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Cant Afford Link Removal Charges - Thoughts?
ErnestHemingway




msg:4568924
 2:33 pm on Apr 29, 2013 (gmt 0)

Hey Guys,

I have been sending link removal requests for one of our health sites and so far on average every directory wants $20 to remove our link.

Some even want $500 to remove the link.

Now we went over the links that want money to be removed and its close to $12210.

How can I work around this?

The amount is rather very significant. Anyone in similar situation and any work around?

 

fathom




msg:4569754
 8:01 pm on May 1, 2013 (gmt 0)

I have been sending link removal requests for one of our health sites and so far on average every directory wants $20 to remove our link.

Some even want $500 to remove the link.

Now we went over the links that want money to be removed and its close to $12210.

How can I work around this?

The amount is rather very significant. Anyone in similar situation and any work around?


Why remove any link?

Let's pretend you're a competitor that wanted to get that website into trouble with Google. Google says you don't need to worry about stuff like that.

So why do you need to worry about stuff like that?

Googlebot cannot determine the identity of the person whom generated the inorganic links so (according to Google) you don't need to delete anything.

If you have attracted a Manual Review obviously you do need to reverse inorganic links but paid exclusion is as good of a reason as any to disavow links and showing Google's Webspam Team the correspondence to such interactions affords you relief from this form of ill will.

taberstruths




msg:4569755
 8:10 pm on May 1, 2013 (gmt 0)

Why don't you just figure the cost of asking the good links to change the url and then break all the bad links?

Example letter.

Dear webmaster

We are going through a site upgrade and it will be causing some url changes. We appreciate that you have supported our site by linking to us from yourgreatwebsite.com/yourgreatpage/ to our website mygreatwebsite.com/mygreatpage/

We do not want our changes to affect you negatively by having broken links created on your website. Here is the new url so you can change this. mygreatwebsite.com/mynewgreatpage/

If this has caused you a great inconvenience, please contact us so we can make this a win/win situation

Sincerely

Silver Tongued Devil
mygreatwebsite.com

I think this would be a lot cheaper than paying to have spammy links removed.

edited to add more content.

[edited by: taberstruths at 8:21 pm (utc) on May 1, 2013]

tommytx




msg:4569757
 8:20 pm on May 1, 2013 (gmt 0)

Yeah... but its called cloaking... (wash my mouth out..LOL) we send the ones with a referrer of one of the Directories to the #*$!.. but regular customers and search engines go to the normal page.. but cloaking can piss google off if they catch you but you would only need to do it for a week or 10 days... Cloaking is where humans go one place and bot go another... but it was just a joke.. I don't recommend really doing it since it could cause you problems... but sounds like fun anyway especially for the monkeies..

fathom




msg:4569758
 8:21 pm on May 1, 2013 (gmt 0)

It's like these people feel entitled to send me 10 emails a day, demanding I spend an hour of my day fixing their business problems - business problems they created. And then they complain when I expect to be paid for it, even in light of the fact that they're asking me to do the exact opposite of what they'd originally paid for. Web designers expect to be paid for a change in specs, so do I. What gives them the right to abrasively demand I work for nothing? Quit acting so entitled. If it's not even worth $29


It take 1 1/2 minutes at best to find a link in your CMS and 15 seconds to delete it. At $29 that's $29 X 30 = $870/hour for tasks any 8-year old elementary dropout can do.

You could hire 110+ minimum wage labor force to do these menial tasks but I suspect you're simply conning everyone about the hour you must invest in the process.

diberry




msg:4569760
 8:30 pm on May 1, 2013 (gmt 0)

It take 1 1/2 minutes at best to find a link in your CMS and 15 seconds to delete it. At $29 that's $29 X 30 = $870/hour for tasks any 8-year old elementary dropout can do.


Word. It's one thing if they're trying to charge a reasonable amount for the removal, but $500? Even $29 US is ridiculous.

