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I took a good site offline due to so many remove link emails

 2:57 pm on Nov 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

We created an article website 8-9 years ago. It was allowed the author could post a link to their website or related page to the article. All the links from day 1 were nofollow. Since the recent updates from G we have been swamped with link removal request. I had a prepared email letting these newbees know the links were nofollow and had no effect on their problem. Well some of the (most of them) don't seem to understand this, so I took a look at the website and determined it was of no value to our company and our future.
The website did very well in the serps but with the content I had taken off adsense to protect our interest, so really there was no viable income.
Best option kill it. Shame but I just don't have the time to worry with all the emails and the website making the company 0.



 5:43 pm on Nov 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

Some have said that fewer links to other websites will make people rely more on search in the future. I believe such a theory holds truth and could potentially be the long-term economic strategy for Google. It's just a shame that so many people are getting link removal requests and deciding to shut down their sites. Wishing you well bwnbwn now that the hassle of link removal requests is no more!


 5:54 pm on Nov 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

You're missing out on some easy money. Set up a Paypal button and charge $10 to $20 per link removal.


 8:10 pm on Nov 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

Thought about that chicagohh just not my style. I would rather move on than have to go about the task of hitting a person/company that is already going off the cliff with another charge.
The point is the ones that are sending these emails or link removal request don't know the difference in a follow link verses a no follow.
Like a death roll they are grasping for a limb on the side of the cliff but it isn't there.


 9:55 pm on Nov 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

Like a death roll they are grasping for a limb on the side of the cliff but it isn't there.

Maybe its not the site owners sending the requests but their competition. There's a lot of that going around too. Just a thought.


 10:02 pm on Nov 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

mr engine that is true and could be some of the link request we have gotten, but I can't see sending a link removal request to a website with a nofollow Then again I am wrong most of the time, according to my wife.


 12:15 pm on Nov 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

I am wrong most of the time, according to my wife

I had a wife nearly like that but her view was that I am wrong all of the time.

Consider yourself lucky!


 12:47 pm on Nov 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

@ bwnbwn

Was in a similar situation lately and decided to shut down two domains. Could no longer take the silly daily link removal requests, it was getting crazy and not worth my time.

Nothing but love to Google. I bet you feel the same...


 6:24 pm on Nov 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

In my opinion I would just leave the site up and ignore the link removal requests. if the links are no followed their very likely not hurting the people linked to. personally in this case I would just set up an email filter to direct all those link removal requests to a folder you don't have to look at that often and/or set up a new auto responder for those emails with the message that you understand the predicament the site is in but that since this links are no followed your not going to remove them.

I'm also kind of unsure as to why you took AdSense off the site if it was making you money. Monetizing a content site through AdSense is perfectly acceptable. If you're not comfortable with it and the site is on its own domain I'd look at selling it. If it makes a predictable income through AdSense why not try to extract value from it and sell it to someone who doesn't mind dealing with the link removal requests?


 6:54 pm on Nov 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

robdwoods we were getting 300-500 articles submitted a day. I hired out to a person I met through a purchase of several air conditioner units. he was hired out to approve the articles. Nothing against were he was from but after looking through some of the approved articles I could see it might jeopardize our account. This is why wasn't worth my time to go through all the articles and approve or send back to the author there was an issue, and it wasn't worth worrying about having our account disabled either.
Selling the website is an option I right now frankly don't care it is up to the company. I am done wasting my time on it, they can deal with it.


 2:12 pm on Nov 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

A few months ago, I was in the exact same situation. It seemed like too much work to remove all the links, unfair to ignore the mails requesting link removals and unethical to charge money for it. So I took the website offline, like you did.


