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Client asking me to file DMCA notices against link directories charging take down fees

 12:25 pm on Jul 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

He is arguing, he gave no permission for the links to be added, payment of a link removal fee, is encouragement for the same sites to crawl the net, add every site, then wait for the taken down requests and fee charging.

I kind off have to agree.... its getting to huge rort stage.

Opinions anyone? Dmca notices against sites that demand $50 to remove a link?



 7:34 pm on Jul 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

A link directory has a right to list any link they please. The posting of a link in a directory is not covered by the DMCA. Google would prefer you just buy an ad via adwords and you can shoot straight to the top, yes?


 7:46 pm on Jul 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

I suggest that you just ignore or forget these directories. They are of no importance.


 7:48 pm on Jul 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

Tell your client that he could be sued for filing a false DMCA takedown request, and Google won't comply with an invalid request in any case.


 10:57 pm on Jul 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

Agree with Editorialguy, In most cases the fee is fairly minimal so just pay the fee and have done with the link.

Another great market Google has created, being paid to take down links....


 12:27 am on Jul 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

Another great market Google has created, being paid to take down links....

When Larry Page and Sergey Brin wrote "The PageRank Citation Ranking: Bringing Order to the Web" at Stanford more than 15 years ago, they probably had no idea that it would be greeted with so much greed.


 11:06 am on Jul 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

If you are being asked for payment to get a link removed for manual penalty reconsideration purposes, Google's John Mueller says:

"Personally, I'd recommend not going down that route if you want to have it removed just for Google's crawling and indexing, probably it's okay just to list in the disavow file. On the other hand, if you want to have it removed from the web completely, i.e. you don't want this reference on the web for your site then maybe it's worth talking to those webmasters. From our point of view, we want to see significant steps to remove it from the web, but if there are some links you can't remove yourself or some that require payment to be removed, then having those in the disavow file is fine as well."



 12:11 pm on Jul 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

The term you used is appropriate - link directories. I don't know of any link directory that has added links out of their own free will. These types of sites exist from revenue derived from the scarce payment they receive from someone pays to be listed. Normally payment gives better placement too. In other words, if I were a gambling man I would say your client is lying when he said that he did not give permission for the links to be added. He, like many others, probably was using some cheap SEO service that promised quantities of links.

I would advise your client to be very cautious in using threats to remove links. I've heard of a number of cases where those threatened have created thousands of new spam links pointing to the sites wanting their links removed. Use the disavow tool is you must.


 2:53 pm on Jul 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

Google won't react to a DCMA if it's just a link and synopsis. It has to be pretty much a whole page or at least one photo before they'll bother. This is something to explain to your client so they'll understand the approach they're asking for just won't get them what they want.

I concur with the advice to use disavow - that's what it's for. Tell your client whether some SEO added it without their knowledge or a competitor did it to sabotage them, that's what disavow was designed for. And it is, really.

One little trick I've found is, you can get rid of a lot of these links if you give a 503 forbidden access message to their bots. The bots think your site has disappeared and remove it from the directory. So that may actually get rid of some, and I'd use disavow on the rest.


 6:28 pm on Jul 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

just put it in the disavow


 6:36 pm on Jul 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

just put it in the disavow

Makes sense. If the goal is simply to keep the client from doing something foolish (or making you do something foolish), the Disavow Tool is a quick and easy way to provide reassurance.


 7:33 pm on Jul 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

Don't bother with DMCA notices in this case. You have to remember that Google will never approve a DMCA notice against something that Google themselves do. Google links to all sites and although they provide tools to have those links removed a DMCA is not such a tool.

If you're so inclined you can use the disavow tool and disavow their domain. You could take it a step further and let the directory owner know that Google getting disavow notices about their domain, when actual links exist, might hinder their rankings. Wish them luck with that and the owner might just err on the safe side. Offer to charge them $75 to be removed from your disavow list? I wouldn't recommend that but the directory owner may think twice about trying to extort money from people who don't like his ethics in the future.

Two can play the same game so they say but I'd recommend you do nothing at all. If you feel you need to do *something* then adding them to your disavow list is probably more than enough. Don't get into confrontations when you don't need to.


 1:45 am on Jul 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

Are you JUST going to be submitting a disavow file? Or will you also be filing a reconsideration request?

I would keep a copy of his reply where he was asking for money in return for removing the link. I would put that in a google docs file and reference in your reconsideration request.

"Don't get into confrontations when you don't need to."

If you make threats that imply his site will be blacklisted because you put it in your disavow file, then he will - knowing that you are afraid of spammy link - find the spammiest links in the world and point them at your site. He's probably got lots of directories and lots of cheap spamming tools.


 2:21 am on Jul 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

I don't know of any link directory that has added links out of their own free will.
Obviously you don't know much about web directories. Some directories use a feed from Dmoz. Now what is happening is that the rather clueless SEOs believe the Google FUD buddies about "unnatural" links whereas in reality many of them may be reusing the Dmoz data as filler in their directories. These are often not "unnatural" links but because the clueless SEOs believe all the Google FUD about "unnatural" links they spam directory owners asking to have Dmoz links removed because they are too damned stupid to realise that these links are part of a Dmoz feed - that's if the spoofers masquerading as SEOs have even heard of Dmoz. Now if you are differentiating web directories from links directories you may have a point.



 10:37 am on Jul 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

jmccormac, DMOZ is the exception and not the standard when it comes to web directories. Google scraped/rebranded that directory no too long ago as well. If people want their links removed from one of the oldest and most respectable directories, that is their prerogative.

DMOZ is a web directory with unpaid editors. I'd certainly differentiate them from the thousands of link directories that solely exist to trade cash for a link. Those who do are not adding sites to build a "resource" as being a "resource" is not their goal - making money is.


 1:37 pm on Jul 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

The problem, Turbocharged, is that many SEOs don't realise that directories are often using Dmoz feeds as a back fill. There are SEOs who are using spammer techniques complete with disposable e-mail addresses, non-resolving e-mail addresses etc spamming directory owners to remove Dmoz links. I consider these people to be in the same class as spammers and probably less clueful than the average spammer. These unethical people are spamming directory owners without analysing links and then billing the companies stupid enough to hire them.



 4:28 pm on Jul 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

"I don't know of any link directory that has added links out of their own free will."

I had a directory! I put in links for free!

One of the things you do is go to a vertical, look at the top 3 ranking sites, and then create a link to their site for free.

Then when people who want to rank in that vertical do a backlink analysis, they see that the top three sites ALL HAVE LINKS FROM YOUR DIRECTORY! They then think, "I should probably get a link from that directory, too!"


Aside from this devious / intelligent way of giving free links, anybody who wants to have to do a directory has to jump start it


Actually, I had another REAL directory and it was all free links that I was the one who filled in the data. It was a directory of institutions that was more or less related to my niche.

When Panda came out, I removed it because I thought it could be Panda bait.

Looking at it now, I am not so sure that was a good idea. It was fairly comprehensive and useful to users.

The unfortunate thing is that I think that google views hand edited, useful directories as a threat to its business model, and thus has considered them to have negligible importance.


 4:41 pm on Jul 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

Back to the original question:

Does the client even know what DMCA is? Or are they working on a nebulous notion of "I don't like the site so I'll sic the DMCA on them" (same principle as "I don't like my neighbor so I'll sue them and get lots of money just because they're jerks even though they haven't done anything compensable")?


 6:43 pm on Jul 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

he gave no permission for the links to be added

Nobody needs permission to put a hyperlink on their website.

Your client needs to understand this.



 8:13 pm on Jul 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

I wonder if in some countries it it possible to forbid linking to your website ?

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