How to tell if disavow tool has been used

Is there any way to tell if an SEO company has used the disavow tool? I have a client who previously employed an SEO company to clean up bad links and use the Google disavow tool but she is unsure if this has been done and is no longer in touch with the company concerned.

Once Google disavow your submitted links, you will get mail from Google.
E.g: [Webmaster Tools] [noparse][/noparse] Disavowed links updated.

Thanks that’s exactly the info I was looking for. No message like this was ever sent to my client so I suspect that Google was never asked to disavow the links.
Thank you for the quick reply.


David, are you sure about that? I’ve seen cases where the disavow tools was successful, but no such message was ever received from Google.

I think the more likely answer is that you’ll simply see the disavowed links disappearing from GWT. At least, that’s what happened in the cases I know about. If you know something different, by all means put me right.


Mike, Yes, I’m sure, Beacuse I got the reply from Google last week, for your confirmation, I have attached my email snapshot here.


Thanks for that. Clearly, the reason you were able to get that message was that Google had an email address for you, and knew that you were responsible for the site. That probably wasn’t the case with the cases I saw.


But still some unwanted links are there in GWT, confused why these links are still there.

My client hasn’t received an email confirming that the disavow tool has been used by her previous SEO man. We are presuming it hasn’t but would there be a problem in submitting another if one has already gone? The site is continuing to drop out of the sky.

Also I am finding it difficult to get a really accurate backlink tool which will give me a list of the active backlinks. Google webmasters doesn’t seem to be too accurate and I’ve tried a few online with widely varying results. Can anyone recommend a trustworthy one (cheap or free would be good).



You can find any number of threads here covering that topic. For example:[/FONT]


There is no completely accurate backlink tool, and probably never will be. In order to identify every possible backlink, the tool would have to crawl the entire world wide web. Even Google doesn’t do that.


Agree with you Mike, there is no such tool which gives you accurate result.

As far as I know, Google may or may not honor your disavow request. That one thing.
Another thing is that the SEO service your friend hired could have been lazy and may have used to tool left and right, without providing any proof to Google that they had tried to remove links before disavowing them (this is what you are supposed to do).
If you’re looking for a decent backlink analysis tool, I’d recommend SEO Spyglass, that’s the one I’m using. It lets you go into real detail when analyzing links.

  • Sorry I’m late to the party here, but I had a similar issue managing our sites. One of the sites clearly showed a message in the WMT message section to say that a disavow file had been uploaded and updated, but the other site didn’t (although a file had definitely been uploaded and accepted). If it doubt, you can go through the steps to add a new disavow file and it will show you the previous version of the file at the last step; if no file shows there, then I’m guessing none exists.

Do you have any idea that how much time take GMT provide this message “Disavowed links updated” after the submission of spam links txt file

As far as I know, they don’t issue a message to tell you that they have responded to your disavow submission (at least, they didn’t on the one occasion that I submitted a disavow file). The only indication you will have is when the relevant links disappear from your GWT page.


I had to do this recently, annoying. Yes, the sites on my GWT account showed as above what was disavowed. It was not instant, did not expect it to be of course, I waited a week or so before going back to check. The links were disappearing from the page, not all though and still waiting on a lot. Must take time to go through.

Check with Manual Action, It’ll completely show if you used Disavow tool


Are you sure about that? I don’t remember ever seeing any mention of the disavow tool under Manual Actions.

That said, it was over a year ago that I used the disavow tool. Things might have changed since then.


I would like just to comment on the question real quick. The disavow tool is not the one-stop solution for any problem. As an SEO agency, we have many cases of clients coming to us after using the disavow tool and removing more than 95% of their links without recovering their organic traffic. The disavow tool is just to tell Google that those links are to be neglected. However that does not mean Google must or should obey neglect any. I have seen thousands of cases where the disavow tool got rendered as useless.

Hope that adds some more value to the answers above.

All the Best!