Should You Pay Webmasters To Remove Links?

Today’s discussion comes from a forum that I used to frequent called Admin-Talk. In the discussion, one webmaster stated that he charged those who spammed the comments section of his website to have those links removed later if they requested — likely helped by the fact their site had been penalised by Google.

He stated that if they’ll pay people to spam his blog, then they’ll have to pay him to fix it by removing the links. And so I’d like to give my opinion on this.

First and foremost, I’d like to address this by saying that these links that he is allowing to appear on his website could be affecting his website. If you have a ton of spammy links that have not been editorially cleared by a human being then that’s just asking for trouble. Google may penalise you and mistakenly identify your site as a link farm or as part of a network. Google have been cracking down on networks, and link farms — you certainly don’t want to get caught in the crossfire.

Secondly, they don’t have to pay you anything. They can add your website to a disavow list. That just highlights the fact that you’re allowing any link to appear on your site and your site will either come under an algorithmic penalty or a manual penalty if you’re linking out to too many spammy webites. And hey, you might say that your site is still ranking well in Google, but why would you jeopardise this fact? I like to think of Google as a never ending minefield, and that you have to be extremely careful not to tread on any mines. Don’t let this be a mine that will blowup in your face.

Thirdly, you’re extorting those who have made the mistake of hiring a cheap SEO service that has likely promised the poor business owner to rank them #1 in the search engine result pages for every keyword you can think of. It’s plain and simple extortion, which I believe most of the SEO world would say is unethical. 

The simple answer to this is no. You should not pay a dime to have your link removed from a certain website, and Google agrees with this. In a September 2013 video, John Mueller, a Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google stated:

But, essentially from our point of view when it comes to unnatural links to your website we want to see that you’ve taken significant steps to actually remove it from the web but if there are some links that you can’t remove yourself or there are some that require payment to be removed then having those in the disavow file is fine as well. — John Mueller

Simply disavow that site, and wait for Google to update your site’s backlink index. And, please choose a better SEO service in the future. I am a webmaster and I hate the fact that you have to take extra precaution when having a comments section, especially so on forums and blogs. You’re just adding to this problem by hiring a cheap SEO service that is likely using xRumer, SENuke, GSA, ScrapeBox or any number of tools to artificially inflate your website’s backlink profile. Don’t do it.

Author: Jonathan Jones

I first first started creating websites back in 2005. This led me to creating a free web hosting business in 2007, which still exists today. I ventured into creating types of websites such as blogs and forums using Wordpress, vBulletin, Invision Power Board, Drupal and Joomla. I've since worked on some of the leading brands in the UK finance sector, in the Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) field, and now work for MoneySuperMarket, the #1 price comparison website in the UK. Social: Google+ and Twitter.

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