Robert_Charlton - 7:54 pm on Sep 15, 2013 (gmt 0)
If you are satisfied that the links are genuine and the site is genuine I'd try to let Google know that they've got it wrong. It's hard enough to get links without disavowing freely given ones!
The backlinks of the linking site, though, inevitably affect how Google looks at backlinks from that site. Remember that discussion we had recently about "upstream links"?
Can hanging out on blackhat forums cause you ranking problems?
Though the premise of that thread was a little off-base, it got into an issue that Google said it was going to explore. To quote a self-quote I made in that thread...
All linking pages are subject to changing conditions upstream of them... anything from code changes to business changes to algorithmic changes, all of which can positively or negatively affect inbound link juice. Some pages have good enough content to attract inbounds once they become sufficiently visible, which can mask other upstream changes. In some market areas, links will be affected by upstream link buying and selling as well....
Well, here's the pollution flowing downstream to haunt us all.
One of Google's dilemmas here is that it can't simply ignore the fact that the links from intermediate sites, sites which are otherwise looking good, are polluted. Seemingly-clean intermediate sites are a tactic that link spammers often use, and it's very tricky, I'm sure, to weed these out. This may be an area where collateral damage is likely, but I don't know that for sure.
While I agree with FranticFish that if the particular link came naturally, you should try to let Google know... it may be more expedient simply to try to get it nofollowed. Also, check out other links from the same site, and see what the other outbounds look like. Maybe you really shouldn't want the link.
One of them even wrote a tutorial about how to use my site's app!
Yes, I can see how that would really be rubbing it in. Another possible issue, though, is that the content of the tutorial may too closely resemble your content on the same subject, closely enough that it looks like a promotional article that you may have placed yourself. How Google sees this may depend on what your other link acquisition techniques have been.