 7:34 pm on Nov 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

bwnbwn, I can see your POV. I thought it was your own personal site and revenue missing out of your own pocket. If that were the case I'd set up a new AdSense account that won't affect your other account and see if you can make some $.

vik_c, if the links are truly spammy I can see not wanting to ignore the emails. If they were nofollowed like bwnbwn's I'd have no problem ignoring the emails as 95% of link removal emails never ger responded to anyway and if the links are very low risk you aren't really damaging the linked to site much. If there is good revenue potential I'd set up a filter to direct those emails out of your inbox and just ignore them. I don't know what your ROI is on setting that up though, but I hate to see a nice recurring passive income turned off :)


 8:22 pm on Nov 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

robdwoods it was a decent income. The site was an article database that a user set up an account to post articles in their account. The problem is the websites that were hit 99% of them hired out these writers to post them for the buz. Now that the user is no longer working for them the website owner doesn't have a clue how to get in. I had my email at the bottom of the website and on the contact page, but since I had them going to spam they started sending email to the domain owner our CEO. He got frustrated with all the request because he would then forward them to me. After several well (many) nasty emails from people that wouldn't or couldn't understand we didn't add the links, someone you employed did, the links are all no follow, and really won't pass a penalty. I recommend to kill it.

The reason I took off and won't add a new adsense account to the website is the article approver allowed some xxx rated material and links in some of the articles, or the user got an article approved and latter came back and added them. Then the article approver didn't look just approved.

Either way the link request and ensuing email follow ups became plain stupid and maybe in some cases dangerous.


 12:31 am on Nov 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

I have a few "mom & dad" websites. Very niche and small.

I'm getting link removal requests for links that were requested (sometimes I agreed sometime I didn't)... and for links that were not requested and which I wanted on my website.

Firstly I had some fun with the SEO companies telling them to pay a small fee for removing the links (if they can pay a SEO company to contact me, they can pay me for my work I told them).

Finally I'm simply ignoring these emails. It's my website and I link -or not, as always-, whatever I consider relevant.

"Link removal requests" have gone too far. It's like they're panicking.


 3:11 am on Nov 23, 2013 (gmt 0)


It was a web directory and the revenue wasn't too much. So, it wasn't as tough a decision. They were dofollow links. Ironically, about until as recently as a year ago we had several webmasters writing in, imploring us to link to their respective websites.


 2:54 pm on Nov 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

Just curious, is the content on a CMS? hand made html pages?
why don't you consider some script to remove those links?
keep your content, remove the links
then see what happens or even consider selling the site
it's not a bad site, just needs some work

it's not so difficult to create a script for once and for all link removal from html pages, text files, etc. Database requires a bit of more work, going record by record. BUT if text parsing seems more easy then dump the database into a CVS, parse, remove, regex, etc and then import again. I faced a similar scenario and instead of creating a database remove text script decided to export to text, remove, upload, voilá!


 3:36 pm on Nov 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

Database website. Some of the request I got were to remove the name of the website even though it wasn't a link. Example - Please visit example.com in just text. I actually got a pretty high number of these.

I had what I would consider a decent offer already passed it on to the CEO and he came back with a selling price that was like off the chart. I thought what planet are you on.

It is best this way I don't want to deal with anymore request in any way what so ever. I guess it is just the plain lack off understanding from the request that drove me to this point.


 4:08 pm on Nov 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

remove the name of the website even though it wasn't a link. Example - Please visit example.com in just text.

That's got to be the worst case of goog-hysteria I've heard of to date.

I, being the snarky person I am, may have redirected the site to some google property or help article.


 9:10 pm on Nov 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

I, being the snarky person I am, may have redirected the site to some google property or help article.

:)... great minds think alike. Right after shutting both sites I redirected all the traffic to a great 15 minutes video explaining Googl's real motives.


 10:12 am on Nov 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

bwnbwn, are you working on a new website now? Because if you do and it's about to go live, the story might repeat again in the future. The backlink paranoia is widespread and every website currently online is at risk. I guess the next step is seeing people getting paranoid for social shares...?

Sorry, my reply here was intentionally provocative. Webmasters are still web*masters* and still have the last word on any links present on their websites. There is no way Google and paranoia-driven link removal requests can change that.

