Have you ever received the dreaded message in Google Webmaster Tools? You know, the one that reads:
Dear site owner or webmaster,
We’ve detected that some of your site’s pages may be using techniques that are outside Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. Specifically, look for possibly artificial or unnatural links pointing to your site…
Ouch! I have a small local client who received one of these messages. Frankly, it weighed on me heavily because undoing the damage of the previous SEO was going to take months worth of work.
Could I really get these links removed? Most seemed to exist on splogs (spam blogs) and websites with auto-generated spun content. Usually there is no contact information and it looks like the chance for removal is nil. With the Google Webspam team setting super-human requirements for link removal, was I ever going to succeed?
Fortunately, a number of tools have popped up over the past couple of months to assist time-strapped webmasters in atoning for their Google sins. Not only do the services help you to identify which links to remove, they also assist in finding contact information, sending out emails, and tracking your efforts in spreadsheet form.
60 Posts Removed with One Email
After sending out a few emails, to my surprise, many webmasters responded right away. Today we received this response:
Wow! We didn’t even know 60 posts existed on this site – we had only written this webmaster about a single link.
4 Link Removal Tools
Here are 4 tools to help webmasters find and remove bad backlinks.
Cost: Free to $99/month
Allows you to enter your target URLs, then rmoov takes your target URLs, helps to identify contacts, creates and sends email, follows up with reminders and reports on results.
How do you find the bad links pointing at your site? This tool from SEOGadget gathers link information from SEOmoz, then runs it through their special algorithms to score each link as “safe” or not.
The best way to use this tool is to download your links from Google Webmaster tools, and upload them 200 at a time into the tool. SEOGadget then tells you the anchor text, gathers link metrics, and will try to find email and contact information for each link.
Cost: $249 per domain
One of the most robust solutions, Remove’em combines suspicious link discovery with comprehensive email and tracking tools. It’s the most expensive of the tools on this list, but it also draws from the most data sources and automates and combines many tasks.
Try out the “predict” function at the bottom of the homepage to see how many bad links it discovers pointing towards your domain.
Price: $0.15 – $0.99/link
This odd service let’s you check if you have any links in their
spam link network. If links are found, it then offers one click removal, for a cost. Ian Lurie pointed out that not only do they offer to remove links from their link network, but they have an affiliate link to the same network in the footer of their site!
What are your favorite tools to identify and remove backlinks? Let us know in the comments below.
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