Getting Rid Of Those Silly Links

Apr 24, 2012 • 8:31 am | comments (25) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Link Building Tips & SEO

Silly StringsA WebmasterWorld thread has an SEO asking how do other SEOs go about removing links. The SEO said, "deleting articles or removing links can be very time consuming," and what process do you use to identify and remove those links?

As you know, Google has sent out a huge number of unnatural link notifications to webmasters and because of it, SEOs and webmasters are on a mission to clean up their link profiles.

Most SEOs would consider getting links to be easier than removing links but either way, the job of the SEO is to remove those silly and unnatural links from the site's profile.

How do you do it?

Dixon Jones has an excellent blog post at the Majestic SEO blog named Unnatural Links Investigations. The post takes you through finding all those types of unnatural links by using link tools. It helps you find site wide links, "over-hyped" anchor text links, 301 bad ones, link network links, and downright bad links.

Once you identify the links and have a listing of them, then you need to do whatever it takes to get rid of them. How? Same as you would to acquire those links. Call, email, beg and even - dare I say it - pay to have them removed.

Yea, a new business model. Paying to remove links instead of buying links.

What works for you?

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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04/24/2012 01:20 pm

It's negative seo time?

Will Spencer

04/24/2012 01:41 pm

Google is creating an opportunity to penalize your competitors by pouring suspicious-looking links at them. Google is also creating an opportunity to push your competitors rankings down by sending mass "please remove the links to my site" emails to everyone who links to your competitors. Google has once again put the white hats at a huge disadvantage to the black hats.

josh bachynski

04/24/2012 04:30 pm

Depending upon what's wrong, you don't even need to remove any links, nor would you be wise to

Michael Martinez

04/24/2012 05:05 pm

We don't need to wave the "negative SEO" flag all month long.  It has been possible to point nasty links at Websites for a long time.  Google is no less vigilant about that process now than it has been in the past. People just need to learn that SEO is not all about links.  When you stop obsessing over links you can move on and do the work right.

Craig Broadbent

04/25/2012 08:49 am

Fine in theory but when you're inheriting a site from someone who has for example outsourced spam link building to India it's nigh on impossible to have those removed. Google either needs to close the loophole that allows such links to damage sites (if it exists) or give us a mechanism to highlight links we don't want counting to wards our profile - a "reverse nofollow" if you like. 


04/25/2012 10:32 am

Craig is right. It's impossible to remove many links. This is a massive opportunity for other search engines to regain some market share now.

Deepak Rajput

04/25/2012 11:47 am

Dependancy on Linkbuiliding for all SEO Companies are near about their endpoint.


04/25/2012 12:35 pm

is google ok with paying to remove links ? :)))))) maybe thy should add that in the guideline: paying for links is ok only if it's to remove one :D


04/26/2012 05:23 am

LOL  Paying to remove links instead of buying links

Aaron Friedman

04/26/2012 01:54 pm

What would be interesting to see, to combat this problem, would be for google to role out a "ignore this link" option. Similar to submitting an XML sitemap, if Google allowed webmasters to create a list of links they should ignore, this would solve 2 things. 1. Remove the the possible threat of these links 2. simultaneously report them to Google. And the cool part about this, rather than some random "report" that google looks at. They can algorithmicly see that in fact this is happening and the webmaster is being harmed. People might start being more conscientious about links and nervous where they link to, in fear that someone might mess them over, but the pro's outweigh the cons, IMHO. 


05/03/2012 03:56 am

what is the answer??? wasting my timer eadingit :-(

Michelle Crofts

05/11/2012 09:46 am

I agree that there absolutely needs to be a way to tell Google to ignore poor quality incoming links if these links can damage the credibility of a site. I've got a few clients who have previously fallen for the promises of lots of high value "high PR" links for low prices only (outsourced) only to end up losing their rankings now, even after better links have been built since. While this isn't definately as a result of the poor links, I haven't been able to detect any other reasons for their falls and it probably don't help when there are lots of incoming links from spammy pages. Being able to specify links to ignore in GWT would be really helpful - or creating a way to have those links pointing into a site somehow cut (without needing to move the site's pages they point to) would really help sort out this problem.

Gregory Lancaster

07/02/2012 04:12 am

This has been the most challenging algorithm update to date. @twitter-19593104:disqus I agree, is it odd to anyone else that wasn't implemented from the get go? Google boasts about hiring super geniuses, how did they not predict the necessity of a tool like this.

Gregory Lancaster

07/02/2012 04:12 am


Gregory Lancaster

07/02/2012 04:13 am

I dont believe google is interested in helping the webmaster accomplish much.

Gregory Lancaster

07/02/2012 04:16 am

That is a unique viewpoint. I wonder of MS or Yahoo! have considered that at all. Would they even be aware of an issue like this affecting searchers and webmasters?

Gregory Lancaster

07/02/2012 04:20 am

In my niches I am seeing domains with 3-5 links total ranking in top positions. I think taking a stance on spam and cheats is a step in the right direction. Its unfortunate they opted to reward the lazy and punish the industrious. I wonder how their company would respond to the market responding in kind. anyone?

Brad Dalton

07/04/2012 11:08 am

The new disavow incoming links tool Bing offers is a great idea. And a fair one. Google is behind Bing in this respect and isn't looking after webmasters best interests.


07/05/2012 03:00 pm

We have been around even before this corporate parasite Google was around. We had one problem website with penguin. One in over 300 clients. Our problem is this: There is no possibe way to help a 10 year old website that is victim to google penguin. Remove over 10,000 un-niche related back links? um ya sure....if i have a spare year hanging round here some where. What happens now Google? You ruined my website ranking which took away all my clients visitors and my client is gone now as well. Not one link to that website was backhat or purchased. How am I supposed to control who links to my website? I cant. period! These people need to reconsider this crap they hand down to the small businesses, They are not internet gods and should not be treated as such. Where is the off switch for these guys? Wow!


07/05/2012 10:16 pm

IMAO Panda works by looking at % anchor as a log of different C class IP A very very simple algo Embaressingly simple Thus if you more links to dilute this percentage then you will counter the effect of Panda but link too quick and you will trip another algo but thus one being based on time Also if you have several sites all in the same niche as many of us do then choose one. Make a stand and redirect all links to that one chosen site and build a brand

Wayen Paden

07/23/2012 06:51 am

I am surprising of thinking What really Google Need !! Google Playing Hide N seek game. I have many clients those who are in Top 10 in Google rank. But now they are not even in 500 or more. Now anyone will say we are doing unnatural submissions but i will say NO cos we do only 10 submissions in a week in HIGH PR DIR and BM sites. "disavow" incoming links tool Bing offers already but Google still behind, if Google know how to penalise than it should offer disavow incoming links tool too but not yet. Now i cannot know how to get my ranks back. please if anyone have the solution than kindly help me.


01/29/2013 07:01 pm

Great post. It has long been looking for this information, I only found you. Thank you.


02/01/2013 12:35 pm

How Google identifies unnatural links what is the process Google webmaster tool identifies and showing in webmaster tool, those link no way submit but connect to our website, i can fix that problem to identifies ?

SEO Packages

03/02/2013 09:31 am

When you are on a tight budget. The second case is when the SEO is not only the best but the only option is when you are on a tight budget, and the ideal is to have all the time in the world. When you are very limited budget, you may be able to buy some cheap clicks, but mostly PPC 100 or 200 will not see a big difference anyway. In this case, you only invest your time on SEO as your budget allows, and move to the PPC.


07/16/2013 07:50 pm

I would think it's the local business directory links you have? Try adding more long tailed, diverse keywords both on your business listings and your money page. It works wonders.

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