It’s only been about a week since Google released the Disavow Tool and already companies are appearing offering these services. I received a bizarre email today on one of the sites I manage asking me to remove a link from that site.
First I was not concerned as I had just glanced at the email and thought OK, I would get to it at some stage today or tomorrow. I had received emails like this before asking for links to articles to be removed or updated, and for me that’s fine.
This email, however, was different. It was sent from a site called rmoov.com with a subject line of Link Removal Request and inside it listed all the links that the webmaster who submitted the form would like removed. Again I thought OK this is just some fool who didn’t have enough front to send me a friendly email asking to remove the link – which by the way I would have without issue.
Instead, this guy had to go one step further and request removal from the rmoov.com website. Oh and you might be looking for a link to this site, don’t bother there isn’t one.
So What Is Rmoov
Their website states that Rmoov is a simple tool the helps you submit link removal requests to webmasters quickly and easily. I mean guys; isn’t this all about building relationships and helping each other get what we need online. The best part, however, is this last statement on their page: you can also get a Free Trial and start to remove bad links right away.
There is that phrase again: “Bad Links”. What really is a bad link? To me the only people that need services like these are the comment spammers or webmasters who have paid blackhat providers to build thousands of low quality links to a site or were placing spammy comments all over the Internet.
If you are reading this post and can accurately tell me and the other readers
what a bad link is please do so by commenting below.
Anyway, I am off on a rant here so let’s get back to the story…
Once I read the email and followed the links to the page in question I noticed something very quickly. This was not a link embedded in my site article or something that was linked to as a reference, it was a comment that the very same person who has sent the email from rmoov.com posted on the site and now wants removed.
Really, does this guy have any manners of any kind or etiquette online? First he makes the comment to try and get a backlink then when it doesn’t suit him he sends me a threatening email. What a joke. What this guy hasn’t realized right from the time he posted the comment was the link is “nofollow” anyway as per instructions of the site owner.
Check Out The Link Request Email Sent To Me
Dear Ron Cripps: It has come to our attention that a number of links exist on your domain which send traffic to our website (website removed for privacy). We have determined that these links may be harmful either to the future marketing and reputation of (website removed for privacy), or to our users. Accordingly, we request that you (A) remove all existing links to (website removed for privacy) from your domain, including, but not limited to the following URLs: (list of the URLS that had a link to the above site).
(B) Cease creation of any additional links to (website removed for privacy)
(C) Provide us with prompt notification once links to (website removed for privacy) have been removed either by return email, or using the link below. Yes there is even a link you can click on in the email to confirm that you have followed the Link Removal Request.
This request is being made because your domain may fit within one or more of the following categories: infected with malware; low quality site; paid link provider; manipulative link activity; link exchange networks; or simply not a good fit for (website removed for privacy). Thanking you in anticipation of your co-operation in removing these links at your earliest convenience.
If you look at a, b, and c closely you will notice that they are specifically talking about links that have been added to a site by another webmaster – not someone who has added links via comments or guest posts.
And it finishes off with sincerely in the closing. If the webmaster was sincere he would not be sending emails like this in the first place.
I would like you to answer one question for me. When someone submits a guest post or a comment with a link attached, where does the responsibility start and stop? Is it the responsibility of the webmaster to waste his or her time removing those links or should it be the person who requested or placed the link initially? If you create links in comments you should bear the consequences – period – and not be given an out through tools and services like this.
All this talk about DISAVOW is getting ridiculous. The only people that seem to be using these services are those that were doing the wrong thing to start – which by the way is the reason why these tools have been created in the first place.
These are just my ramblings about something I believe could have been handled much better than it was. What do you think? I would really like to hear your thoughts and suggestions about what is now happening with the Disavow Link Tool and how people are using it.
Gail Gardner says
It appears that neither rmoov or the people using it realize that insulting a blogger’s sites is not likely to make them want to do you the favor of spending their time removing links. Many blogs that are receiving these requests are high quality with only original content – like this one – and none of those three choices even apply. Even if you did have a low quality site, I doubt that insults are going to get you very far.
