| 3:39 pm on Jul 11, 2014 (gmt 0)|
You can only do your best, if your best is not enough then go and do the disavow, dont forget to put comments about the effort you have done in trying to get rid of those negative links, include dates as well. After that, make sure to have a lot of patience and keep doing the right thing. Good luck
| 3:47 pm on Jul 11, 2014 (gmt 0)|
Classic! Like a night at the comedy club only it's a tragedy.
I've received a few of these requests but have never seen an actual manual penalty notice to know exactly what Google said to the webmaster to cause them to contact me. Would love to see an example of the language used so I better understood what moves a webmaster to request link removal from a site with, at most, one nofollowed link to their site. I'm guessing that my site just gets lumped in with a list of many other sites that are actually responsible for the link spam. Oh, and in most cases, my link text is nothing more than the URL being linked to.
| 4:13 pm on Jul 11, 2014 (gmt 0)|
Just so it is clear:
"You can only do your best, if your best is not enough then go and do the disavow, dont forget to put comments about the effort you have done in trying to get rid of those negative links, include dates as well. "
Matt cutts and John Mueller have said that no google employee reads the comments in the disavow file, so they are only there for YOUR OWN benefit.
It's good to keep them handy though in case you have to file a reconsideration request later, in which case somebody SHOULD be reading them.
| 4:34 pm on Jul 11, 2014 (gmt 0)|
The stupidity runs in both directions. I received a link removal request from an Indian SEO posing as the CEO of the company that wanted the link removed. The Indian subcontractor was asking me to remove a legitimate link posted by someone who was absolutely not a spammer. Trust me on this, it was a legitimate citation.
So I phoned the company and asked for the CEO. Here are the facts:
1. He specifically asked that his name not be used on the takedown requests.
2. He has never built links. Over the course of over ten years he just focused on content. Any links accrued to his site were natural and the rest were scrapers and other such links.
3. The CEO said he received an unnatural links notice.
4. The CEO hired a major SEO company, he told me the name. The CEO of that SEO agency is a frequent speaker and sponsor at many search and marketing conferences.
5. This major SEO agency took the money and had the work done in India, contrary to the CEO's knowledge or wishes.
6. The backlink profile of that poor company is being butchered. The good links and the bad are being removed without discretion.
7. This major SEO agency will leave their client in a worse condition than when they found it. Instead of working with the client to fix the situation they simply took the money and threw the project on the conveyor belt with the rest of the scaled projects.
Link takedowns should be renamed as Link Shakedowns. Because the process can be easily scaled, Penguin has created an unfortunate opportunity to make a quick buck. It's ridiculously easy to blow the dust off the scaled reciprocal link outreach and apply it to link takedowns. The sad part is that I think that agency is not the only one milking that cow. I have received similar takedown notices on other legit links.
| 4:55 pm on Jul 11, 2014 (gmt 0)|
I can attest to this conveyor-belt type activity as well. I've received 7 form emails from one firm (6 delivered over a 2 month period after I removed the link). All used exactly the same, demanding, language and requested that I notify them of the removal (which I did after removing the link). BTW, the email was written by someone with a less-than-commanding grasp of the English language (which fits right in with being shopped out to India - not that there aren't people in India with impeccable English language skills). Any attempt to actually contact the requesting agent were impossible. Even attempting to contact someone at the represented company got me nowhere. A black hole of one-way demands. We talk about negative SEO. This seems to be a very good way to screw up someone's Internet profile if you were of a mind to do things like that.
I'm beginning to formulate a policy in my head that includes things like requiring a sender's name and contact in the email (not just a gmail address) or that the email be sent from the actual domain requesting removal. I've had it with anonymous, unverified, unaccountable removal requests and the damage they can cause if abuse or incompetence is involved.
[edited by: webcentric at 5:00 pm (utc) on Jul 11, 2014]
| 4:57 pm on Jul 11, 2014 (gmt 0)|
That's a pretty nasty story, martinibuster. :-/ How did it end?
