Link Removal Fees From Web Directories

Mar 20, 2013 • 8:47 am | comments (32) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Link Building Tips & SEO

taking money for link removalsWith all the concern over unnatural link notifications, the Penguin update, disavowing links and lawsuits over linking, SEOs and webmasters are eager to remove all bad links as far back as they can.

The thing is, web directories and link directories are monetizing and taking advantage of the situation - just like they took advantage of the situation when links were perceived as being beneficial to the buyer. Yes, it is all about perception.

As we covered in the past, there are sites charging hefty fees to remove links and there are even companies specializing in link removal.

That being said, a new post at Cre8asite Forums has a webmaster posting a response for a link removal request. This web directory is charging $25 to remove one link and $50 to remove up to ten links.

They say the fee is for the "time, energy, and focus to provide you with that desire." Then they follow up to giving advice on ranking penalties, the Penguin algorithm and more.

Sad place we live in these days.

Forum discussion at Cre8asite Forums.

Image credit to BigStockPhoto for taking money

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03/20/2013 01:07 pm

Long live capitalism!

Jason Brown

03/20/2013 01:14 pm

As an owner of an article directory site. We receive a handful of link removal requests a week. We call them Dear Webmaster letters. We are more then happy to accommodate the request to remove the link(s), but it does take us away from other work we could be doing. The biggest issue is the fact that the links with the urls to remove get thrown into 1 paragraph with with no spacing. Is it really a big deal to spend 20 minutes to delete several links, not really, but I could be doing other stuff instead. I agree $25.00 is very pricey but after seeing tons of these Dear Webmaster emails: "We are contacting you to request the removal of links from your website to ours. Our site is and there are links going to our site from yours. We have been penalized by Google and we need to remove the links from your site. I apologize for the inconvenience, the links were built by an SEO agency, and they did not tell us what they were doing. One of the links appears on this page: We believe there is 5 links from your site to ours. We would be very grateful if you could remove the links...." I see why they are charging so much.

Hamza Ghanchi

03/20/2013 01:15 pm

(Possible)Typo Alert Wrong: This web directory is charging $25 to remove on link and $50 to remove up to ten links. Correct : This web directory is charging $25 to remove one link and $50 to remove up to ten links.

Barry Schwartz

03/20/2013 01:16 pm

Thanks, fixed.


03/20/2013 01:18 pm

I don't understand why it is percieved by some to be a bad thing. You made the link or payed someone to make a link, you pay to have it removed. Nobody owes these webmasters anything. Imagine getting requests for links to be removed from your site; you are busy and you have better things to do with your time. If you are going to sit down and remove all the trash for someone else then you are well within your rights to expect and demand payment. Time is money, right? Why do webmasters who cut corners expect their needs to trump the needs of the person charging them? They were smart enough to charge webmasters for nonsense links and now they are smart enough to charge for the removal. Good for them. Webmasters and SEOs were happy to hand over some cash for a ranking bump and now suddenly they aren't? Happy to play outside the rules when it helps...


03/20/2013 01:23 pm

removing these links is useless. It will not help you to recover. Try to build more quality links instead. The worst thing that could happen is that you pay $500 or more for link removal and then find out that you didn't recover.


03/20/2013 02:20 pm

Gotta agree with this. The link directories aren't what is causing the problem. Check all of the phony keyword-laden comment spam, the site-wide links on non-relevant websites, the fake review spam, the article directories and the posts on irrelevant blogs with your anchor text plastered everywhere. Those crappy directory links aren't going to help you but they aren't going to hurt you, either.


03/20/2013 03:21 pm

DON'T give in and pay them! Just use google link disavow.

Madhav Tripathi

03/20/2013 05:33 pm

Some of the emails from webmasters i had in the inbox to remove their links from comments. I removed their links without any fees.

John Britsios

03/20/2013 07:32 pm

Barry I think you did not mention the best part. They own a network of directories which was banned, and in their email they also tell: Then go here: http: // www. ... and get the NEW linking service that we have recently developed in response to all the new search engine knowledge and algorithm changes at Google. This service has been thoroughly tested and is getting terrific results. It WILL BOOST your search engine rankings - Guaranteed! What the heck?

Marie Haynes

03/20/2013 10:07 pm

I've definitely had unnatural links recovery jobs that were penalized because of their directory links. For one we had disavowed and made attempts to remove all other forms of unnatural links but the site owner wanted to keep most of his directory links. The reconsideration failed. We went back and addressed the many directory links, getting rid of a large number of them, and subsequently the reconsideration passed and the penalty was removed.

Free Dwight

03/20/2013 11:13 pm

maybe do everybody a favor and just ignore all the requests


03/21/2013 12:23 am

This is a non issue in my opinion. People paid to get links for their site. Now people pay to get links for their competitor sites. An algorithm that gives more weight to links then content is indeed flawed and is ripe for abuse. Directories charging to remove links is no different then someone paying to add links to a directory. Everyones time is worth something, and they have a right to be compensated for their time just as much as you and I do. A more important issue about directories is why some charge $200, $300 and more. What kind of service is provided for such an excessive amount of money? Such unjustified prices, for very little effort, smell like pagerank selling to me.


03/21/2013 01:05 am

The world is full of crooks. The internet just makes it easier to find them. Karma will get them in the end.


03/21/2013 01:20 am

Funny thing, I saw a directory that lets you remove the link without paying but you have to send a written request that is notarized to the address listed on their domain registration. After that, they supposedly send the letter to their "attorney" and if they see a a reason to remove the link, they might remove it. Then they point to an article on UGC where it states that they are allowed to decline link removal requests. Of course if you pay, it's no where near as hard to remove the link. Sure you can disavow the links in WMT, but with this method your backlink profile remains visibly tarnished. So unfortunately, this is the kind of crap we deal with these days.


