Over the last several months, I have received a number of emails from people asking me to remove website links on my blog because the websites have faced Google issues. Most likely, they received some sort of Google penalty that lowered their website rankings due to various SEO strategies that aren’t acceptable to Google. These link removal requests are made in the hopes of becoming compliant with Google Webmaster guidelines.
If I linked to a website in an article and the owner is requesting that I delete the link, I will usually just delete it for them. I don’t want to cause harm to another website despite the fact that nobody has ever paid me to link to them. If I did link to them, it most likely means they shared or offered something I found interesting, and because of that, I would hate for them to think that my link could be causing issues for them. Most likely, it wasn’t a link out from my blog that caused a problem, but when you have hundreds or thousands of links that may have been obtained by doing something against the “rules,” they have to cover all their bases.
Less frequently, I receive emails from people or companies who ask me to remove a link that was posted in the comment section. Although I am diligent about deleting comment spam before it gets published, I am sure there have been a few cases where that isn’t the case. Additionally, some people post authentic looking comments with spammy links that get through because they’ve at least provided some insight and I gave the benefit of the doubt. With well over 50,000 comments posted, it can be tough to be sure that there are no spammy links in comments.
When I receive requests to remove links from comments, I am less inclined to remove the link. From my prospective, if someone spent the time to be deceptive to me and to readers, why should I do them a favor by taking my time to remove their link. On the other hand, I don’t want Google to associate my website with an other website that has issues. Taking it a step further, I also don’t want Google to think I sold a link on my blog. I assume Google is smart enough to detect comment spam and distinguish it from what could be perceived as a paid post.
Depending on how busy I am when I receive an email, I’ll consider deleting a comment link. It can be an annoyance, but I’d almost rather spend the time removing the comment and link than take any chances with Google.
I am wondering how others deal with link removal requests. I read an article by Larry Kim discussing this topic, and I am hoping you will share your opinion when you have a chance.