Google’s rhetoric about unnatural linking has created quite a hassle.
I have a number of old web sites I haven’t touch in a while. Many of these are directory type sites I set up nearly a decade ago. That mostly get a few hundred visitors a month.
Lately people have started contacting me about them. Here are a couple example emails:
To whom it may concern,
It has come to our attention that your websites or the websites hosted by your company contains links to our website (url) which results in financial losses by the company we represent, due to search engine penalties. We request that you remove from the websites below all links to (url) as soon as possible.
Please respond and let us know when you can get this done.
Hello I am the webmaster for www.example.com In light of Google’s newest algorithm change, I need to request that you remove every link to www.example.com from your website. Below is our link location: (url) I would greatly appreciate your immediate cooperation. If it is not too much of a hassle, I would appreciate you letting me know once it has been removed. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.
People are responding to perceived (and sometimes real) search engine penalties for “unnatural” linking. This seems to have ramped up since Google started notifying site owners about some of this perceived “unnatural” linking.
Here’s the thing: none of these people who have contacted me asked to be linked to. Nor did they pay for links. So they did nothing wrong.
And in general, the web is all about linking. For whatever reason, one of my sites links to them. That shouldn’t be a problem for anyone.
The problem apparently lies in Google’s ability to perceive unnatural linking, or at least the impression it gives to webmasters that some of these real links may be hurting them.
If it’s really this easy to hurt someone else’s ranking, then negative SEO has a flourishing future.