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I’ve been receiving the same kind of e-mail over and over again lately. Because Google has finally started to crack down on spammy links, webmasters everywhere are beseeching other webmasters to remove the links that, not too long ago, they desperately wanted pointing at their sites. I guess I can understand that, but what I can’t understand is how nasty and rude they can be in doing it. I’m just getting tired of the attitude they seem to have when they write to me.

I honestly haven’t gotten a single solitary nice letter. None that have apologized for what happened. Nothing. Instead, most of the letters sound something like this:

Dear Webmaster,

Google has informed us that there is a spam link coming from your site to our site that we are being penalized for in our search results. Please remove this link as soon as possible. Thanks.

Maybe that sounds nice to you, but it irritates the crap out of me.  Why? Because it makes it sound like I did something wrong that I owe it to them to correct so that they can regain their rightful God-given Google rankings.

no spam!

Photo credit: Wikipedia

What I do in response is to send this back to the webmaster:

Here is the e-mail that the you should have sent:

“I know you are busy but I would really appreciate a favor. We really screwed up when we hired a company to do search marketing for us because they went out and placed many spam comments on blogs including yours. We’re sorry that we were responsible for that.

We’re getting our comeuppance now because Google is punishing our search rankings because we have so many spammy links to our site. I know that this is all completely our fault, but it would mean a lot to us if you could delete this comment from your blog post.”

Most people don’t respond to my e-mail, but a few do, chastened. For me, these are the few who inspire hope. I’ve asked a few of them why they send such a disingenuous letter, and they tell me that they don’t believe that anyone would really help them if they told the truth.

To me, this is sad. They have the spammy links to their sites because they tried to fool blog owners and Google. When Google catches on to their chicanery, they decide to try to fool the blog owners again–to make those poor blog owners think they did something wrong.

To me this is the worst part of SEO–the ugly underbelly that survives on cheap tricks and cheaper lies. When we all stop trying to feign quality and start actually creating it, then search marketing will really become useful to searchers.

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Mike Moran

About Mike Moran

Mike Moran has a unique blend of marketing and technology skills that he applies to raise return on investment for large marketing programs. Mike is a former IBM Distinguished Engineer and a senior strategist at Converseon, Revealed Context, and SoloSegment. Mike is the author of three books on digital marketing and is an instructor at Rutgers Business School. He is a member of the Board of Directors of SEMPO, a Senior Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research, and a Certified Speaking Professional.

1 reply to this post
  1. Ann, I may have professional feelings for you.

    I’ll add:

    Build links that people want to click. Track referrals from those links. Track a few hot keyword rankings from referring URLs and apply Slingshot SEO’s click-through-rate study numbers. Feel good about all that. Tell a friend. Sleep.

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