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Possible way to get out of directories that charge for removal

 5:33 am on Nov 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

I recently asked a directory site to remove one of my sites from their index. They said I had to pay, which is a behavior a lot of you guys have reported from directories.

I brainstormed on how to deal with it and decided to block access from their site to mine in htaccess, thinking maybe the Google bot would follow it and treat that like a disavow. It turned out that was wrong, BUT... about 10 days later, I got an auto email from the directory saying my site had been removed because they couldn't reach it for more than a week!

I don't know if this will work with every directory, but it's worked on the two that I had links from, so it might be worth a shot.

The code I used is:

RewriteEngine on
# Options +FollowSymlinks
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} badsite\.com [NC,OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} anotherbadsite\.com
RewriteRule .* - [F]

Just keep repeating the third line if there are more sites you want to block.



 6:02 am on Nov 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm not sure why that works unless their link checker sends their domain as the referrer.

Technically, it shouldn't do anything except block visitors coming from the directory.


 2:04 pm on Nov 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

I would think that directories that care enough to constantly test the status of links are probably not the directories that cause ranking issues. I think the bigger lesson to learn and remember is that what you (or other people) do today to your website can impact its rankings for many years to come.

PS don't forget about the disavow tool


 2:47 pm on Nov 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

Im in the same boat...

receiving very hard responses like I remove your link but pay me USD 20 per link... or usd 25 to update that is to many.

diberry I think that your idea could work in those directories that have linkcheck tools working I will try it also. The other tool to use is the disavow tool as goodroi suggests. I think that this tool can be useful for those directory networks. I discover that my site is now in a directory network and I know that I suggested it to One Directory, seems that the owner clone or make copies of the original directory and started a network. This guy or guys now ask usd 20 for the remove I think that they are playing with this...


 2:53 pm on Nov 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

G or Bing disavow tool


 2:59 pm on Nov 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

Why even worry about it?

I think sometimes people try to over-manage backlinks ... It's natural for these type of links to 'happen' these days, which means it's Not what the Google disavow tool was designed for.

ADDED: You actually create more of an unnatural link pattern by removing these links than you do by leaving them alone, because most people won't ever bother to do anything about them ... I think your time would be much better spent doing about anything else, including reading the paper, than worrying about these type of links.


 11:54 pm on Nov 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

The reason I didn't use disavow is that I only have two directory links to this site and Google's instructions (when you actually go to the tool itself) are to use it if you have a LOT of backlinks that are problematic. I'm trusting Google's advice there and not using it for two links.

And just fyi, back when I did this in 2004 or so, I was very green and actually had the understanding that the directories were going to send me human visitors, not just Google rankings. Once I saw I wasn't getting any traffic from the links themselves, I quit doing it. I've always been paranoid about avoiding behaviors that smack of "gaming Google" because they always seem to figure it out sooner or later. I just didn't know better at the time, and I'm sure I'm not alone there. There is a lot of bad advice (some with the best of intentions) out there for new, self-taught webmasters and it's easy to make mistakes.


 1:51 pm on Nov 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

[tan] I bought a directory years and years ago to test out the dig.pt. network at it's tail end. It was an OK directory for its day but it's been stagnant for so many years it's definitely become low end.

Now I'm getting link removal requests for the site. If someone emails me politely and asks for a link removal, I remove all the links immediately and let them know. But I'm getting some threatening emails as well. I just got another email like this:

>>If you fail to do so, we would to communicating to Google to discount you site from our link profile.

That's a lighter threat than some I've got. I figure if someone can't ask politely on their first email where they're asking me to do unpaid work, I just ignore them. But this thread gives me a better idea. If they want me to remove the links 'or else', I'll offer to do so for a fee. $20 a page sound about right? this guy wants 6 links removed. (I'd still do it for free if they just said 'please' without the threat of reporting me to Google).

it's also an interesting business model. Directories are back baby!


 2:08 pm on Nov 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

it's also an interesting business model. Directories are back baby!

Had the same thought....LOL.

And just fyi, back when I did this in 2004 or so, I was very green and actually had the understanding that the directories were going to send me human visitors, not just Google rankings.

I did the same, but much earlier, to a site or two, although I was doubtful as to it's usefulness.
I'd just forget it and move on.


 2:49 pm on Nov 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

Any directories I paid to be in, I'm still happy to be in. I'm quite happy to be in some regional and industry specific directories. General directories I've always steered clear of.


 3:37 pm on Nov 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

The idea that maybe we just shouldn't worry about backlinks is completely valid. I was just presenting this as a possible option for those who ARE concerned. Especially because Disavow asks what you've done to have the links removed. If you do this and it removes even 1/5th of the links, that could really show good faith on your part.

That's all! Wasn't saying everyone should do this, just that it's an option for those looking for something like it. :)


 3:40 pm on Nov 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

Wheel, I sympathize with you there. My initial email to the site that wanted to charge me for this was entirely polite - just a simple "Would you please remove this entry?" They replied and said they'd done so, but in fact they'd just moved it to another category. I wrote back and explained that that wasn't what I'd asked for, and they got belligerent.

I'm not making excuses for anyone who starts out on a rude tone with you, especially a tone worse than the one you quoted above, but if people are trying to get 100 links removed and this is the way a lot of directories are treating them, then the "If you don't do that, I will do this" sentence doesn't strike me as all that rude - just more of a "let's cut to the chase" response.


 10:44 pm on Nov 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

When I read the title I though it was going to be a DOS attack :
>>>> Inserts penguin smiley ...... (")>


 6:44 am on Nov 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

Don't pay... only Disavow tool will help in it both for G & B

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