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Disavow Threats


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6 replies to this topic

#1 Alan Perkins

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 04:36 AM

My company owns and operates a popular Q&A site in the UK Often the questions and answers posted by members contain links to external sites. All of these links are automatically nofollow'd.

 

Since Google introduced their disavow tool, we've been increasingly receiving requests and even threats to remove perfectly good links which, even if they weren't perfectly good, are nofollow'd as they're UGC and we don't have the manpower to vet every link. Here is an example of a threatening one:

 



 

Dear Webmaster,
 
On Behalf of [removed.com], I write to notify you that your website has been spammed by unauthorised persons which have a negative impact from your site being indexed on Google.
 
We have found that there are links to [removed.com] in your website [removed.co.uk]. [removed company] is the owner of exclusive rights protected under copyright law and other intellectual property right in [removed.com].
 
Linking from: [removed.co.uk]
 
[removed company] requests that you act expeditiously to remove or disable access or delete the webpage/section/forum. I am sure in doing so you will also be benefited from having a clean non-spammed website.
 
If we don’t hear from you we may be forced to contact your ISP and report Google to consider your site as spam website.
 
Here is how we can report about spam sites
 
 
[removed.co.uk/url]
Sincerely,
 
[removed personal name]
 
[removed "seo" company name]

 

 

 

What a waste of everyone's time this is!

 

For the most part, we suspect we're being contacted by naive people who don't understand the difference between a good link and a bad link.

 

However, sometimes we suspect that we're actually being contacted by competitors of the sites we're linking too, who are using the fuddy disavow situation to remove perfectly good links to their competitors' sites. Just thought you all should be aware of this ...

 



#2 chrishirst

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 04:58 AM

My reply to these clowns, always assuming I could even be bothered to reply, would be just two words.



Which, oddly enough is the same reply that link beggars get.



#3 Alan Perkins

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 05:09 AM

We never reply.



#4 Alan Perkins

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 05:17 AM

Why should we reply to a letter that's basically saying

 

 

Sorry, I think I must have spammed you in the past, because I spammed lots of people, but now I'd like you to do me a favour and remove my spam because I think it's doing me harm [even though it isn't spam and is nofollow'd].

 

By the way, if you don't remove it, I'm going to report you to Google for spamming.

 



#5 qwerty

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 05:34 AM

I'm in the process of putting together a disavow list now. A person who worked at a site we own had himself a cunning plan a few years back: he created WordPress and Blogger themes that included links to our site (and a few others, who probably paid him) in the footer of every page. So these links are on thousands of pages on hundreds of domains, sometimes set as no display, sometimes the same color as the background, but often right out there in the open, under the copyright notice.

 

This site isn't officially part of my job, but I was asked to look at it shortly after I was hired, and I warned them about their link profile. A day after Penguin 2.0, their organic traffic dropped by about 25%.

 

I tried writing to one of the sites that contains these links. They're a web design company that also does SEO, so I figured if anyone understood why and how these links needed to be removed, it would be them. But the email I sent them was nothing like the one you received, Alan. I just told them that there were hidden links in their site's footer and they should edit footer.php to remove them. No response.

 

So I'm simply going to submit a disavow list (currently at about 750 lines, most of them indicating entire domains rather than pages, and will probably end up at about 1000 lines) and hope that's enough, because these links aren't going to go away.



#6 Alan Perkins

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 05:50 AM

Unfortunately, Bob, your site resembles this remark: "Sorry, I think I must have spammed you in the past, because I spammed lots of people, but now I'd like you to do me a favour and remove my spam because I think it's doing me harm"

 

The difference in your case is that it actually is spam and you know it.



#7 qwerty

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 07:22 AM

Yeah, and that's the main reason I'm not even going to try contacting any more sites. These people don't owe me anything, they either don't know about the links or think they're a normal part of having a free blog theme, and they probably wouldn't be capable of removing them even if I gave them step by step instructions.






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