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Collateral Damage from Link Removal Requests
Penguin Fear Causing Loss of Links?
htdawg

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4580967 posted 8:49 am on Jun 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

is it safe to say that some people may be affected by the penguin update by webmasters removing links left and right out of fear before and after the update. for example before the update we had fairly steady rankings (top 5 positions for most of our keywords) some now have dropped to bottom 5 results but still on first page) I think it is due to the fact that we have had people remove links to our site in the last few weeks/months.

any opinions?

 

cartelcircuit



 
Msg#: 4580967 posted 5:44 pm on Jun 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

I don't believe your SERP positions would be affected by the fear of Penguin and a proactive action taken by Webmasters to remove links and here is why...Black Hat SEO's wouldn't remove the links and White Hat SEO's have no reason to remove the links.

htdawg

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4580967 posted 5:56 pm on Jun 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

its just that we have seen a loss of links to our site over the past few months and a few webmasters have contacted us to remove their link from our site due to being notified by google for suspicious links. none of them mentioned our site in particular as being he problem. i know that a drop in rankings could be due to a number of reasons but I think that a drop in backlinks would have some affect as well.

martinibuster

WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4580967 posted 4:32 pm on Jun 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

Some web publishers react to link removal requests by taking down entire link pages. Has anyone else had that reaction from a link takedown outreach?

piatkow

WebmasterWorld Senior Member piatkow us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4580967 posted 7:16 pm on Jun 10, 2013 (gmt 0)


Black Hat SEO's wouldn't remove the links and White Hat SEO's have no reason to remove the links.

But how much SEO is done by the headless chicken brigade who over react to every bit of Google FUD?

martinibuster

WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4580967 posted 7:41 pm on Jun 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

Someone from Microsoft is on record as stating that they're looking at disavowal reports as another data point. If there's a spike in disavowals from a specific domain or area, Duane Forrester said that they might take that input as a flag to take a look if there's something going on.

It's not just fear but prudent judgement to remove a link or an entire links page in response to multiple link removal requests. Regardless of what Google's official stance is about the tool, it's a possible flag to take a look at something if enough disavowals are filed regarding a particular site or network of sites. What prudent web publisher would not want to avoid scrutiny?

Sgt_Kickaxe

WebmasterWorld Senior Member sgt_kickaxe us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time



 
Msg#: 4580967 posted 8:07 pm on Jun 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

I agree with Martinibuster here, whatever we do to try to please Penguin at this point is nothing more than a best guess shot in the dark and the fact we're trying is more information for the search engines to use at their discretion. Right now I rate the disavow tool as "probably can't help" and "might further harm rankings". I used it on one site and saw absolutely no effect in terms of rank/traffic.

Fact: Google claims that you should remove incoming "bad links" to reverse Penguin effects but under the same breath claims that someone else can't sink your rankings by giving you bad links. Both can't be true, proceed with caution.

explorador

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4580967 posted 8:41 pm on Jun 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

is it safe to say that some people may be affected by the penguin update by webmasters removing links left and right out of fear before and after the update

Makes sense to me. People I know are going nuts on how their sites went dead and are doing a check on massive removals. One client that I helped with his CMS is thinking about starting from zero, all over again, this means a whole of content and links pointing to his friend sites going dead.

Sgt:
Fact: Google claims that you should remove incoming "bad links" to reverse Penguin effects but under the same breath claims that someone else can't sink your rankings by giving you bad links. Both can't be true, proceed with caution.

That's what I think can't be happening at the same time, seems confusing to me how G claims being able of detecting many things that are not natural.

swa66

WebmasterWorld Senior Member swa66 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4580967 posted 12:02 am on Jun 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

There are also quite shady SEO tactics where webmasters get asked to remove links by unrelated entities.
e.g.: [isc.sans.edu...]

graeme_p

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4580967 posted 4:57 am on Jun 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

As usual Google understands algorithms very well, fails to understand human beings.

