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Asked To Remove Link From 2005 Blog Post - Huh?

seo afraid of google link removal blog posts google webmaster guidelines

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#1 cre8pc

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 07:25 PM

I received a polite email request from someone from an SEO company who must be deep deep deep crawling the recesses of the Web for any possible inbound link that could possibly bring to Google's knees.

 

The email states

However, it has come to our attention that this link may have been acquired against Google's Webmaster Guidelines.

 

To which I say, you HAVE to be kidding!  First, did they even guidelines in 2005?  And second, my reputation has been staked on the fact that I never do anything knowingly to upset the Google gods.  And third, what the freaking frog?

 

So, I figure ok, I'm not  be-utch and I'll remove the link, which by the way is from an earlier and shall I say, gawd awful design of Cre8pc.  Only to find that I can't edit past 2006 (I have archives going back to 2002 for my blog).

 

So, how do I get to that blog post (Wordpress) and should I even bother?  Is this link paranoia gone mad?


Edited by cre8pc, 22 March 2013 - 10:58 AM.


#2 jonbey

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 07:30 PM

Huh? How can you not be able to edit a wordpress page / post? Go on, show us the page, share the link, move to private if need be. Very curious to know!



#3 jonbey

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 07:34 PM

One thing - the wording is from a template - e.g. http://productforums...Pc/BBy_gNW3qkoJ

 

This probably happened:

  1. Website lost rankings, heard about Penguin and remembered hiring an SEO
  2. Website asked SEO to fix ranking loss
  3. SEO ran a report and sent message to every single link owner - they are only being paid to remove links!
  4. You get mail.

If I were you I'd do nothing. If they chase it up, send a reply saying "I cannot edit that page because ..... plus it is a natural link, not causing you a problem."

 

Still love to see the example though and understand why you cannot edit it.



#4 clandestino

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 08:05 PM

I'd take it off.

 

If you don't, they'll do it with the disavow tool and that could affect the site.

 

It's amazing the volume of people out there that hold themselves out to be SEO experts that have about this level of knowledge.  These are the same people that send e-mails to Search Engine Land and tell them they aren't ranking in the top 10 for their most important keywords.

 

Now, you say, it's illogical that google would penalize Cre8asite Forums because google knows we're not a spam site.

 

Logic <is not equal to> google.

 

After seeing how most of google's systems perform, I wouldn't trust google to get anything right.  Isn't that our usual tact when deciding how to implement SEO strategies on our sites?  Server side away from google if possible...the less they know or are involved in the better.......

 

And, you know that google doesn't think they have to honor anything they promised last week.  If the temperature changes by more than 2 degrees, they think that's justification for changing the rules, regardless of who relied on their statements and how hard google lobbied to get you to rely on them.

 

Of course, the likelihood that these folks using the disavow tool would affect this site isn't very high, just because of the volume of links on the site and the authority that Cre8asite Forums has built.  But, stranger things have happened, we read about them all the time.


Edited by chuckfinley, 21 March 2013 - 08:20 PM.


#5 EGOL

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 08:37 PM

If the link was given to them on the basis of merit I think that you could leave it up without problems or if you have concerns take it down.

 

If the link was put up at their request then I would remove it and then send them a bill for $35 editing charge.



#6 bwelford

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 09:46 PM

Shucks I didn't intend to undercut the going rate.  I got fed up with these requests so offer to take each down for $10 US.  So far no takers. :(



#7 AbleReach

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 12:40 AM

I don't know why you can't edit the post through WordPress, but if you have to, you could go in via phpmyadmin and delete the offending bit. 

 

Is it possible that you changed your handle in WP's admin?  If you have more than one author that is really you, you may have taken away editing rights for all but whatever is currently in use.  Make sure you are trying to edit "admin" with a username that can edit absolutely everything.  Possibly, the old post was written by "admin," the old default 1st user name, and since then you've followed smart security advice about not giving admin user rights, for security purposes.  If de-empowering "admin" was done via plugin, you may need to temporarily uninstall a plugin before making an "admin" post editable.  Just guessing!

 

Some people think it's good security practice not to stay logged into an account with super powers, just in case you happen to visit an infected site while logged in.  


