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Unauthorized links to your site - how do you handle it?

Do you have effective tactics?



5:37 pm on Nov 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Now that "word has spread" about how links can affect your site ranking, I have had a significant increase in people contacting me to trade links.

We have always judiciously traded links with other complimentary sites since 1997.

Most of the requests we get have been turned down due to lack of relevancy in the exchange. However, that also brings up the point that we have found that sites are adding our sites to their lists without our knowledge prior to the listing.

Some people co-operate in taking the links off. Most just blow us off. When developing a RLM (Reciprocal Link Management) campaign, the point is to stick to a theme and create a quality list. The unauthorized links can dilute this effort and potentially harm us/clients by affecting positioning due to being included on these "farms."

Any tactics that work for any of you that have been very effective in getting other sites to remove links without being a bully about it?

I was thinking of offering a reciprocal link to offending sites by adding them to a domain that was not e-commerce dependent if they would move our links off of their unapproved sites.


5:55 pm on Nov 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Hello - and welcome to Webmasterworld.

It's the general consensus around there that (for Google at least) an inbound link will never harm you. It's if you link back to them that you'll run into the trouble.



6:00 pm on Nov 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

>>we have found that sites are adding our sites to their lists without our knowledge prior to the listing.

There really isn't much you can do. To my knowledge there has been no legal precedent set that says you have the right to control who links to you.

The only way it will have a negative impact on your rankings is if you link back.


9:29 pm on Nov 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I have a problem with a certain site (Nigerian, believe it or not) that links to my site. This Nigerian site appears to be used by those people with stolen/forged credit card numbers. It is not uncommon for me to get 5 or 6 orders per day from this site and they are always fraudulent (Oct 31st was bad - £1800 of attempted fraud).

Is it possible to stop visitors accessing your site depending on the referrer?


4:09 am on Nov 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Good - appreciate the info. We can relax about the link issue. We don't mind that other people reference or link to the sites we are involved with so long as there is no negative impact.

As for the Nigerian site - IP addresses can be blocked if you run your own server. If you purchase hosting, I'd at least give it a shot to talk to the sys admin to see if they would do it for you.


5:28 am on Nov 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I'll probably be cyberslapped for bringing this up, but I use the following plugin to ban unwelcome referrers from copyright abusers. Needless to say, the links don't stay up very long so I would call it a very effective tactic.

<script type="text/javascript" language="JavaScript">
alert("You have just linked to [server] from a domain that has copied, reprinted, displayed this page in an unauthorized frameset, or modified portions of this website's copyrighted material for their own commercial use without [server]'s consent or approval. We are not affiliated with the domain \"[referrer]\" in any form.\n\nFor our own protection, any visitors linking to us from \"[referrer]\" will be closely monitored for site usage.");

That's a lot nicer than banning the visitor's IP.


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