TheOptimizationIdiot




msg:4569762
 8:33 pm on May 1, 2013 (gmt 0)

It take 1 1/2 minutes at best to find a link in your CMS and 15 seconds to delete it. At $29 that's $29 X 30 = $870/hour for tasks any 8-year old elementary dropout can do.

And the point is?

To get listed permanently in a number of directories is ~$100, which people gladly pay, but it only takes about 30 seconds to review the submission the person making the payment fills out and click approve ($100 x 2 / minute x 60 minutes = $12,000/hour), so $870/hour is actually a large cut in pay for a directory owner. Even if they only charge $50 to add a permanent listing at $29 for removal they're still only charging 14.5% of the hourly rate they charge to add a listing. (That's a discount where I'm from.)

Is it possible some people just got in the wrong business at the wrong time and are jealous they don't make that kind of money?

rish3




msg:4569787
 10:44 pm on May 1, 2013 (gmt 0)

It take 1 1/2 minutes at best to find a link in your CMS and 15 seconds to delete it.


It can reasonably take longer than that...not all of these requests are for simple things like directories where you can just zap one entry and be done with it.

- You cut out the reading and responding to the email.
- You cut out searching other pages for links to the same site to avoid a second request.
- You cut out minor rewrites if removing the link ruins the sentence. Yeah, we could convert the link to just a "citation", but people requesting it might mistake an unlinked foo.com as a link, inviting more email
- You cut out purging caches, some of them not within the same admin interface. (like varnish, for example). If you don't do this, the requester still sees the link, and emails you again.

It's not unreasonable to say it can take 5 to 10 minutes to read the email, remove the link in a methodical way, and respond. And, there's a reason people don't bill out in increments less than around 30 minutes. Task switching isn't free...even if the task itself takes 60 seconds, it derailed something else.

That's not including other distractions, like multiple requests to remove the same link, sometimes from different people, and the potential resulting confusion.

rish3




msg:4569795
 10:49 pm on May 1, 2013 (gmt 0)

Oh, and one more thing...verifying that the person who emailed you actually has the authority to ask for the link to be removed. And, no, the fact that it came from the domain in question isn't always enough, especially if it's a larger company.

One of the most popular negative SEO tactics lately is faked link removal requests...

cabbie




msg:4569796
 10:52 pm on May 1, 2013 (gmt 0)

I have a thick skin.Call me a monkey, if you like but I am on Wheel's side.
How is it more ethical to expect work done for nothing, than actually wanting to charge for work.

Leosghost




msg:4569801
 11:01 pm on May 1, 2013 (gmt 0)

Oh dear..do read it again cabbie..

lucy24




msg:4569802
 11:07 pm on May 1, 2013 (gmt 0)

- You cut out searching other pages for links to the same site to avoid a second request.
- You cut out minor rewrites if removing the link ruins the sentence.

Isn't this thread about directories? There is no sentence; there are no other pages.

When you pay a one-time fee, what do you get? How long does the directory have to remain in existence? How many changes is it allowed to make, either within the page or in means of access to it?

netmeg




msg:4569803
 11:08 pm on May 1, 2013 (gmt 0)

I'm on wheel's side on this, too.

TheOptimizationIdiot




msg:4569807
 11:09 pm on May 1, 2013 (gmt 0)

+1 for wheel

As if there were any questions about my position lol

Leosghost




msg:4569811
 11:10 pm on May 1, 2013 (gmt 0)

I'm on wheel's side on this, too.

me 3 ..which is why I wish "some people" would read my post(s) more carefully..

turbocharged




msg:4569859
 12:49 am on May 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

Wheel is absolutely correct. But I will add this...

Most of the link removals are happening at free directories. Why? Because many webmasters spammed these free directories with automated software, used form fillers or other easy techniques to spew their links across the web. Now, these same people don't want to accept responsibility for their actions and expect directory owners to give up their time to work for free. I'm sorry, but I will not attend a pity party for these people. They spammed their links and now they are paying the price. Use the disavow tool if you can't afford the link removal fees these directories are charging. And by the way, next time don't spam your links across the internet.

super70s




msg:4569876
 3:42 am on May 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

I used to run a free link directory, before I sold it, that ran on an early version of PHPLinkDirectory. It was a real PITB to track down a specific link in an index of thousands of links in the control panel and remove it, although I always complied with removal requests.

