Pulling Links: The Pain Thresholds of Removing Common Backlinks after Penguin
Many of you probably heard about the launch of our new tool, Remove ‘em, which helps you find and remove bad backlinks. Well, while I suppose it would be nice if everyone got penalized and had to use our tool, I think we would all rather avoid penalties and, on top of that, costly cleanups. So, let’s talk through a little bit about exactly how hard some links are to remove. Let’s start with the easiest to remove, then move down the scale.
Oh yeah, and if you want 10% off of Remove ‘em just use the coupon code tgc10. So, without further adieu, in order from easiest to remove to hardest to remove…
| ||Your own links|
First let’s be clear. Just because a link is easy to remove doesn’t mean it’s a good link. In fact, links from your own personal private network can spell a nightmare for your site, but at least the clean up is free. Log in to your sites and remove them.
Pain Threshold: Mosquito Bite
| || Rented Text Links|
The worst part about rented links, aside from their propensity to get you penalized, is that you have to keep paying for them monthly. However, if you happen to need to remove them, there is a really easy way – stop paying. You might want to follow up with a nice email, but it should be pretty easy.
Pain Threshold: Biting the inside of your cheek.
| ||Paid Permanent Text Links |
These are not quite as easy because the webmaster isn’t expecting a payment. In fact, you will probably have to pay the webmaster to remove them. However, having that contact information and a history is always nice. Send an email, bite the bullet, and pay the man to take down the link.
Pain Threshold: Kick to the shins by a 6 year old wearing heelys.
| ||Paid Directory Links|
The only reason why these are slightly easier to remove than directory links is that you can track down the contact information via payment. However, don’t expect to get out of here for free. Nearly all directory owners expect you to pay for the removal because it legitimately takes time to go in, find your stuff, and pull it out.
Pain Threshold: Same kid, but with the heel.
| ||Free Directory Links|
Alright, now we start getting into the really painful stuff. So, you signed up with an SEO firm that promised to get you into hundreds of related directories, drive tons of business to your site and get you top rankings? Well – here’s the kicker: they automated it. This means that while it took them 30 minutes to blast your site out across the web, you have to remove these one by one. And just because the directory is free doesn’t mean the removal will be. Most of these sites have long been abandoned by their owners, who merely cash in on advertising or the services that spam their own directories. Good luck.
Pain Threshold: Getting a wasp stuck in your shorts.
| ||Paid Blog Reviews|
So, you signed up with a service to get reviews of your site and, a month later, you now have 300 links from unique domains, all with modest PageRank and terrible unrelated content. Totally under the radar, right? Most of these bloggers don’t put contact information on their site, so you often have to go back through the service you used and pay them to pull the links. It is the only way.
Pain Threshold: Very short shorts, very many wasps.
| ||Comment Spam|
Did someone convince you to allow their service to place “relevant comments” on “popular blogs”. How’d that work out for you. Now you have to go to these bloggers and request that they remove YOUR SPAM from THEIR SITE. It’s like tagging the local corner store with your name in spraypaint and then begging them to remove it. Be prepared to pay the piper.
Pain Threshold: Place your right hand on a table, Â fingers spread out. Then pull your index finger to the left towards your thumb until it snaps.
| ||Forum Spam|
Oooh, clever you, somebody got a copy of XRUMER and decided they are a blackhat god. Here is some news for you, what you just spread over the internet is nearly impossible to remove. Forum owners don’t take too kindly to profile spam, so you are going to have a tough time convincing them to find your account. Your only salvation is if you actually remembered the logins for each of those spammed accounts and didn’t use auto-gen passwords. If you are lucky, you can remove all 170000 of them. One at a time.
Pain Threshold: Knock your teeth out, then chew them.
| ||Press Release Spam|
The only thing worse than traditional spam is spam on sites that don’t think that it is possible at all for their links to harm you. If you pushed out hundreds of press releases loaded with manipulated anchor text, chances are some of them got picked up on halfway decent sites. Those sites aren’t going to give you the time of day, unless you are willing to pay for it.
Pain Threshold: Stab yourself in the leg with a knife.
| ||Article Syndication|
Oh, and the last, and worst, by far is removing article syndication links. When you drop an article on ezinearticles or one of the other top article sites, and then start promoting it left and right with auto-submission software, you are asking for it. Not only will thousands of article syndication sites pick it up, so will sploggers, spam sites, content farms and more. These are the quintessential examples of set-it-and-forget-it sites where no one is at the wheel. If you find contact information, consider yourself lucky. And, when you do, expect to negotiate hard to have folks peak into software running their site and automating content when they don’t even know basic HTML. You might have to pay a billable hour to his local webmaster to handle the removal.
Pain Threshold: Remove the knife, with another knife.
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