Negative SEO and Faking Link Removal Notices

Posted in Articles By Sam Applegate

negative seo

Yesterday I read an interesting post by Jon Cooper on negative SEO and faking link removal notices. Jon made a very good point after reading this post on how a legitimate website was contacted, and mistakenly ordered to remove hundreds of so called spammy links. Jon asked the question - What is stopping black hats from sending fake link removal notices?

Especially in the wake of Penguin, and certainly from my experience, many affected websites out there are actively working to remove their poor quality links. So, it seems like a perfect time to strike with this dirty black hat trick.

Well, first of all. Well done Jon for bringing this to everyone's attention! Great idea if you're a black hat. :-) Seriously though, although I do see this technique as an extension to negative SEO, I'm not too worried about it.

Maybe I just have (naive) faith that white hat always shines though in the long term - but being involved with search marketing, I regularly keep an eye on my inbound links and would notice pretty quickly, if somebody was up to something. The black hat would therefore, need to make sure they target a site which has poor link management. This is absolutely key, as they don't want to be wasting their time and effort, if one quick email from the genuine webmaster can undo all their hard negative SEO work. I'm not sure how the black hat would test this, without committing too much time on the project?

where have my links gone?

I also think, that if fake link removal notices do start becoming a major problem, they will be a victim of their own success. White hats will be well aware of the issue, and Google might even add specific webmaster tools to counter the problem (clearer notifications for novice webmasters, for example), much like they have done with site hacking.

You might also see more notices on legitimate websites, along the lines of "Due to an increase in fake removal notices, please confirm any link withdrawal requests at [companyemail] before proceeding with the order". This could even be included on the company newsletter, or mailed out to existing linkers.

So despite fake link removal notices being a potential short term problem, I'm sure it wont last. Come on man, white hat always wins! on that note, I'm going to keep a real close eye on all my inbound links now, as you've made me quite paranoid! Thanks again to Jon Cooper for bringing up a good discussion topic.

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Sam Applegate

About the Author

is a UK based SEO consultant. He is also a keen blogger, poker player, world traveller and fitness enthusiast. Read more on his about page.

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