Google has people running scared and they need to realize that while links or comments in a specific blog appear on THEIR list there may be hundreds of other commenters on that same site who did not get any notices that links there are “bad”. If you – or some link builder or SEO you hired – or even a disgruntled employee or competitor leaves comments on blogs you should not blame the blogger who approved them.
If you want someone to do you a favor that costs them their valuable time, you really should ask politely. Some bloggers I know are charging to remove links, and being rude is more likely to get your request ignored or a fee imposed.
Never thought about it that way, charging people to remove their links… I really like it, after all the only links that are being removed are those that were placed by the person complaining so why shouldn’t they pay.
And you are right, people are running scared and acting without thinking when submitting requests like the one above. Everyone needs to look at the big picture and remember there is “US” and Big “G” we need to stick together and sending emails like that do not help.
Lets stay together as a community and actually communicate with each other rather than using a third party service to do it and in a fashion which can be considered insulting to many including me.
Perhaps you have to develop an automated invoice application so that it generates a billing for each request as received…… lol
Imagine what people who have used the automated linking services are doing today, they will be frantic.
Probably the new approach by the search engines and their enforcement as to what they want the sites to contain will be beneficial in the long run as the public gains more trust in internet marketers. That will make all the work worthwhile even though it is going to take a long time to change the sites.
This post was more about me venting than anything. However it is a really good option to charge especially since the link was placed there by the guy sending the email in the first place. Only if they would use quality information on their sites instead of link spamming the internet would be a much better place.
As far as removing links from sites I really don’t agree with this tactic, all you are doing is giving a list of sites that have accepted your link in good faith and now when it no longer suits you decide to use a third party service to request a link removal, what happens if that information is sent to Google, will that hurt your business who really knows.
What these people should be doing is concentrating on getting more quality links from quality sites, by doing that they will be diluting down the links they have already built which they think, and you notice I say think are causing the problems.
Dave there could be any number of elements that have caused their issue in the search engines not just links so at the end of the day they could be wasting their time and mine.
Sha Menz says
We noticed your post and wanted to do two things:
1. Apologize for any offense caused by the email template used to send this link removal request.
2. Say “thank you” for highlighting our members’ tendency to use this “catch all” example template, rather than create custom mail templates that better suit their own situation.
Since changing this tendency to take the easiest path is fairly unrealistic, we have now changed the example templates in our system!
The new default template is titled “I Was Bad :(” and if used with abandon, will at least offer an apology and acknowledge that the person making the request is responsible for placing the links.
If you happen to see something sent by a rmoov user in the future that raises concern, we would like to know about it.
We’ve tried to build the tool so that it helps ease the load for people receiving requests too. Providing the link for domain owners is part of this…allowing them to acknowledge that links are gone with a couple of clicks so they don’t end up drowning under the weight of sending email responses.
Anyway, I’ve rambled on enough!
Once again … we’re sorry you were bothered by the template and thanks for pointing it out.
This was not an attempt to discredit you or your business as I do believe it has its place on the internet, even I have sent out two emails in the last week requesting the removal of links but have not heard anything from those webmasters so maybe I will use your service in the future as well.
I also really like the way you have written the new template that makes everything that much more sociable for all concerned and without the threats. And yes Sha if I come across anything I will let you know.
Sha Menz says
Hope those webmasters came through for you 🙂
If they didn’t, and you have only a few requests to send, our Free Basic account lets you run 1 active campaign at a time with a limit of 250 URLs to remove from a maximum 25 root domains.
We think of it not so much as a free trial, but more of a gift to those people who either:
– have done everything right and picked up just a few troublesome links; or
– own very small businesses and have fallen victim to snake oil SEO vendors and are now left with little traffic, little income and no ability to pay for help 🙁
The only feature not included in the Free account is automated link checking, but with a max of 25 root domains in a campaign, manual checking should not be a big problem.
Hope you don’t need it though.
Hi Sha Menz
No I have had no response from my emails and the links are still on the site so in the next few weeks when I get a second I will setup the free account and use your service.
Tim Love says
Ha! I used to get requests like this from customers who’d bought a product from one of my sites and then submitted feedback on the product for other customers to read. I soon realised that these removal requests was due to these customers googling their own names – discovering that google had indexed the feedback comment they’d made on the product at my site.