Edited by AbleReach, 22 March 2013 - 12:43 AM.


#8 clandestino

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 01:25 AM

I rest my case, your honor -->

 

Google: Sorry We Accidentally Penalized Your Site



#9 jonbey

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 03:51 AM

Very interesting.

 

So if you have a site and a few pages are not indexed, take a good look to ask why. Although it sounds very manual. I had noticed that some of my posts are not indexed, but I have never got around to working out which ones, maybe I should!



#10 glyn

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 06:23 AM

These warnings are funny.

 

I've had a spammy site with horrid links reincluded without ever sending such an email asking a webmaster to remove a link.

 

In a nutshell I Caldini'd google :)



#11 EGOL

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 07:16 AM

Shucks I didn't intend to undercut the going rate.  I got fed up with these requests so offer to take each down for $10 US.  So far no takers. :(

 

That's a really fair price, Barry.   



#12 cre8pc

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 10:27 AM

http://www.cre8pc.co...-in-window.html - How Much Is That SEO Hunk in The Window?

 

Please excuse the absolute nightmare layout.  The link is to an article that caught my attention and I wrote about the topic.  It's on my Cre8pc site (not these forums).  When I tried to get to the article, Wordpress posts only brings back posts up to 2006. Would love to know which law I broke, LOL


Edited by cre8pc, 22 March 2013 - 10:59 AM.


#13 clandestino

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 03:55 PM

Love those flashing red bars on the right rail - has a gambling casino quality to it. :)



#14 clandestino

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 04:00 PM

http://www.cre8pc.co...-in-window.html - How Much Is That SEO Hunk in The Window?

 

Please excuse the absolute nightmare layout.  The link is to an article that caught my attention and I wrote about the topic.  It's on my Cre8pc site (not these forums).  When I tried to get to the article, Wordpress posts only brings back posts up to 2006. Would love to know which law I broke, LOL

 

I think Able Reach has the answer.  Someone needs to search the database for the offending link and delete it.  It's easy to do and much easier than figuring out how to fix Wordpress at this point.



#15 jonbey

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 04:21 PM

There is a Wordpress plugin called Find and Replace (maybe several) which means you do not need to get your hands dirty in the MySQL engine, just do a search in the wordpress admin area.



#16 Guest_rustybrick_*

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 07:25 AM

That was dumb, it back fired Kim http://www.seroundta...ests-16547.html

 

That really really upset me.  Like you said, "what the freaking frog"!



#17 cre8pc

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 10:26 AM

The people who commented lack experience and the understanding that comes with it.  It takes courage to speak out against stupid SEO practices.  Naming people?  Why not?  It seems to be okay to negate thought leaders, and well known industry people.  What upsets me is the rampant spread of fear-based practices spawned by Google.



#18 iamlost

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 12:39 PM

I've made a command decision:

While I have, in the past few months, been asked several times to remove links (see Penguin Panic Jumps Shark from December) and have acquiesed without charge :) to date that agreeable response is now at an end.

Remember the old days when sites 'required' links to only go to their home page? I laughed at their ignorance and incompetence and linked as I thought appropriate for my purpose. And when the emails arrived threatening all sorts of ridiculous responses I simply forwarded them to my law-type-person to retain as record and changed nothing.

I've decided that this is simply a repeat of that foolishness. From now on I shall repeat my prior behaviour: forward to law-type-person to archive and ignore. With one rather important caveat: that domain and that URL will be watched carefully to see if they remain worth the link. If they are so panicked that they are hosing links from one of my sites they may decide to repudiate the content I found worth recommending to my visitors. Should that happen then they will lose that and any other of my links links, because by such a content suicide attempt they will deserve the loss.

And if it is some ignorant incompetent SEO firm clearcutting rather than selectively pruning links, well, caveat emptor site owner, caveat emptor. And when it is an SEO firm (as in Kim's and Barry's example) acting on it's own behalf in such a stupid fashion that is suicide of another kind.



#19 jonbey

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 01:30 PM

The craziest thing about all of this is, well, that they are just links. 

