How to Do I Write a Successful Google Link Removal Email?
 by Casey Markee

How Do I Write a Successful Google Link Removal Email?

  • We are in the middle of recovering from a Penguin 2.1 hit and need to prune and disavow quite a few links for a client. We are having to send out hundreds of link removal request emails. Unfortunately, the response rate hasn't been great. What tips can you give us to increase our success rate?

Link Removal Emails GraphicAnswer: Link pruning can be tedious, but it's the new reality in which we live. Google has made it clear that bad links CAN hurt you and if you have been impacted algorithmically, finding and eliminating these links is your best chance of recovering lost traffic and rankings.

We've consulted on, worked directly with, and even trained other SEOs on how to conduct link pruning projects. You are correct in recognizing that the actual link removal request email is more art than science. When we write up these requests we use the KISS method: Keep It Simple Stupid. That approach works best in most instances.

If you are crafting these requests at your end, consider the following best practices:

  • Be Transparent: Your email removal requests should identify who you are and be sent from a verified domain email address. If you are removing links from site then your emails should be coming from an email proxy that you set-up with the help of the client. This adds a level of veracity to all requests.
  • Identify the Reason: Explain to the site owner or Web administrator why you want the link removed. Make it a point to explain that it's nothing personal and that although you may think the link is fine, Google doesn't necessarily share that opinion.
  • List Suspect Links: Clearly identify any links you need removed and provide the pages on which they reside. This can seem time-consuming, especially on large removal campaigns, but your chances of success skyrocket if you show exactly where suspect links reside and save the person reading your email time and effort fin...