Paying for Link Removal: Fighting the Internet Mob 

Some people just want to watch the internet burn…..

The internet isn’t a bad place it just attracts a few scum buckets.  So I’ve started running into a problem that’s I’ve been hearing about, but have never experienced.  So what’s got my underwear in a bunch?  People who want me to pay them… to remove a bad link… they created.

That’s right they created a bad link. I didn’t want them to do it.  They did it on their own and after doing it they want me to pay them to remove it!  I’ve tried being nice.  I’ve asked politely, but now it’s time to bring in Google.

Internet Protection Money

This shady practice has been going on for about 2 years, I just haven’t ran into it till the other week.  I’ve been working on a client’s account, doing some link clean up, and low and behold I find a bad link.  At first this link, just like any other shady link didn’t set off the, “pay me to remove it” vibe.  Like other shady links I politely asked them to remove the link.  But got the, “give me money” response.

Most of these links were created by our client back before Google started penalizing them.  I don’t blame the website themselves for having our client’s link, but I do blame them for asking for compensation.  Especially after I jump through all the hoops, go through all the contact info, write up an email and politely ask them to remove the link.

I just can’t believe it!  This practice is literally like paying the mob “protection” money  otherwise they’ll rough up your website.  Luckily our client didn’t have too many of these “pay me” links.  I’m just irked because the practice in and of itself is disgusting.  So the question remains how do you get rid of these nasty links without paying?

Draw Your Sword

Well first off you need to recognize that these, “link removal processing fees” are completely, utterly, shady.  Whatever you do don’t pay these folks a dime, otherwise you’re supporting this terrible practice.  Second and this is the easy part, contact Google via the disavow tool.   Using this tool is like telling Google you don’t want this link counted against your website.

Google is trying to help out webmasters by giving them the tools to fight off the internet mob.  This disavow tool is an easy way to notify Google of links you can’t get removed through traditional “please and thank you” methods.  All you need to do is post a list of domains in .txt form with the following format:

domain: example1.com

domain:example2.com

domain:example3.com

Once you have everything formatted correctly you simply upload the .txt file through the Google disavow tool.  If you’re still unclear as to what the disavow tool’s main purpose is Matt Cutts talked about the tool in a recent video. The main thing you need to know moving forward though is you can fight off bad links without having to pay them a dime.