It's sad that you had to shut down a good website because of someone else's lack of rationale. I had an email fight with a company two years ago about a paid link that I nofollowed but that I would by no means remove because it was relevant. They probably disavowed that page of my website by now. ;)


 1:39 pm on Nov 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

agree with chicagohh

I've been charging $25 per take down. I've made up some story about being a poor student who can't access the database because it's broken and I need to pay a guy $25 to fix it so I can take down their link. 1 in 10 pay, but when you're getting 50-100 emails a day about it, it's a pretty good income!

Thanks Google for being so stupid. We'll make money out of you and scam your system MORE if you keep thinking you're the smartest. Fighting spam is easy, which is why we know you're not really fighting spam. ;)


 10:37 pm on Nov 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

n0tSEO it was a user created article database were the registered user added the links not me.
As far as getting in an email fight, not gonna happen I have better things to do with my time.
I tried to explain this to the sender in several ways as I stated in the above comments, it got to the point were I started sending all request to spam. Our company CEO started getting the emails and all the BS that goes along with it.

As I said I am toast, and popped out of the toaster. Four letter word.
Done ;)


 11:09 pm on Nov 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

send them to a link and login credentials for their directory entry removal form.


 11:25 pm on Nov 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

I've been following this thread loosely and I just realized something. I'm assuming bwnbwn's site was supported by some form of advertising, maybe AdSense? If yes (confirmation not necessary because I'm just making an observation), and those AdSense pages are now gone then there is potential for google to defeat themselves by all the FUD they've created around links. They may end up killing their own market if more people resort to what bwnbwn did. Talk about swallowing and choking on one's own tail!


 4:19 am on Nov 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

^ exactly.

IMO, obscuring good SERP results with so many weird "quailty updates" and sending so many good websites to obvilation is another good example of one shooting itself in the leg.


 1:41 pm on Nov 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

@SevenCubed @goodoldweb

Much as I would like to agree, Google is way too big for these issues to affect them significantly. It's bigger than many other media companies put together. Their annual revenues are over $50 billion and growing. Let's not kid ourselves here.


 3:43 pm on Nov 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

^ Have you ever needed firewood, went into the forest with only a dull axe, found a good dead tree who's girth exceeded all other neighbouring options by a wide margin?

The first swing and blow vibrates oneself more than the tree. Few chips dislodge. One takes a step back, concedes it's going to be a long day but realizes the tree must come down to provide warmth for many village families. The second and third swings then take on a life of their own.

I'd rather be a woodchopper than a sanitation pipe engineer. The air is fresher.

Let's not discourage ourselves here.


 9:03 pm on Nov 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

@ vik_c

I'm being asked much more often by family and friends lately about Google, mentioning that it is not what it used to be and that it's not as easy to "find stuff" like before.

People are also quite irked by Google trying to second guess what they want instead of actually giving them the results they are searching for. Being pushed HARD to open a G+ account and hand over whatever is left of their privacy is not appreciated either. Joe public is not as happy with Google as they've used to be and the bad press is intensifying...

IMO, it is not a question of "if"... just a "when".


 9:33 pm on Nov 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

@goodoldweb - I'm afraid whenever Google's filters will become stronger, search results will get worse instead of better.

Honestly, I miss web search as it was back in 2007-2008.


 2:04 pm on Nov 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

Honestly, I miss web search as it was back in 2007-2008.
n0tseo reading between the lines here what "we" really miss is how ranking a site.

What is happening is (you already know this) is ranking for terms within the nitch your in the cost or time spent doing the work has and will continue to increase. Gone are the days when you could work 50 sites. I told my son a couple of years ago pick 5 (he built 100+ EMD's in his nitch) with and work them hard. Let the others do what they will do but put all your energy in 5. For him and his company it has paid off very well, look down the road anticipate or think if Google were my website what would I do.

IMO Google results are good I don't really have an issue finding a search, I do see the repeated stronger domains are an issue in a search and I believe this will be dealt with. Makes no sense for one website to control 3-5 results in a search to Google, not me Google, because back in 2207-2008 the same dominate websites were in the top spots. This was because we knew what would promote a website.

Ballgame has changed. I myself find this exciting. Move on your cheese is in another room.

This 38 message thread spans 2 pages: 38 ( [1] 2 > >
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