My friend generated a enemy in cyberspace a few months back. A few days back he found out that his business site which was ranking pretty high in google got penalized. The site lost all its rankings in Google UK.
He approached me with this issue and upon research I found links from around 50 odd directories to which he never submitted the site to.
All directories were hosted on the same IP address and were heavily interlinked. Plus links from all directories used the same keyword.
I repeatedly contacted these directories to get the listings removed. Finally I got a reply from a person today stating that he is ready to remove the listings but each removal will cost me $25! So the total for removing links for all directories comes to $1250
I told him this is ridiculous but he is not ready to budge. He is not ready to remove the links unless I pay him the said amount.
My question is, how do you deal with such people? Is there anyway to report this? What steps can I possibly take to get the listings removed?
I mean my friend's site got penalized and he is incurring heavy losses because of this every passing day for no fault of his!
It's generally accepted that there is not much others can do to hurt another site's organic ranking. However, those who have experienced a drop in ranking due to issues outside their control understand there are a variety of ways one's ranking can be affected.
Contact Google directly. Also file a dissatisfied with results complaint from the SERPs from which the site has been excluded. I am certain this is something Google would be interested in.
Are you sure it's these directories that have caused the penalty? Sure, they're probably junk that Google doesn't want in their index. But you can negate their effect easily enough by obtaining a steady flow of normal links from other sources.
Dig deeper, because you may well find something else that's giving your friend grief.