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Quit Bugging Me With Your Link Removal Requests!

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Posted 1st August 2015 at 07:51 AM by brettb


I'm Brett, a long time warrior and owner of a number of websites in a whole load of different niches.

Today I want to have a mini-rant about link removal requests, and what to do or not do if you're on the receiving end of one.

If you build websites and link to other websites, you might get one of these removal requests sooner or later!

So how did I get a link removal request emailed to me?

It all starts back in early 2014 when I built a keyword tool at The Niche The site is free and has been getting quite a bit of traffic lately (thanks everyone!). When I built the site I wrote a starter guide for people who wanted to know how to use the Niche Laboratory's reports to build decent mini-niche sites of their own.

Now, as part of the guide I wrote about using images to give visual clues to what the site's about. I linked to the UK used car sales site as a particularly brilliant example of visual clues - the site's top right corner - typically the first part of a web page a user looks at - it has lots of car shapes on it.

Fast forward 12 months and I get this email (the first one I just ignored):

Hi there again,
In case you missed my previous email involving a link removal, as I'm sure you're really busy, I want to quickly recap what I said.
I’m working on behalf of to help with their digital strategy. One part of this involves removing a link which directs back to their site. It can be viewed here:
- How to Use the Niche Laboratory to Find Niche Ideas
Let me know if you have any questions and thank you for your time,
Kind Regards,

Denver Burke
Search Campaign Manager
The Stables Little Heath Road Littleton Chester CH3 7DW
0844 871 7272
I'm kind of in awe that a little site I created can annoy a company with a client large enough to advertise on prime time television.

So what would YOU do if you got a request like this? Post your thoughts in the comments section below.

I guess basically your options are:

  • Sit tight and do nothing. In most countries it's not against any laws to hyperlink to sites, although you might be on shakier ground if you're deep linking to other sites' content.
  • Remove the link. If this is straightforward and you can easily link to an alternative site then do this.
  • Charge for link removal. This is perfectly legal and it seems reasonable to cover your administrative expenses, but I've heard Google will penalise sites that make such a charge. I guess this stops extortion attempts, but Google should rely less on analysing backlinks in the first place.
I chose to do nothing, although it would be a 5 minute job to put a different case study on my site. In fact, if you know of a good one to use, then drop your comments below.

As to issuing link removal requests, I must admit I have emailed them out before. But they've been to spammy looking directory sites (one such one had over 6000 links to one of my sites) or sites which clone my entire sites. Actually now I don't bother - in fact I rarely look at my Google Webmaster or other website stats, instead I focus on creating great content. And it's worth remembering that links from perceived "bad domains" are less of a problem these days due to Google's disavow links tool.

Anyway Denver, if you're reading this, then DISAVOW !

And if the Google Search team is reading, then look carefully at these media companies who are micro-managing their clients' link profiles .
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