And union_jack -- were your requests really that generic or did you provide full URLs of the pages where your link was placed? Because your request doesn't look good to me in this 'generalized' example.
As a webmaster, I adopted a policy to protect my freedom to link out without getting a crazyload of removal requests every month. In general, I comply with the request if the link was purchased or exchanged, but I will not if the link was placed editorially.
| 7:56 pm on Jul 11, 2014 (gmt 0)|
I just received my FIRST link removal request EVER. It was from an insurance company, that I had linked to, in a rate comparison page. I complied immediately, and removed all their other information, as well, as a special "Thank You" for their removal request.
This is some crazy BS. As if I had done something wrong. Apparently, linking to ANYTHING editorially now is a no-no, without a "no-follow", if you have a mere PR=4.
Just keep those removal requests coming folks, if your goal is irrelevance. I will be glad to help you.
[edited by: Sally_Stitts at 8:03 pm (utc) on Jul 11, 2014]
| 8:02 pm on Jul 11, 2014 (gmt 0)|
|7. This major SEO agency will leave their client in a worse condition than when they found it. Instead of working with the client to fix the situation they simply took the money and threw the project on the conveyor belt with the rest of the scaled projects. |
I sincerely, hope you were able to make this clear to them and that they UNDERSTOOD what you were saying.
To paraphrase one of America's greatest philosophers:
"I pity the fool who don't take martinibuster's advice."
| 9:06 am on Jul 14, 2014 (gmt 0)|
>>>> n0tSEO And union_jack -- were your requests really that generic or did you provide full URLs of the pages where your link was placed? Because your request doesn't look good to me in this 'generalized' example.
No, i put about 20 out of 10,000 on the screen for them. Removed off here for guidelines. They have sent about 10,000 exact anchor text links to our site which was scraped off a directory listing from 2009. They have added it across 100s of subdomain. We never submitted to it. I promise you that. They are complete idiots because they are working on the assumption that if they make a massive scraped directory they can sell directory listings. There thinking is on another planet.
| 9:26 am on Jul 14, 2014 (gmt 0)|
>>> 6. The backlink profile of that poor company is being butchered. The good links and the bad are being removed without discretion.
I do wonder if companies are using automated software instead of going through them one by one and the flawed software is sending out requests for removal.
| 10:21 am on Jul 14, 2014 (gmt 0)|
@union_jack Thanks, that makes the picture clearer. ;) Yes, they are definitely on the wrong side here. Scraping is bad on its own, redistributing across several subdomains adds to the damage, but their behavior in chat was awful, too. And with that context, you could even contact their host and report them for abuse.
| 10:39 am on Jul 14, 2014 (gmt 0)|
i would like to push it further but i doubt i would get anywhere. I am also worried they could add 1000's more for the hell of it. I get that impression. Just disavow and move on i guess. Link removal is such a waste of time. No one benefits, ok i hold my hand up and say yes we did exact anchor text link building. But it worked and did not see the harm till it was to late, and we stopped as soon as could. But our history caught up with us. Surely, a better system would be to warn the site first so you could change your ways then if you continued hit you with a manual penalty.
| 1:43 pm on Jul 14, 2014 (gmt 0)|
It makes little sense. If google thinks a link is spam then all they need to do is give it a zero value and be done with it. Soon enough webmasters would reaslise their link building is not helping for google search and stop building but google decided to get webmasters to send out emails and disavow links. Putting on my conspiracy theorist hat it sounds like there is another reason for this. How could it benefit google to have all these emails flying around? Perhaps it means webmasters get a bit worried about linking to other websites and err on the side of caution (therefore effecting rankings in other search engines!) If they do per chance link out they us the nofollow tag (another google invention) and this stops sites from receiving page rank or recognition for the link. The big boys get pr links and recognition from the inner clique of the mainsteam media and end up dominating the serps. The small independents can't work out what is wrong with their sites and if they do disavow will never be able to build up their link profiles again because all the other independents are using the nofollow tag (another google invention) and this stops sites from receiving page rank or recognition for the link. Since the webmasters are reluctant to link out Joe public can not find any links on the independent sites they visit and are forced to use a search engine such as google search and will therfore spend more time on google search and the sites of the brothers of the inner clique of the mainsteam media which they find there.