 

If anyone who knew nothing about SEO read this they would be wondering what all the fuss is about. Just a link from one site to another. In the grand scheme of life, the universe and everything, such a small and insignificant thing really.



#20 morgret

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 02:37 PM

The CEO from this company contacted Barry with information about what happened, and the SER post is now updated.



#21 iamlost

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 03:37 PM

That an SEO company felt the need to request the removal of any links - as the update confirms what was suspected - pointing to themselves says nothing but sad bad things about the company: what one does for oneself one likely considers normal or even best practice.

 

The problem is not so much the behaviour of an ill trained inexperienced employee without appropriate oversight as it is the prior and current behaviour of the company that required his overly zealous (embarrassingly publicised) actions.



#22 clandestino

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 05:13 PM

That was dumb, it back fired Kim http://www.seroundta...ests-16547.html

 

That really really upset me.  Like you said, "what the freaking frog"!

 

It doesn't take long to remove a link.  The right thing to do would be to call the company to discuss it as it doesn't make sense in this case.  It would be less time to remove the link.

 

I just made a comment on distrust of the disavow tool.  What you think should be may not be what google does.  It's a big internet and google doesn't always get it right, ask Digg.

 

Barry, I'm on your team. ;)



#23 Dr.Marie

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 05:45 PM

I wanted to give my thoughts on this situation.  Over the last 9 months I have helped a lot of sites with unnatural links penalties and I can totally see how this situation would happen where a good, valid link is requested to be taken down.

 

If I'm doing unnatural links penalty removal for a site and I'm not the one who has done the SEO then sometimes it can be hard to judge whether or not a link is natural.  If I'm not sure, then I ask for it to be removed.  

 

I've worked on some sites where 99% of their links were unnatural and all previous attempts at reconsideration have failed.  If this is the case, then I try to get as many as possible of them removed.  The site owners know that they are essentially wiping their link slate clean but if they want to ever be able to rank this domain again then they may need to remove a huge number of links. 

 

When I send out emails to webmasters to ask for link removal, if I do get a response, the majority of people are really nice about it.  But I will have some that write back and tell me that what I'm doing won't work or that I'm an idiot for thinking their site is hosting unnatural links.  (One of these came from a very spammy article spinning site.)

 

Sometimes the links that are being removed are from sites that are not spammy at all.  For example, I had one client whose penalty came because of excessive reciprocal linking.  The sites hosting these links were good quality sites and many of the site owners were offended that I asked for a link to be removed.  Now when I send out these emails I make a point of telling the site owner that I could be wrong about the link being unnatural and that this request is not a judgment on their site's business practices at all.  I also invite these owners to let me know if they feel that the link is a natural one.

 

It sounds like Kim's intention is to go ahead and remove the link once the Wordpress issue gets sorted out and that's awesome.  However, if I were in your shoes, I would likely send back an email saying, "Hey, just wanted to let you know that I placed that link myself.  It wasn't SEO made.  Do you still want me to remove it?"



#24 clandestino

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 06:14 PM

It sounds like Kim's intention is to go ahead and remove the link once the Wordpress issue gets sorted out and that's awesome.  However, if I were in your shoes, I would likely send back an email saying, "Hey, just wanted to let you know that I placed that link myself.  It wasn't SEO made.  Do you still want me to remove it?"

 

That is a great solution!   I think it's important to respect other website owners and not jump to conclusions, it's just not right from a moral perspective.  There may be circumstances we don't understand.

 

It may be easier, though, to take the link down.  In normal cases, I'd have the link removed before I could push "send" on the e-mail.

 

Yours would be the kinder approach, however, and I believe in erring in the direction of thoughtfulness.  A lot more problems get solved that way.

 

It turned out, in this case, the request was an honest mistake made by inexperienced staff.  They really didn't want the link removed.  Your solution would have been helpful to them.  Maybe add in, "We're the top forum on Search Engine Marketing, are you sure you want us to remove this link? I believe it will help you. However, I'm happy to take it down, if that's what you would like."



#25 jonbey

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 06:34 PM

Well, the only one I was asked to remove was an advert (rel=nofollow applied) that they had purchased.

 

Probably a case of the SEO people not talking to the advertising people!



