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    A False Request for Link Removals Due to Penguin?


    Today I received an email requesting I remove links for one of my affiliates, citing penguin problems. The request did not come from the site or the site's affiliate manager, but from the email address linkremoval@linkremovalalert.com . LinkRemovalAlert.com is not a functioning site. I have little doubt that this is a false request meant to harm this affilate, although I am verifying with the affiliate manager. What do you think ? Real or no? Notice how they push of the idea that their bad badlinks would cause a manual penalty for me.
    All links to this site on my page were built by me ... I have no comment areas or forums to spam.

    The email text ..
    -------------------------------------------------------
    Hello Webmaster,

    You won't believe what happened. Our website {affiliate site}, was recently penalized by Google for unnatural link building. At some point we hired an SEO company to help us build backlinks, and unfortunately your site was one in which our company built backlinks.

    As mentioned we were recently penalized for this by Google and will be soon be contacting them in an effort to manually review our site. When this occurs Google will be reviewing our backlinks, and looking to identify other sources on the net which could lead to further penalties.

    Therefore we recommend that you remove links pointed to {affiliate site} on your website. By doing so you'll prevent any potential penalties to your website. You can find links pointed to our site on the following pages of your website:

    * {my affilate page}

    We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause, but we'd hate for Google to take any manual action against your website.
    Last edited by eeyipes; Nov 17th, 2012 at 10:18 AM.
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    You'd think that even if it were genuine they would be more personal considering that you currently work with them.

    Even though it may seem be playing into the hands of potential scammers, I would be inclined to 'nofollow' it anyway, and indeed any other affiliate sites.

    Any link benefit they may get is not part of the deal.

    Besides eradicating any 'risk' (which is pretty minimal anyway), the more benefit they receive in the SERPs - the less valuable their affiliates may become.

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    • rcostica agrees
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    I already nofollow all affiliate links.
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    Originally Posted by eeyipes
    I already nofollow all affiliate links.
    Then google would have no issue with the link and you have no need to remove it.
    I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught. ~Winston Churchill
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    I'm guessing it is a genuine request as opposed to a negative SEO attack. Probably someone has used an automated bad link detection service. It's not a very good one if it is picking up followed links though.

    Manually assessing links to decide which ones need to be removed and then getting contact info and then writing emails and filling out contact forms is a LONG process. I have had clients where I have spent 2-3 hours a day for several weeks doing this process. That's why a lot of webmasters use automated services. They'll get some of the links removed but they're not going to do as good a job as someone who does them by hand. They'll be cheaper though.

    It's not a bad idea to contact your affiliate and let them know that you got the email. The main reason would be to let them know that if they are doing this on purpose and asking to get nofollowed links removed then they are wasting their time as those links are not going to be on Google's radar. They could remove 1000 nofollowed links and it wouldn't make a difference IMO.
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    The affiliate manager has come back and verified it to be a false request. They were seeing these go around over the summer, thought it has stopped, and was glad I reported it to them.

    Perhaps it is easier to have other peoples links removed than it is to build your own?
    Last edited by eeyipes; Nov 18th, 2012 at 03:57 PM.

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