Don't Be Scammed Into Removing Links

Nov 9, 2012 • 8:40 am | comments (16) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization
 

Google Link Removal ScamThere may be a new competitive sabotage scam going around the SEO industry around link removals.

You know how Google sends link warning emails? Well, when Google does that, you should see the notification also in your Webmaster Tools message center, if you don't then it typically was not sent by Google.

One such webmaster claimed he received the warning and immediately went about removing links to his web site. After doing so, he submitted a reconsideration request, in which Google responded he had no link penalty from the onset. Meaning, the link warning he initially received may have been a scam email from a competitor.

The webmaster wrote this in a WebmasterWorld thread saying:

So I assumed it was real. But now... after working on removing all these links - I feel like a fool because within two days Google comes back and says - "no web spam penalty". I feel like a total idiot.

Truth is, he may have received a legit notification but this should be a warning to other webmasters and SEOs. If you get a warning, make sure it is legit before you start destroying your link profile and weight.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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Comments:

Frank

11/09/2012 01:48 pm

Thanks for sharing such a great information. Sorry for the people who became victim of this scam.

ChrisC

11/09/2012 01:51 pm

Interesting that he felt there were links that should be removed and yet Google did not feel that way. Eitherway, he should just be grateful that he was not penalised and he has got rid of links he should not have anyway which he would probably be penalised for later on.

Nick Ker

11/09/2012 03:12 pm

Upon reading the forum thread, I see he actually DID receive a notification in WMT. He also said he was hit by Panda (and probably Penguin). Since penguin is not a manual penalty, he would of course get the "no manual action taken" message after sending a reconsideration request.

Nathaniel Bailey

11/09/2012 03:31 pm

Cheeky little buggers is all I can say if it was indeed a competitor! But people really should know to check emails these days before acting upon them because email scams are all around us for just about everything under the sun :(

Josh

11/09/2012 03:48 pm

This is an interesting concept. However, the point is no matter what market/situation there's always scammers and there's always those who will fall for it. It would be nice to see Google get involved from a legal standpoint from scammers claiming to work from Google.

bob

11/09/2012 08:33 pm

I have received such a scam email, they sent it through my contact form and not WMT and also spelt my domain wrong which were dead give away. I was worried at first but gave it a few days and heard nothing more so ignored it

Nigeria Newspapers

11/09/2012 09:29 pm

It could still be good that he removed the links. I guess the links he removed were the ones "he" thought were spammy and who knows; he might have saved himself a forthcoming big G's slap. Who knows..

ishan_ilovefreesoftware

11/10/2012 03:16 am

Such a wrong article.. he clearly mentions later in the forum that the notice was indeed present in WMT as well.. so obviously there wasn't any spam. Whole premise of the article is wrong. Not expected from you guys.

Vishal Saxena

11/10/2012 12:19 pm

A great message about SEO

IrishWonder

11/11/2012 09:20 am

That was bound to happen and that's just one form of it, I have seen a few more and can think of at least a dozen more ways to exploit it. Google going the link removal/disavow route opened up the wide opportunity for all sorts of scams. Negative SEO has never been easier.

humanistseo

11/12/2012 03:01 am

This article is COMPLETELY wrong... The webmaster did receive a message in his WMT account. So unless you're saying his competitors hacked Google's WMT messaging system, then you should print a massive 'I was wrong' above this article.

Website Developers

11/12/2012 04:15 am

hey Barry thanks for the update..Google should know what is going on with their email system

fakebuck

11/12/2012 10:08 am

Who the hell has time to do all of this?

Jason

11/12/2012 11:14 am

I work for a link audit company, 75% of our new clients received WMT notifications or have seen drops in positions due to penalties. I have not heard of this scam ever, all I can say is to any webmaster, never try and guess what backlinks are causing WMT notification or penalties. YOU CAN DO MORE HARM by removing good links. Ensure the person or Audit Company compiling data has long history & is experienced in auditing and really does know what they’re doing. Jason www.linkaudit.co.uk

Fox Crawl

11/13/2012 12:00 am

Haha, he should then be happy with Google's answer. Still do not understand this link spam as long as i can mainly control the quality of the links on my websites. Furthemore, thought that anyone nowadays uses Webmasters Tools but apparently not. Cheers. FC www.foxcrawl.com

Adam H

11/26/2012 02:39 am

Received a couple of emails this week requesting for links to be removed from one of our sites, they came directly from our hosts threatening a DMCA take down and legal action should the links not be removed.......and i quote " please make sure these links are taken down because of the potential negative impact it will have on my client\'s business otherwise we will have to take further action such as requesting a DMCA takedown notice or further legal action if required because of link spam" The threat of legal action to remove a link "google" has classed as spam instantly rang bells, first i was outraged they didnt bother to contact us directly but went straight for the hosts assistance which could have resulted our entire server being taken down if i had not seen the email for 24 hours. So i contacted the site in questions marketing department and had "words" for threatening legal action for such blatantly stupid request. Then after them claiming they knew nothing about it and yet another email came through with requests for another company i realised that it was competitor spam, these company's competitors doing the dirty and trying to get backlinks removed by pretending they were doing it for the good of the site. Now with so many of these requests going around at the moment many webmasters wouldnt even ask a question, they would honour the request without even thinking, i would have too if they hadnt threatened legal action which was quite obviously ludicrous action for a link remove and not viable what so ever. Be warned, its happening and it will be happening on large scales because it works because we have no reason not to believe them..........Google asking people to sort out their own backlink profile as a "good will" gesture is the biggest **** up ive seen in a long time, they should never have asked webmasters to do it and should have just discounted the backlinks which they consider as low quality.

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