• http://twitter.com/studiumcirclus James Allen

    I’ve had a lot of success disavowing these types of links by simply adding commentary into disavow files telling Google that these sites charge for link removals. Sometimes you inherit a terrible backlink profile from a client who’s been stung by ‘bad’ SEO in the past. There’s no way I’m pulling out of my personal pocket while the client’s ex-agency laughs behind my back at how they pushed these costs onto someone else.

  • John Pirro

    Anyone who has had success disavowing links/sites, what is the turnaround time from Google? I’ve yet to send a request and have been trying to get rid of the links myself, but I’m about ready to send a disavow request for the links that I haven’t gotten responses from.

  • John Pirro

    Anyone who has had success disavowing links/sites, what is the turnaround time from Google? I’ve yet to send a request and have been trying to get rid of the links myself, but I’m about ready to send a disavow request for the links that I haven’t gotten responses from.

  • http://www.facebook.com/marcuscudd Marcus Cudd

    Several of my clients have been contacted directly by similar scams going back to May of this year. This problem is the worst one yet, simply because they use fear very skillfully as a tactic. In one case a client was contacted by a “webmaster” who had built a site but it wasn’t indexed in Google, and claimed that he was owed money for links my client had supposedly added to his site. It doesn’t take much effort to put up a spam blog, add links to it and start harassing website owners for money. There is nothing Google can do to stop them, since they don’t need the site to be indexed to be successful with the scheme. Perhaps Google would be wise to stop penalizing links, or at the very least announce that they aren’t penalizing links, but assigning them positive or neutral value. This makes it much easier to prevent scams like this from taking root.

  • John Pirro

    If you don’t mind me asking, how long did it take to get a response from Google after sending a disavow request? Thanks

  • HackneyMick

    Hi Eric,

    And as always, good to read your stuff.

    Wondering whether you’d noted or followed the article and discussion on back-linking scrapers in SELand on 6 November at:

    http://searchengineland.com/link-tool-review-ahrefs-138676

    And whether you’d care to talk about the “downright moronic” or possibly unscrupulous and spammy use of these tools.

    Without, of course, giving them any link juice.

    Cheers,

    Michael Zerman
    Adelaide, AUSTRALIA

  • http://twitter.com/Etela Etela Ivkovic

    I’m with you on not paying and letting this link scam
    succeed Eric. One of our clients paid for removing links yet the links were
    still not removed. How shameful is that?

  • Yousee

    Those who ask ransom for links to remove, they are indeed cheap. Thanks to Google, they came out with Disavow links.

  • http://twitter.com/studiumcirclus James Allen

    I think it was somewhere in the realms of 3 weeks to just over a month. It wasn’t a direct response either, moreso an acceptance of an action performed through GWMT. We assume our disavow documents are successful if our reconsideration requests which reference them pass through :)

  • Francesco Giubbilini

    Hi,
    No mercy and no money for these web extortionists! And then … who assures me that they really take away?
    However, I believe that Google can do much more to combat spam…
    Thanks,
    bye!

  • http://twitter.com/HenryP Henry Phillips

    I work for a major directory and I have seen evidence of another related possible scam, in which an agency requests link removals “on behalf of” a client.
    When pressed as to why and asked for confirmation direct from that client, they either do not reply or claim that the request was mistaken.
    Either they are incompetently requesting the removal of perfectly good links, or it is a scam attempting to remove links of their clients’ competitors.
    I always challenge this but I can imagine others simply removing the links.

  • http://www.facebook.com/teresha Teresha Aird

    I completely agree that such scammers should the door slammed in their faces. I heard about this roughly a month ago and honestly wasn’t that surprised. There is a “certain type” of webmaster who tends to thrive on just such scams. Unfortunately they often consider themselves to be search engine marketers!

  • http://www.brickmarketing.com/ Nick Stamoulis

    You have to admire the ingenuity of spammers and their ability to make a profit. Links are important for SEO? We’ll I’ll give you a link if you pay me for it! What? My link is hurting you? Well that’s not my problem but tell you what, pay me AGAIN and I’ll take it down. Double ouch.

  • http://twitter.com/gasyoun Marcis Gasuns

    Directories do it, that’s what I’ve heard. Not DMOZ, but smaller fish.