Because of a very brief domain name duplication back in October 2012, Webmaster tools tells me I have thousands of incoming links from a bogus domain we own.
Briefly, widgetworld.com and mywidgets.co.uk were serving the same pages. The former was an error, but we quickly got on it. Any request for any page at widgetworld.com results in a 410 - Gone, and through webmaster tools we've done both a site removal and page removal requests on widgetworld.com for any page that links to mywidgets.co.uk.
So about every ten days the number of inbound links reported in Webmaster tools from widgetworld.com to mywidgets.co.uk drops from the high thousands to the low thousands. And we get better organic results and everyone's happy. No longer is the site dragged down by these bogus old duplicate links.
Then, the process reverses itself. Why? Because Google expires all the removal requests for widgetworld.com; widgetworld.com returns to its top spot for incoming (duplicate) links, and down we go. And the process starts again: all the url removal requests have to be resubmitted. It's a sort of splat-the-rat game. The removals generally last about ten days with the status 'removed' before they're 'expired'.
I don't really understand what 'expired' can mean, but Google's determination to keep these old, gone, dead, unwanted links alive is really hurting us.
Any suggestions would be gratefully received.