They started by creating the incentive for unnatural links in the first place, and after many variations in that, they have now created a mechanism for removing natural links.

Google have made link removal requests common and credible, so of course shady people will fake them.

rj87uk

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4580967 posted 9:04 am on Jun 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

But how much SEO is done by the headless chicken brigade who over react to every bit of Google FUD?


I agree with that however I can understand and sympathise with them, Google have created an environment of fear. As for the SERPs they seem to be changing every two or three days for me some websites up some down the algorithm must still be doing fine tuning or it could be related to the amount of people using the disavow / removing links?

SEOMike

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4580967 posted 4:17 pm on Jun 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

I can see how someone could easily throw out the baby with the bathwater. I've got a new client who was destroyed by Penguin (rightly so) and am currently doing my own link analysis to try to figure out which links need to go and which need to stay. It's extremely tedious but very worthwhile because it's pretty clear which links are complete trash. The trouble will be getting them removed...

Remember, Penguin is an algorithmic penalty triggered once you've passed Google's "tolerance" of link spam. Drop below that threshold and the penalty will be removed. Turn in a disavow request and you tell them you know you've been bad.

fathom

WebmasterWorld Senior Member fathom us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4580967 posted 7:58 pm on Jun 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

Remember, Penguin is an algorithmic penalty triggered once you've passed Google's "tolerance" of link spam. Drop below that threshold and the penalty will be removed.


This is quite possibly correct but there are many way of changing your signals as they relate to that tolerance.

Doing nothing with the alleged unnatural links themselves & instead building natural links has the same impact... if this is a signal to noise ratio - it works both ways.

Deleting the page the links point to will have the same impact as attempting to delete thousands of links but the former is far more time conscious.

Turn in a disavow request and you tell them you know you've been bad.


Because PENGUIN is algorithmic you can't actually tell it anything and since the Webspam Team isn't involved I suspect the disavow request isn't needed in the aftermath of PENGUIN.

is it safe to say that some people may be affected by the penguin update by webmasters removing links left and right out of fear before and after the update. for example before the update we had fairly steady rankings (top 5 positions for most of our keywords) some now have dropped to bottom 5 results but still on first page) I think it is due to the fact that we have had people remove links to our site in the last few weeks/months.

any opinions?


I would argue 'even if this is true' these surely are not the kind of links that are enormously valuable to you in the first place.

Those domains that link to your purely because you had compelling reasons for them to link to you are unlikely to be swayed by PENGUIN.

super70s

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4580967 posted 11:49 pm on Jun 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

I've had some removal requests from gmail addresses too. I'm going to start honoring requests only if the message comes from webmasterat______com, and I get a confirmation in return. Surely someone who hires out their SEO isn't too lazy/clueless to respond to that.

martinibuster

WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4580967 posted 10:52 am on Jun 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

Surely someone who hires out their SEO isn't too lazy/clueless to respond to that.


Do you ignore link removal requests from gmail accounts?

Should link removal requests even be sent from gmail/hotmail/yahoo accounts?

Do you think the conversion rate will drop if the email originates from a free email account?

idolw

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4580967 posted 11:20 am on Jun 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

I don't believe your SERP positions would be affected by the fear of Penguin and a proactive action taken by Webmasters to remove links and here is why...Black Hat SEO's wouldn't remove the links and White Hat SEO's have no reason to remove the links.

There is nothing like White Hat SEO. Anything that is SERP manipulation = spam/blackhat/younameit. In fact, anyone who did link swaps in the past did it to improve rankings even if they swapped links in small amounts and stopped years ago.

Some web publishers react to link removal requests by taking down entire link pages. Has anyone else had that reaction from a link takedown outreach?

I was doing a link removal e-mail campaign recently and some 30% of the 10% who responded removed entire links pages.

Do you think the conversion rate will drop if the email originates from a free email account?

