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Fabio Cuffaro

SEO Companies Exploiting Link Removal Requests?

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Since the Google Penguin update people have been scrambling to locate "bad" links because their rankings have dropped. Anyone who has lost rankings is hurting and is desperately trying to salvage what they have lost. Which is very understandable. The problem is that there are many shades of grey and many people are confused. They're going about trying to delete whatever they can from as many "questionable" sources as they can.


Web directories have been hit with such link removal requests. I never refer to them as links within the Massive Links Directory, but as listings, because that's what this directory is there for. To properly categorize and list websites. There's a story behind the name Massive Links, and it has nothing to do with selling links. (I'm going to eventually tell the story in a future post. It's been a long time coming, lol).


Recently I received an email for a listing removal. Since Penguin there has been several listing removal requests. This is the email I received:




Due to some changes Google recently made to its algorithm we are taking steps to remove some links to our clients' site in order to keep within the Webmaster Guidelines stated by Google. We have noticed that there are some unusual links pointing to my client's site "www.somewebsite.com" on the following pages of massivelinks.com :

[i removed the category page]


We feel it would be mutually beneficial if you remove these links stated above. If you could please do this and inform us when the link has been removed that would be great.

I hope we can work together with this process and both avoid a potential penalty from Google. If, for whatever reason, you need to contact my client directly before taking down these links then you can get in touch with "some person| on "theirname@somewebsite.com

Hope to hear back from you soon.



This listing has been active since 2007. That's 5 years of being placed within its category. How sad is it that after 5 years, they will be taking down their listing.Now the marketer comes along and states that there are some "unusual" links pointing to their client's website. What's so unusual? It's a directory for heaven's sake.


The way I see it, is that some marketing companies are using Penguin as a reason to provide a new service. There have been several new services that have popped up since Penguin all related to link removal.


I bring this up because of a recent thread at v7n.com that I commented on, which referred to a post made by a marketer.


The title of the thread is Link Directories: Want Us To Remove Your Links? Pay Us. It refers to a post made by Barry Schwartz titled Here’s A New Twist: Directories Now Charging NOT To Link


I stated in the thread even though I have received an offer from a marketing company to remove listings, I refused and that I have no intention of charging.


The reality is that anyone who has intentions of exploiting something, will. It's business. Is it bad that some directory owners want to charge people to remove listings? It depends who you talk to. If you speak to the directory owner, they'll tell you that there is work involved and they should be paid for their time. If you speak to the person requesting the removal, they'll most of the time state that it's not fair.


Let me just ask this: do marketing companies charge their clients for this seek and destroy mission of "bad links". Of course they do. They are providing a service. What about the directory owner? Same thing. I think that any marketer putting down this practice of charging for listing removal is the pot calling the kettle black.


Quality directories have always been a good resource and still are. Seomoz still maintains and updates a list if directories, which Massive Links is part of. You can find the partial list here http://www.seomoz.org/directories


Any quality website, which includes directories will stand the test of time. Directories have been in heated discussions since 2004, from what I remember. There is a constant pruning and what it comes down to is that the crappy sites, don't last.

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This is just silly. Massive Links is a paid directory.

a ) The site owner (or whoever they paid to submit their link) would have had to purposely submit the site to the directory.

b ) If they picked the wrong section that's their problem not yours.


Like you said, this is being turned into an money making opportunity preying on website owners that don't take the time to educate themselves about the webmaster guidelines from the start. They research (hopefully) other aspects of their business to make the right decisions, why don't they do the same with SEO?

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I am posting this email that I received today mainly out of frustration. I figure the best thing to do is shed light on what's happening and the way some people choose to do things. Google has given much ammunition to people who can do harm to another's website. From negative SEO to reporting to Google itself for "questionable" websites. Basically it's easier than ever to harm a competitor's website or any website for that matter.


I’m working on behalf of "some company"; we have been looking into the backlink campaign of the site and have noticed that this site links to us. We are currently trying to regain listings after the recent Google penguin update.


The link can be found in your websites any reference on any other sites that you have to our domains (this domain and that domain need be removed.


We have found links in the following blog as a starting point: URL


Please can this be removed with as a matter of urgency? I will be following this up in a couple of days and if the link has not been removed further action will be taken against you and the domains you own.


I usually respond by saying "The listing has been removed" but this email really pissed me off.




Thank you for contacting us. The listing has been removed.


I would like to point out that Massive Links Directory charges a fee to review and add websites. Your website was not listed by chance. Someone from your company submitted and paid to be reviewed. I would highly recommend that you change your tactics when it comes to threatening a website with action for something that your company had decided to do. A simple request is all that is needed. We take care of the people whom we have done business with.







That listing had been active since 2006.

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