Lately I have found myself spending more time removing links for clients than doing anything else, and it’s given me more of an insight into the lengths some dodgy SEO companies have gone to over the years in building links for their clients in the first place. Some seriously unethical people, claiming to be SEO experts, seem to have dedicated their time to building networks of spam websites, filled with shoddy content, solely for the purpose of linking to their clients in a bid to boost their rankings. The sad part is that this will have worked once upon a time. Now however, with Google getting much better at identifying links which exist purely for the practice of boosting someone’s rankings, these dodgy links actually harm your rankings now.
But enough of that, let’s name names. All of the following domains are identical websites on the same IP Address, 126.96.36.199, and all are used for spam link building (if you have links from any of these sites and you haven’t disavowed them, you’d better get on it).
Of course, where spam websites such as these used to make money by getting SEO companies, webmasters and budding internet ‘gurus’ to pay for link submissions, they have now done a complete 180 and are charging people to have their links removed.
That’s right – as if using paid links wasn’t bad enough, the SEO industry is getting even more of a tarnished reputation by the owners of these awful websites charging people for the privilege having harmful links removed. Each one of the websites contains the following text on their ‘Link Removal’ pages.
Priority Removal – Pay and remove your links – Within 48 hours
Send us a little donation on Paypal ($5+) and we promise to remove your links within 48 hours.
I decided to have a look and see just how bad the situation had become and searched for other websites using this exact same text and, much to my horror, found the following domains – which are all identical – all charging for link removals. Whoever runs these websites should be taken outside and shot.
So does this mean you should be paying to have your link removed from a website such as this? Absolutely not. As much as ‘paying for links’ is unethical, paying to have links removed is still spending money to manipulate links in order to affect search results. Don’t do it. These scammers (and that’s what they are) have made enough money ripping people off to build the links without holding website owners to ransom to get the links removed again.
Instead, simply file a disavow submission with Google to have Google ignore these links. By doing this you get the negative affect these links are having on your website removed, and you get the warm fuzzy feeling of letting Google know these links are spam (and the knowledge that, if it didn’t already, Google will take action on these websites).
Isn’t that better?
Finally, don’t take the existence of spammers such as this as an affirmation the SEO industry is unethical, or is dead. You get these sorts of cowboys in any industry, it just so happens there are more of them within the field of Internet marketing and they’re often more difficult to spot. Just as there are spammers out there, there are also good quality companies offering top notch Internet marketing which works – and doesn’t revolve around shoddy links which will only serve to damage your website’s rankings.