Tried it with hope for automation.
Most replies were: "Email me from a domain.com e-mail address and I proceed."

alika

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4580967 posted 11:21 am on Jun 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

I get a lot of link removal requests -- even for links that are already nofollowed since the link was created.

I sometimes respond to them to tell them that the link is already nofollowed, and has been since it was put on the site, and that they should go after the follow links first. I guess these link removal services don't bother to even check if the link is followed or not.

One thing we've done is:

- stop accepting blog contributions
- removing all links from author's bio from previously accepted blog contributions

We haven't been hit by Penguin. But hearing all the paranoia about links certainly could make you think twice about putting in the links. If the link is not a government agency, NY Times or any of the major newspapers or Amazon, we don't put it anymore. It's not how its supposed to be, but I'd rather tread on the safe side with Google.

Whitey

WebmasterWorld Senior Member whitey us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4580967 posted 2:49 pm on Jun 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

There are also quite shady SEO tactics where webmasters get asked to remove links by unrelated entities.

There is a danger that good sources for linking will be frightened into either removing links, or no longer accepting them. Folks read and the subject is viral.

That's not what Google really wants either, but the definition of "paid" can be so gray at times it's not worth playing with.

One positive thing will be link equity will rise amongst the precious few, so Page Rank will probably make a comeback with the "jolly green bar" as a redeeming ranking factor again.

Shepherd



 
Msg#: 4580967 posted 6:20 pm on Jun 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

There are also quite shady SEO tactics where webmasters get asked to remove links by unrelated entities.
e.g.: [isc.sans.edu...]


I can't believe how link building has morphed into this monster.

Evolution of the link:
1. links freely given as citations
2. trade links
3. beg for links
4. spam for links
5. buy links
6. hack links
7. beg to have links removed
8. buy spammy links pointed at your competitors
9. ask to have your competitors good links removed
...

kumar89



 
Msg#: 4580967 posted 7:21 pm on Jun 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

@Shepherd: All in the name of Google

jakebohall



 
Msg#: 4580967 posted 7:32 pm on Jun 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

Do you ignore link removal requests from gmail accounts?


In most cases I would ignore these... but we have seen many people respond and ask for some form of verification before taking down the link.

Do you think the conversion rate will drop if the email originates from a free email account?


yes... It most definitely drops if you are not using an admin@domain.com, linkremoval@domain.com, or webmaster@domain.com email address.

[edited by: martinibuster at 8:38 pm (utc) on Jun 13, 2013]
[edit reason] Edited for TOS. [/edit]

Planet13

WebmasterWorld Senior Member planet13 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4580967 posted 8:44 pm on Jun 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

"Has anyone else had that reaction from a link takedown outreach?"

Not a direct answer, but PRIOR to Penguin 1 I took off a whole bunch of freely given links off my site in order to avoid PANDA (not Penguin).

I thought that a "links to friends" page would simply become Panda fodder, so I removed it.

Also, it was getting too hard to maintain. I linked to a lot of small, non-profit organizations that would sometimes cease to exist. And when they did, their domains were usually taken over by some sort of nefarious organization. so I was inadvertently linking to a couple of bad sites.

minnapple

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4580967 posted 3:28 am on Jul 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

Google needs to add a red pr bar so you know if a sites link to you has a negative value. That's as transparent as you can you get.

graeme_p

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4580967 posted 8:21 am on Jul 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

No, because Google need to scare people with "artificial" links they have not spotted into removing them in case.

That is why they penalise instead of just ignoring what look like paid links.

martinibuster

WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4580967 posted 10:02 pm on Jul 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

Google needs to add a red pr bar...


I've met minapple several times, I'm certain that's a tongue in cheek remark, not meant to be taken literally. ;)

There's a lack of clarity right now. Many people want to honestly keep their site above water. I've done some link removals for people who have come to me for assistance. I have witnessed not just one link removed in response to a link removal request, but entire sections of a site completely dismantled. Poof. All links gone. Judging by the feedback I've received, it's a fair bet the site owners are afraid of catching Penguin Cooties.

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