[edited by: iammeiamfree at 2:19 pm (utc) on Jul 14, 2014]
| 2:16 pm on Jul 14, 2014 (gmt 0)|
|"Surely, a better system would be to warn the site first so you could change your ways..." |
I don't mean to try and twist the knife in the wound, but to be fair to google, they have stated clearly to avoid link schemes (I think those are the words they use) for an awful long time.
And this is coming from someone who was hit by Penguin, so I am not trying to give you a holier-than-thou attitude. It's just that I don't think it is fair to say that google should "warn you first" when they clearly do.
|"...then if you continued hit you with a manual penalty." |
Maybe google (the company) is tired of having to spend so much money on people and technology to identify and devalue unnatural links that they feel it is more economical for them to punish abusers, which they hope will then prevent more future abuse?
I mean, we can blame google for their relationship with webmasters, but were not the ones writing payroll checks for their employees, right? If punishing / penalizing sites for spammy practices means that it reduces future spam (I don't know if it does, but maybe google feels it does), then I can't really blame them for doing it.
"It makes little sense. If google thinks a link is spam then all they need to do is give it a zero value and be done with it."
Firstly, who is to say that they DON'T just give zero value to spammy links and leave it at that for most sites? They have said as much in the past, noting that they often get link reports and check into the sites and see that the algo / spam filters are already discounting those links.
They designed Penguin to take care of the majority of cases of spammy link building and manual penalties are probably reserved for the worst of the worst.
Also, as mentioned above, it costs time and money to identify those spammy links.
Remember the phrase, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure"? That is probably why they are determined to PUNISH sites that use spammy link practices.
|"The big boys get pr links and recognition from the inner clique of the mainsteam media and end up dominating the serps." |
If you want to get links in this day and age, do something NOTEWORTHY.
| 2:46 pm on Jul 14, 2014 (gmt 0)|
"If you want to get links in this day and age, do something NOTEWORTHY. "
Hmm yes I was thinking of moving to San Fransisco and gate crashing some parties but I can't afford the rents there.
| 3:21 pm on Jul 14, 2014 (gmt 0)|
|I don't mean to try and twist the knife in the wound, but to be fair to google, they have stated clearly to avoid link schemes (I think those are the words they use) for an awful long time. |
The thing is we thought we were following the rules. I did not realise the directories and submitting to article directories was that bad. We used unique content and posted on 3 or 4 article sites. In my head it was just marketing. When just about everybody did it for years, who could see into a crystal ball and see you would get a manual penalty for to much exact anchor text. For me a link scheme was putting links on networks. I got this wrong obviously and not going to blame Google (To much lol). You live and learn in this job.
| 8:48 pm on Jul 14, 2014 (gmt 0)|
Again, I can understand your situation, since I did some of the same things. And of course the reason I did them too was because the small mom and pop shops that are in my niche and at the top of the SERPs were using directories (I blame SEOMoz and their took for comparing backlinks of the top five sites... it is entirely Fishkin's fault).
NOBODY can affor the rents in the City, even though it is rent controlled.
If you want to see animosity toward google, hang out in the Mission around 8 in the morning when the google shuttle buses pick google employees up for work.
But there you have it. Mid-market street was a dump, and everyone complained about the trash, drugs, and prostitution. Now Mid-Market is home to lots of tech companies that were given tax breaks by the mayor, and now everyone complains about lack of affordable housing.
All things considered, I'll take the trash, drugs and prostitution...
| 9:07 pm on Jul 14, 2014 (gmt 0)|
Completely off-topic but what the heck: Hate to break it to you but rent control is the root of the problem. SF rents were out of control 15 years ago. Can't imagine what it's like now. Google shuttles on Market street. What a concept.