How to cancel Disavow request with Google

Did you recently submit a disavow request through Google Webmaster Tools but later realized you made a mistake? Read this article to learn how to cancel Disavow requests with Google.

Google introduced "Disavow links" option to help webmasters who were afraid of bad quality links negatively affecting their website's ranking. Disavow links tool allows you to submit a list of urls to Google and request to ignore such links while ranking your website. If you like to cancel or change your disavow request later, you may delete your disavow links request or re submit a new file.


Since long, backlinks were considered as a strong signal for ranking websites by most search engines. Google looks at the number of relevant links to a web page to understand the importance of the page for specific keywords. By realizing this factor, webmasters started acquiring a lot of backlinks through various programs like link exchange, directory submissions, guest posts, paid link purchase and so on. Eventually, the backlink profile became less reliable for search engines to rank a website due to the massive link acquisitions by webmasters and bloggers to artificially increase the search engine ranking of their websites. So, about 2 years ago, Google started introducing severe search engine penalties to control efforts to influence search engine ranking through questionable SEO practices like link building, keyword stuffing etc.

Once Google started penalising websites for having excessive links pointing to their sites, some black hat SEO companies started using this to penalise their competitors. They would go and build hundreds of low quality links for their competitor websites, which would eventually get caught and penalised by Google for excessive link building.

Many webmasters started complaining about their websites being penalised because of the excessive links created to their websites without their knowledge or permission. Finally, Google came up with the "Disavow links" option, which allows webmasters to tell Google which links they want to be ignored by Google while ranking a website. Read more about disavow links.

Disavow tool
Disavow link submission at Google Webmaster Tools

How to cancel Disavow links submission with Google

If you made a mistake while submitting the disavow links request and want to cancel your request, you have 2 options:

1. Delete your disavow file
2. Submit a new request. When you submit a new disavow request, your old request will be automatically cancelled.

So, if you included some good quality links by mistake in your disavow request, submit a new request excluding those quality links. Alternatively, you can download your existing file, edit and resubmit the edited one.

Steps to delete your existing disavow file and cancel the request

Follow the steps below to cancel your existing request:

1. Go to Disavow links tools

2. Select the site from the dropdown list. You must have already added and verified the site in Google webmaster tools.

3. Click on "Disavow Links"

4. Click on the same in the next page

5. You will be presented with a popup screen that allows you to upload a new file. If you have uploaded a file in the past, that will be listed there along with the date of submission. Click on "Delete" button as shown in the screenshot below:

Delete disavow request
Deleting existing disavow file will cancel your disavow request.

Edit existing disavow file

Google allows you to edit your existing disavow submission. If you just want to make minor changes or want to review your previous submission, it may be a good idea to edit your existing disavow file instead of creating a new one.

To edit existing file, follow the steps below:

1. Go to Disavow links tools

2. Select the site from the dropdown list. You must have already added and verified the site in Google webmaster tools.

3. Click on "Disavow Links"

4. Click on the same in the next page

5. You will be presented with a popup screen that allows you to upload a new file. You will see your existing submission along with the date. Click on "Download" button to download the file.

6. The file will be downloaded as a .CSV file. You can convert it into a text file by changing the extension to .txt

7. Edit the file and add/remove links

8. Upload the edited file.

Steps to submit a fresh disavow request

Here are the detailed steps to create a new disavow file and submit to Google using webmaster tools:

1. Go to webmaster tools

2. Select the site you want to work on.

3. Expand the link "Search Traffic"

4. Click on "Links to Your Site"

5. Look for "Who links the most". Click on "More »" under that section.

6. Click on "Download this table" and choose "CSV format".

7. Open the CSV file and identify all domains that are not valuable and having hundreds of links to your blog. Make a text file with all the domains/urls that you want Google to ignore.

In the text file, you can mention either individual urls or the entire domain itself. For each link/domain, mention a comment prefixed with the "#" symbol. Google expect you to make some sincere efforts to get the links removed instead of fully relying on the tool to discount the links. So, you are expected to contact the webmasters and request removal of the links. In the comments, you can mention the action you have taken to remove the link.

Sample disavow file format:

# I contacted the webmaster on 12/12/2013, but they are not responding
# Contacted the owner of on 17/11/2012 but no reply

8. Once you prepare the textfile carefully, submit it to Google using the "disavow links" tool.

Google may take a few days to process your new request and cancel the old disavow request. This is an automated process and no manual action is involved during this process. If your website has received an automatic algorithmic penalty, it will be canceled when they refresh the data next time. However, if your website has received a manual penalty, a manual review is required and it will not be automatically canceled when you submit the disavow links request.

Since your backlinks will keep changing over a period of time and new links will appear often, it is better to create a new disavow file with only the currently active links included in it.

Article by Tony John
Tony John is a professional blogger from India, who started his first Weblog in 1998 at Tony switched to blogging as a passion blended business in the year 2000 and currently operates several popular web properties including,, and many more.

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Author: Shravan08 Oct 2014 Member Level: Gold   Points : 2

Thanks a lot for providing such a detailed tutorial about how to cancel a disavow request with google. I was despertaley searching for it myself and your article helped me a lot. Thanks once again for sharing!

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