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I guess I should thank the mods for a shiny new title of this message :) but the one I chose originally was Google wants me to remove links I can't possibly remove which I think better emphasizes the heart of the matter
...Matt Cutts' comment on this...
By the way..
By the way, in case it isn't clear from my previous post about hidden links and disclosure of paid links, I agree 100% with Matt Mullenweg’s post about sponsored themes in WordPress.
...redo the templates without the footer links.
then try and contact the website owners and notify them of an "update" to the template and how important it is for security reasons to keep their templates up to date
but why would they really act on it?
may be it is just an intentional disinformation by Google to discourage this sort of SEO.Oh no, it's painfully real. And it's not entirely new either. The site in question has been heavily penalized for the last 8 months. I've sent two more RRs before, all rejected without the reason given. It's just this last one which was sent after the "unnatural links" notice that appears to have helped me to narrow the issue down to these links.
Can anyone help me understand why anyone at Google would contact any of us about removing bad links?It was a response to my reconsideration request which I sent right after I received an "unnatural links" notice in my WMT. I've cleaned those bad links I could and wrote about it in the RR. Their email response is basically saying that I need to clean some more.