03/21/2013 01:39 am

In reality it is not necessary for the directory owner to invest time in the link removal process. I have seen many directories that have self serve link removal processes. So for directory owner to use the excuse that they are investing time into this, is just an excuse to make money. Charging for the link to get added is different because that cannot be done automatically without sacrificing quality, but to remove the link is another story.


03/21/2013 01:42 am

Look into installing a script that lets the webmaster automatically remove the links and you won't be wasting your time. Look at the directories that have installed these scripts...

Hamza Ghanchi

03/21/2013 11:03 am

You're Welcome :)


03/21/2013 11:41 am

What is the Use of Disvow tool. Does it not sufficient for link removal??

Arun Jaiswal

03/21/2013 11:49 am

After DisaVow TOOL, Do we need to send Email to Directories or any webmaster to remove links I do not think so.. than what's use of DisaVow tool And one more thinng .. those who lost their SERP on KeyPhrase because of PANDA and PENGUNE..... would they get back their Rank immediate after Reconsideration request to google HELP .. answer is NO.. They have to rebuild their Link NETWORK through quality link building.. than possible they could revert back their Rank .. and it is very Long term process,.

Moonstone Interactive

03/21/2013 03:19 pm

The Disavow tool is a great tool to use instead of paying these directories to get your site pulled, but at the same time the best thing to do is stop adding your sites to directories or irrelevant resources. Find quailty resources and write quality comments, these alone will help the your recovery process.

Jimmy Maddox

03/21/2013 03:31 pm

or better yet if your site is in dire shambles just start up a new domain. But do not 301 redirct your old domain to your new one or you will transfer all of your past problems and bad link juice to your new domain / website. just sayin'... you want to have a brand new website/domain quarentined from infection from the old site that is severely penalized.

NPA Home Improvements

03/21/2013 04:33 pm

It depends on how much you value the site. As our domain is 10 years old and has some good links as well as some poor ones, we did it the hard way, did a VERY thorough review of all links. Abandoning a domain and moving the content is the only way out for some, for sure, but although you get a "fresh start" in a way, you are starting from day one again.

NPA Home Improvements

03/21/2013 04:37 pm

A good point! Of course directories were at one point, approved or liked by google, so i think the best approach for the future is to do as they say and EARN links, not pay or force the issue. The hard bit is un-doing it all, which takes time, but if you are 100% behind your team and have faith in that the issue can be overcome, make a plan,and then do it! Its painful, especially if adding your site to those directories, and paying that SEO fella for links, was what everyone else did, and it worked. And then along came penguin and panda. Un-doing 10 years of bad SEO, for us, has been a learning curve, is an ongoing project, but in the end, it will pay iff. Just do what google says and you'll be fine., Scary to say that really but.......

Ahsan Parwez

03/21/2013 09:24 pm

better to avoid these low quality directories, they will monetize every chance they get!


03/22/2013 10:06 am

Nice share

Tim Smith

03/25/2013 10:51 pm

As long as there is money to be made from website owners running around after Google, this sort of thing will continue. It's just a question of what hysteria comes next.


04/05/2013 11:46 pm

I don't charge for removing any links. I don't know where I fit in with other Directory owners either. I feel like I understand why the would charge to do yet I don't. What alot of people may not know is that in most cases it is all about abuse. Link abuse by so called SEO experts. Some poor guy wants his website to be at the top of google so he pays an "SEO" guy to do that. The SEO guy doesn't have any clue on how to do it correctly so he uses some program to just add a bunch of links to 100's of Link Directories and none of the keywords or anchored text is ever changed. Google considers it spam. The website owner needs someone to blame as does the SEO person. so they all point to so called shady Link Directories. Google sends a list of the bad links I assume and the website owner is left paying to get his links removed. Crappy scenario which is one reason I don't offer it. However it is not my fault they didn't make a better choice on their SEO guy. So why is it that I should just remove the link for free. Besides the fact that it isn't my one Directory causing the problem. There are websites where you can pay a person to try and get all your links removed.

Christopher Meinck

07/17/2013 05:33 pm

If I submitted to a directory years ago for a fee, the right thing to do would be to honor my removal request at no charge. If sites want to charge a small administrative fee of $2, that seems fair. I've had site owners reply asking for $15 to $25 for removal. In many cases during my site audit, links were built by a spammer who was trying to build up a forum post on our site. The forum post was on topic, so it remained and was not deleted until we noticed all the inbound links. I refuse to pay a crap directory (because that's all this spammer used) to remove what was a free link created by someone completely unaffiliated with my site. In most cases, I don't receive any response, due to the low-quality nature of the directories/blogs. I do feel for the good guys who run human edited directories that accept only quality sites. People are fearful that directory links can hurt and even the best directory sites are receiving a fair amount of requests. Again, not all these folks are involved in poor business practices. There are plenty of good folks who have kindly removed them. One guy actually called me, since I include a phone number. At the end of the day, it's a mess, one that we have to clean up.


09/11/2013 12:22 am

Serves the right for spamming 1000s of low quality link directories, I would charge too to remove their trashy link off my link directory. Why should it be the link directory owners responsibility to fix some idiots mess? Charge away link directory owners!! Nothing is free in life!


03/16/2014 12:07 pm

Hey i have to say - I own a few directories. I gave away free links to people. Now i should spend HOURS EACH DAY to remove people's links, because Google said so? I personally do not charge to remove links - I will not remove them at all. So i do not like your article i must say, there is a flip side to every story.


03/28/2014 09:03 pm

I agree with you 100% peeved. When going was good, article directories who did not charge a single cent for providing backlinks were praised to high heavens. Has Google even considered that?

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