#26 clandestino

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 02:59 AM

From now on I shall repeat my prior behaviour: forward to law-type-person to archive and ignore. With one rather important caveat: that domain and that URL will be watched carefully to see if they remain worth the link. If they are so panicked that they are hosing links from one of my sites they may decide to repudiate the content I found worth recommending to my visitors. Should that happen then they will lose that and any other of my links links, because by such a content suicide attempt they will deserve the loss.
 

 

Now there's and interesting thought. 

 

If someone is panicked because they got hit with Penguin or the Unnatural Link Penalty and you receive a request as part of a mass link take down campaign, would you even want to link to them? Wouldn't you be letting down the good sites you're linking to?  Co-Citation run amuck? -->

 

Jim Boykin's Blog,  Co Citation – understanding how it effects your SEO

 

And, how is this different than letting low quality sites guest post on your blog.  Here's what matt cutt's said about that -->

 

“If your website links to sites that we consider low quality or spammy, that can affect your site’s reputation, so the short answer is yes,”
says Cutts.  “Google is willing to take action if we see spammy or low quality blogging, guest blogging....

 

 

Hmmmmmmm.......


Edited by chuckfinley, 26 March 2013 - 03:06 AM.


#27 Feydakin

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 09:48 AM

I don't react well to threats. If someone is polite and asks to take a link down I generally take it down or try to explain to them why they are wrong. But when their first contact includes a threat, and we get plenty of those, the other side of my personality kicks in. I head over to Fiverr and drop $10 on 20,00 XRummer links for them. 

 

Evil? Very likely. But like I said, I don't react well to threats. Especially in the first contact email. 



#28 cre8pc

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 12:17 PM

i don't react well to threats either or being told one of my links "may" have broken a Google rule.  For starters, Google isn't the only search engine on the planet. 
 
There's an entire conference in New York this week of several thousand people hoping to learn how to behave in Google or save their sites from the Google crack down.  I don't have any sympathy for those who thought buying links was a good thing.  Some of us have said for years it's not.  I'll never forget a client who hired me and got tired of my SEO approach because I would not help him buy links.  He was spending more on fake links per month than my salary! 
 
This article, How to Know Which Links to Disavow in Google on how to find links to disavow,  is the perfect example of a new SEO strategy spawned by Google that's not easily understood or applied.  What's to stop someone from disavowing a page or web site out of spite, or because they are a competitor?  

 

As for these forums, before there was no-follow, we had our own secret scrambler for outbound links.  We made it clear, to anybody who bothered to read the House Rules, that coming here to drop links in posts and sig's was useless since we sent all links to Jupiter on a one-way ticket. 



#29 Dr.Marie

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 12:26 PM

I'm not worried at all if someone disavows links from my site.  All that's doing is asking Google to put an invisible nofollow on the link that points to them.  That's not going to hurt me one bit.

 

I do believe that it is possible that Google can use the information that comes from the disavow tool, and that perhaps, if you have a sketchy site, you could be harmed by it.  For example, when I am doing link audits for sites that have been hit with a penalty, often they ALL have links from the same sites.  So, if I own SpamArticleSite.com and thousands of people are choosing to disavow links from me then Google may take a look at my site and decide that it is indeed a site created solely for the purpose of linking out to increase other sites' PageRank.  As such, they may decide to deindex me or to lower my PR.

 

But I really don't think there is any way that Google would programatically say, "OK...this site has a few people disavowing it so we'll penalize them."  If you've got a good site and someone disavows you, there's no need to worry.  

 

*If* Google does use the disavow information, I don't think they would use it blindly.  I personally think they could use it to open up a manual review on sites that are linking out poorly, but I don't think they'll use it in any sort of automated way. 



#30 jonbey

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 08:46 AM

... For example, I had one client whose penalty came because of excessive reciprocal linking.  The sites hosting these links were good quality sites and many of the site owners were offended that I asked for a link to be removed.

Just a thought - if the penalty is due to excessive recip linking, a quicker solution would be to remove your link to them?

I am trying to understand Penguin properly for the first time. Reading lots, still not really sure what I should and should not be doing.



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