Categories: Crawling, indexing & ranking :

Letter requesting removal of links due to impending Google updates?

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Letter requesting removal of links due to impending Google updates? Finance Gav 5/13/13 9:28 AM
I've read the FAQs and searched the help center. 

I received a letter, it's added below, and I was wondering about it, I don't put a nofollow on my external links as I feel the content linked from my website is valid to search bots and users a like, information shared either by me, or other users on a topic that is under discussion. 

With the software I use, I can't add a nofollow to just one link it'd have to be to everything and that'd end up blocking bots from following to other useful sites.  I can of course remove the link, but i feel it's helpful to other users and would prefer it stay on the website...

I would like to know what sort of an affect the disavow tool will have on my website? 

regards and thanks
Gav.

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Here's the letter:

Hey Gavin

I wanted to contact you to let you know that I am in the process of checking links pointing to comparethemarket.com and came across your site linking to us here http://www.saverscene.com/gas-electricity/448-uswitch-com-gas-electricity-dual-fuel.html. We are trying to remove or "no follow" links pointing to us in order to protect us from impending Google updates that are scaring everyone that works in digital to death at the minute. If removing the link isn't possible it has been asked that we use Google's disavow tool to de value the link, but this in turn could result in Google deindexing your domain. 

Whilst the former seems like more hassle from a webmaster's point of view this may have a negative effect on the SEO value of your website and your Google visibility, as well as ours. It would be very much appreciated if we could work together to remove this link. 

If you have any questions regarding the process let me know. I work in digital daily and would be more than happy to help answer any questions or reassure any concerns you may have regarding your site. I could even pull some data for you that could help you to proof your site from the updates. 

Many thanks
Re: Letter requesting removal of links due to impending Google updates? Lysis 5/13/13 9:40 AM
It actually looks like a paid link.
Finance Gav 5/13/13 9:45 AM <This message has been deleted.>
Re: Letter requesting removal of links due to impending Google updates? Lysis 5/13/13 9:47 AM
If that guy paid me for that link (and that's what it looks like to me), I'd oblige and remove it.
Re: Letter requesting removal of links due to impending Google updates? Finance Gav 5/13/13 9:49 AM
I can assure you it's not, to my best ability, I don't accept payment for links (except affiliate coded links) and I'd hope my moderators and users of the forum wouldn't either. 

The website itself is one that my site technically competes against, however it offers better information than I can and feel it is of use to the website users, so have left it, I only just realised it's been double posted, will remove one of them now, and wait for a response about the affect dissavow will have on the website.
Re: Letter requesting removal of links due to impending Google updates? Lysis 5/13/13 9:55 AM
Weird, cuz usually people in forums just post a link and don't use anchor text.
Re: Letter requesting removal of links due to impending Google updates? Finance Gav 5/13/13 10:03 AM
That's done automatically by VBSEO: http://www.crawlability.com/vbseo/ it grabs the title of the page.  Does it for almost all links, just grabs the <title> tags and inserts it as the link name.
Re: Letter requesting removal of links due to impending Google updates? Lysis 5/13/13 10:05 AM
oh weird. I post to a vBulletin that doesn't do that. I don't think it's a good idea. It makes the site look like it's selling links or posting links to pass PR.
Re: Letter requesting removal of links due to impending Google updates? Finance Gav 5/13/13 10:19 AM
yeah it's the VBSEO plugin, I've had a few users say how much they like it as it tells them what to expect on the next page rather than just a URL. should I turn the nofollow on then?  It has an option to do it across the whole site for outgoing links, I just thought I was doing the right thing for bot flow of relevant content.
Re: Letter requesting removal of links due to impending Google updates? StevieD_Web 5/13/13 10:24 AM
>should I turn the nofollow on then?  It has an option to do it across the whole site for outgoing links,

yes


> I just thought I was doing the right thing for bot flow of relevant content. 

unless you personally (editorially controlled) added the link then you can't really vouch for the validity of the link so the use of nofollow to strip out the flow of PageRank is appropriate.  The link will still exist and your visitors can follow the link.
Re: Letter requesting removal of links due to impending Google updates? Finance Gav 5/13/13 10:38 AM
okay thanks for that.  Getting turned on now.
Re: Letter requesting removal of links due to impending Google updates? Richard Hearne 5/13/13 2:06 PM
Sorry, but I don't think that's the right answer.

If you don't/cant control linking behaviour then yes turn on NOFOLLOW.  However, you should be aware that doing this may affect you negatively since to Google your site will appear to link to nowhere.  Where you link to is most likely a signal used to determine relevance for your site/pages

Far better IMO that you look at more robust ways to control linking from your forum if your outbound links are problematic.  For instance, you could restrict follow links to admins or frequent posters.

As to the letter - I'd write back to them and tell them one of:

a. go fock themselves
b. you can remove the link but require payment for your time (I'm very unfond of this tactic, but no one should work for free - do you think they are sending these emails for free?  Likely billing £1-200 per hour for this)

It's just ridiculous that anyone has to remove a normal link like this.  Adding NOFOLLOW to normal editorial links doesn't help anyone, and I'm sure Google doesn't want this to happen either.
Re: Letter requesting removal of links due to impending Google updates? Finance Gav 5/13/13 4:38 PM
that's more what I thought, I remove spam links and I let things that I feel are quality to users stay on the website, I was shocked at the tactic that they may disavow the link and wanted to know what affect that has with google's results?

Thanks for the response.
Re: Letter requesting removal of links due to impending Google updates? Richard Hearne 5/14/13 12:59 AM
>> [..] what affect that has with google's results?

Right now, as far as the masses know, it has no affect whatsoever.  Their claim about deindexing was pure fantasy.

If you police your links (as you say you do), I'd be inclined to take option (a) above and sit back and relax.