Sometimes people would even send me a big list of 6 or 7 URLs and say, "I'm not sure if any of these links are in your directory, but if they are please find and remove them" because they got freaked out by the latest Google algorithm change.

Don't know if it's any easier to find and remove individual links in newer versions of PHPLinkDirectory, I imagine it probably is.

cabbie




msg:4569882
 4:31 am on May 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

Hehe. My apologies Leo.
The story of Monkeys and bananas was a bit complicated for me.
I somehow deduced that is was light hearted dig at wheel.
Glad we are on same side. :)

fathom




msg:4569939
 7:34 am on May 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

It can reasonably take longer than that...

RUBBISH!

I have no problem with you being a hypocrite but I don't see why you don't advertise to potential customer "use at your own risk"... and the reason why... because email reading is too time consuming for you.

fathom




msg:4569941
 7:40 am on May 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

Oh, and one more thing...verifying that the person who emailed you actually has the authority to ask for the link to be removed. And, no, the fact that it came from the domain in question isn't always enough, especially if it's a larger company.

One of the most popular negative SEO tactics lately is faked link removal requests...


That's a flaw in your business model.

Not an existing user's flaw.

FranticFish




msg:4569948
 8:38 am on May 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

All those talking about ethics who have ever used these services are IMO hypocrites.

I used crappy directory links until about 5 years ago, because they used to work and I didn't know any easier methods of getting links. Factory SEO, one size fits all.

But even when I did do this, I knew that they were crap. They are a collection of slightly organised FFA pages. I used to joke with my colleagues about them actually working!

Anyone using these should have NEVER have been in any doubt that they were a hack, a loophole. Be brave, accept responsibility.

And, anyone who has had even the slightest interest in SEO for the past five years should have realised that Google have a stated aim of rewarding quality and (unfortunately) not ignoring but even perhaps penalising manipulation - and should perhaps even have thought:

'Maybe I need to get rid of these, they are incredibly obvious signs of a ranking manipulation attempt. Any free link-checker can identify them and there are curated lists of them for comparison purposes on websites. If I can identify them using free tools on my desktop what can Google do?'

fathom




msg:4569979
 11:00 am on May 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

The rational for removing any link is based on an ill-conceived theory that your domain is continuing to be damaged from such inorganic links... that is a fallacy.

The damage has already been done, you cannot undo that loss no matter what you do (due to PENGUIN) anymore than deleting a link where the rel="nofollow" is included in the link element. Such links are dropped from the link graph... that's it... you don't need to do anything more.

That's one side of the issue.

Another rationalization is what will PPI directory owners do as their targeted markets decline? That answer is what this thread is all about. If you can't make your monthly budgets from inclusion a great alternative is also generating revenue from exclusions.

__________

Unless you have a Manual Review you don't need to remove a single link thus there is zero reason to pay for exclusion and there is zero reason to communicate with anyone that demand payment for exclusion. That solves their scheduling conflict as well they they imply is so costly to people-hours on high tech jobs.

If you have a Manual Review you do need to show Google you understand their guidelines but if anyone demands money for exclusion make a list in Google docs with email correspondence as evidence and add to a disavow list.
__________

Here's a big caution for those that believe exclusion fees are a winfall...

Extensive playing around with the disavow tool shows Google does notify website owners through the WMT account that are routinely tied to inorganic links that they have been reported. That seems to me to be a convenient way for Google to devalue low quality domains that offer inorganic links to others.

Google has suggested (more than a few times) be careful about what you disavow because you taint the credibility of the domains on the receiving end.

Clearly any domain that offers inorganic links or affords their users to provide inorganic links in the first place are not really "quality domains" so don't think the only group that are considered Google's problem children are your users... you are equally Google's webspam target.

