Link removal has become business, thanks to Google penalties like Panda and Penguin, which has webmasters screening back link profiles and removing bad links. While most now stay away from shady link building deals which promise thousands of back links over night (even edu/gov links!) - link removal is becoming a lucrative business.
Instead of building links – now everyone wants to remove links, and it is no longer free.
Paid Bad Link Removals
No one wants to link to or want a link back from a penalized site. If the Google pagerank toolbar is grayed out, everyone wants to get the link off that page. The market is full of link analysis tools which are ready to inform you about your site’s bad links, with more penalty detection tools to tell you if your site has been hit by Google Penguin/Panda. A simple search will reveal there are too many tools and services ready to inform you your site is penalized and which links you have to remove.
I realize it is so easy to run a negative SEO campaign against any site – For $5 only, you can get thousands of backlinks to any competitor site in a day – NO questions asked! Then the affected webmasters need to keep dodging unnatural link penalties, seek SEO help and really not know what happened.
Its unbelievable I get so many comment removal requests everyday, and wonder that all those so-genuine comments were actually made by a link building client. Even though comment author links are nofollow, yet they want to remove them. I was surprised to find we are on so many dofollow comment lists, while we have never allowed follow links in comments, as WordPress nofollows all comment links by default. It seems every other website wants to earn a few bucks out of your comment removal request (I was asked for rates from $5 to $50 to remove a single link!).
Link Removal is now big business. Link removal services, freelance agents and SEO experts all promise to take the workload of contacting and requesting link removal from linking websites for a fee. Packages range from several hundred dollars and if your site has hundreds of bad links, this might turn out an expensive deal.
Magical Disavow Tool
At least the disavow tool was a big help as it at least helped webmasters out of the headache of paid link removals. Though Google still emphasizes that you should first try everything to get the links removed, then finally if nothing happens, then add domain to the disavow file.
I liked Matt Cutts stand in this video on not stressing yourself out if backlinks are not removed and you are getting penalized.
Note that it is also very important that you identify the correct backlinks causing the penalty. Maybe these links were not the problem at all, and removing the might actually weaken your backlink profile leading to poor search engine rankings.
Blogging is fun no more as now you are more concerned about keywords, backlinks, and monitoring back link profiles. Hiring a SEO expert for SEO audit or SEO consultation is not cheap as most charge hundreds of dollars by the hour! Over the last year, these Google penalties have made backlink removals a huge business.