Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from

Forum Moderators: martinibuster

Message Too Old, No Replies

Purging the Sins of a Desperate Webmaster

Deleting All Link Partners for a Fresh Start

10:17 pm on Dec 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Apr 6, 2003
votes: 0

I just purchased an existing 4 year old domain (for a little more than it was probably worth) in a niche that I had been interested in getting in to.

The site wasn't ranking very well, but it has potential - with someone who know what they are doing at the helm.

Now that I have full access to the site I am noticing some naughtiness that wasn't apparent to me before.

Some link exchanges that I wouldn't have touched with a 10 foot pole, and even worse, a folder with about 300 pages of autogenerated doorway pages.

I had scoped this site out about a year ago and it was pretty much clean, but I guess he had been feeling the pressure of the competition and was reading the wrong forums ;).

The door way pages are gone. There is a robots.txt in place to make sure that no spiders go looking for them. No brainer.

However, it looks like there are about 100 link ex partners in a links directory.

Do I need to feel some sort of obligation to these "partners" - my impulse is to just ban the links subdirectory via robots.txt as well. I checked a couple partner sites and there aren't even recips there anymore.

People who know me know that I am not a "willy nilly" link exchanger - so seeing links to "Best $Country Widgets" in this directory just makes my "spidey sense" go all wonky.

I think the best idea is to just let the partners contact me - if they do, and if they're any good, I'll put them back, and if they're dodgy - I will just tell them to remove my link.

How have other people dealt with this? Did you respect reciprocal link commitments?

I am deleting all the link partners

From what I've read most people are complaining that the recip partners are removing their linkbacks anyhow, so I guess this is just adding to the problem - but I am looking out for me and my investment and feel more comfortable with a fresh start.

10:49 pm on Dec 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

Moderator This Forum from US 

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

joined:Apr 13, 2002
votes: 494

You're purging ALL of your link partners? Did you check if any were worth keeping? Surely there's a diamond in there?
11:42 pm on Dec 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from CA 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 25, 2003
votes: 438

A couple of site re-designs have included the removal/trimming of such misbehaviour. On good commercial/business sites yet.

I agree with your slash and burn of all dodgy pages, there is no halfway measure available.

I agree with martinibuster about taking a second look at the (ex)link partners. Especially if there are only a hundred.

At least copy the links into a folder for follow-up before you remove the actual page links. Then browse them. If they are "bad" or inappropriate for your site content it will likely be readily apparent at a glance. Those that survive "the glance" (likely to be a few) can be returned to in more depth later for final approval/disapproval.

It is more time consuming to acquire good links than to keep them. You don't want to toss out a couple of martinibusters gems with the bath water, however dirty.

12:51 am on Dec 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Jan 28, 2004
votes: 0

It is more time consuming to acquire good links than to keep them.

Truer words were never spoken.

I recently did this to one of my own sites, after realizing it was not sandboxed and was in a prime position to compete in an area of a couple of other sites I had given up on (on google). The site had a couple of hundred link exchanges from about two years previous. Since I was planning on dramatically increasing the number of links, and intended to use a whole new system for managing the task, I decided to review those sites for retention in the revamped link directory.

I first went through the process manually with someone who would do the work and demonstrated that each site could be reviewed and deleted or recorded in about 2 minutes each. Thus, to review 200 links takes about 3.5 hours of work. We ended up keeping about 40 of the links (20%). (Note: Since it can take some time to find links on some sites, it can be a more expedient process to first determine if the site is worthy of a link or not, if not you can delete the link without going on a goose chase to find it.) So, in about 4 hours work we retained about 40 links.

On the other hand, I only get 3.5 confirmed links per hour when actively engaged in finding new link partners. So, 4 hours of such would only garner me 14 new link partners.

I retained all those links in the original site structure and then recreated them in my new set of link category pages before getting rid of the old page. It appears that most if not all of these relationships have been maintained now, just 2-3 months later.

Also, the site suffered no drop in rankings because of this, and climbed almost immediately when new links were added.

8:28 am on Dec 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

Full Member from US 

10+ Year Member

joined:July 17, 2004
votes: 2

Why is everyone so afraid of link exchange? No links can effect your rankings in negative way, unless maybe the other site is a banned or penalized site. I would go through the links and see if there are any PR0's in there (that might be a sign of penalization), remove those and remove the ones currently not linking back to you. I would also not make any links pages more than 50 links long. Either get rid of all low quality ones after 50 or break it in two pages.
11:40 am on Dec 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Apr 16, 2004
votes: 0

1) the type of sites he described ("300 auto generated doorway pages" etc) are likely to be sites that if aren't punished already, may be in the future. plus it just plain looks bad.

2) PR0 is not the same as a Grey PR. Grey PR = worry. PR0 = don't.

9:45 pm on Dec 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Sept 28, 2004
votes: 0

Quick query - if you have dodgy backlinks which you think could be getting you penalized what is the best way of removing them? Obviously contacting the website with the link to you might not work..

My site has quite a few links which are totally unrelated to the content, organised by an unreputable Search Engine Optimisation company and I'd really like to get rid of them and start a good linking campaign from scratch. Is the best bet to find all of them (whats the best way to do that?) and then ask them to remove you? Thanks

9:56 pm on Dec 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Feb 18, 2003
votes: 0

Don't worry about them linking to you. If you needed to, obnoxious people could blackmail you: "Gimme what I want or I'll link to you from my bad neighborhood..."

Worry about what's in your control: who you link to.