PENGUIN 4 or PENGUIN 5 or sometime in the future is going to take care of all those domains that provide links just to provide links... so you had better believe you have a problem when others are attempting to fix their and you simply desire the status quo.

[edited by: fathom at 11:16 am (utc) on May 2, 2013]

arikgub




msg:4569990
 11:14 am on May 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

Cant Afford Link Removal Charges


Very good. That might force you to spend your time on something else, something that actually matters

rish3




msg:4570014
 12:11 pm on May 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

@fathom
RUBBISH!

I have no problem with you being a hypocrite but I don't see


Heh, name calling now? I don't actually own a directory, just trying to participate in the conversation. Clearly, this topic has hit some sort of personal hot button for you. Did you buy a bunch of sh*tty links back in the day?

jojy




msg:4570021
 12:45 pm on May 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

You paid for link building campaign, now its time to pay for link removal...

santapaws




msg:4570030
 1:28 pm on May 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

is this a new business opportunity? Im thinking that i could put together some really spammy directories linked from the spammiest sites i can control or pay for a link from. Then add as many legitimate sites to it as i can and then charge for link removal?

TheOptimizationIdiot




msg:4570051
 2:30 pm on May 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

That seems to me to be a convenient way for Google to devalue low quality domains that offer inorganic links to others.

Oh the FUD of it all.

Google has suggested (more than a few times) be careful about what you disavow because you taint the credibility of the domains on the receiving end.

Source Please.



Best practices for using the Google disavow tool, confirmed [webmasterworld.com]

Emphasis Added
"Do not worry about damaging other people, that does not happen"

See Link Above for Full Info.

nickreynolds




msg:4570127
 8:15 pm on May 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

There is some validity imho on both sides of the argument. To expect someone to do link removal for free may be unreasonable. However a directory owner who exploited the whole "get links from me to improve ranking" thing can't take the moral high ground of "it's your fault for submitting to crappy directories" and then screw them over. (I'd like to earn $29 for 5 minutes work, but I would feel I was ripping someone off for that.
I have had people ask me to remove links from my sites, for instance where we swapped links years ago when we thought it was the right thing to do and I wouldn't dream of trying to charge them.

TheOptimizationIdiot




msg:4570141
 8:48 pm on May 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

Out of sheer curiosity after reading this line:
(No offense intended nickreynolds, it just made me think a bit.)

I'd like to earn $29 for 5 minutes work, but I would feel I was ripping someone off for that.

Does anyone here who thinks $29 is too much for 5 minutes of work run any type of pay-per-click advertising, affiliate referral program or any other system where you get paid for something on your site when you're say, at the store, in the shower, sleeping, eating dinner, etc. or do you all take your site offline and/or cancel those type programs when you're not actually working on it, because in those cases you're getting paid way more than $870/hour for working on something, you're getting paid while you're not doing any work at all for anyone.

How long does it take to install those AdSense blocks of code on a site and how much do you make for that, what, maybe an hour of work (if you don't know what you're doing) over the course of a month, year, two years?

Is $29 to remove a link really that outrageous when you compare it to the money people make from a site while they're at the beach, shopping, sleeping, golfing?

zeus




msg:4570261
 8:22 am on May 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

I still think its a google problem, they must be able to ignore links, it can not be that we as webmaster has to work for them.

netmeg




msg:4570356
 2:19 pm on May 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

Yea, they can ignore links. But they want discourage the behavior, too.

arieng




msg:4570385
 3:43 pm on May 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

Maybe I'm missing something, but leaving a link on your site when the recipient has asked to have it removed seems like a poor business choice to me. Forget disavow. Since they ultimately have control over what is served on the linked page (and can provide a negative experience by serving poor content or redirecting somewhere else), continuing to post that link is leaving the potential for a poor user experience floating along out there.

If we're talking about a directory whose entire business model was selling links, then charging for removal might be ok. However, if we're talking about a real site with real users that is going to be an ongoing concern, then just invest the time to remove the links in the interest of quality. $0.02.

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