rend the help of Google Disavow. Disavow requests are not guaranteed to remove the requested link the very next second but it is openly said by Google that it will take a time span of 45 days. Below are some tips on the usage of Disavow tools for your convenience.

Presentation on Disavow Tips

Video on Disavow Tips


  • Use only TextFile .txt (Notepad)                                                       
  • Use # for comments eg: # this is a paid link but i did not pay for it
  • Single link url per line
  • Right syntax to remove entire domain - domain:
  • While updating the links, download existing file and append the links


  • For removing an individual link

                     Eg:  # Contacted webmaster to remove the link but no response


  • For removing the Entire Domain

                    Eg:  # Contacted Webmaster but no response    


  • Domain names are not case sensitive. (Use -->  Domain: or domain:
  • Space is also not considered (domain: or domain :


Do not use www or http for removing the entire domain
Eg : (or)



Criteria for identifying unnatural links


  Sites that fall under disavowing actions includes,Disavow Tips

  • Irrelevant sites
  • Spammy Sites (Network sites)
  • Pages with too many Outbound Links
  • Paid Sites
  • Malware affected Sites
  • Other Language Sites
  • Links exchange Sites (Reciprocal Links)
  • Sites from Same Class C IP’s
  • Links from sites which has automated tools Eg:


Matt Cutts recommends to use the Machete approach instead of scalpel. Machete disavows all bad backlinks from an entire domain whereas Scalpel picks up only the individual backlink. Incase if your competitors posts something bad about your site with a backlink on another site where you are already getting quality links, then use disavow tool to remove only that Specific URL. Before simply disavowing, always analyze the link and only if you feel it to be irrelevant then send requests for removing.




Frequency of checking the disavow links can be in the span of  2 months (60 days in other words).


Best Practices:


While sending the text file for disavowing links use the below format

                         # comment the updated date

                          Append the links

After downloading the links and appending, sending request once to Google is enough.


Video by Matt on Disavow


Infographics on Disavow Tips

Disavow Tips - Infographic


Category :

SEO News

Tags :

Disavow Tool, Disavow Tips, how to Disavow links, how to remove bad links, Matt Cutts

About Guna Nadar

Guna Nadar

Brief Info about Guna Nadar +

I mostly write technical aspects and not much into creative writing. For the past decade I worked along with top notch SEO & Internet Marketing professionals which naturally lured me into the world of Search Engines. When I am not writing I read from comics to philosophy.Antiques, Fishing, hunting are my passions. Currently I am working on Google Penalty protection and .... more info