Google Penguin Recovery: Site Owner Doesn’t Know About Resources Page on His Site

I spend a few hours each day helping site owners and business owners recover from the dreaded Google Penguin algorithm update. I thought that I had received crazy emails from site owners who don’t know how to update their website. But it’s also amazingly hilarious to me when I run into a site owner who doesn’t even know that certain pages exist on their website.

Let’s take, for example, a site owner named “Lee”. I sent him an email recently about getting a link on his “resources.html” page removed from his site, which is an obviously spammy type of link scheme page. It has at least 50 outgoing links on the page, and it’s all to off-topic sites:

> Hi Lee,
>
> Recently when we reviewed all of the links to XXXXXXXXX.com, we noticed that your website is linking to XXXXXXXXX.com on this page here:
>
> http://www.XXXXXXXXX.com/resources.html
>
> I'm wondering if you would remove this link on your website to XXXXXXXXX.com?
>
> Thank you, Bill (on behalf of XXXXXXXXX.com)
>

After my email, Lee responded a few days later, with this:

Subject:   	Re: Question about XXXXXXXXX.com
From:   	"Lee XXXXXXXXX" 
Date:   	Wed, March 12, 2014 3:34 pm
To:   	"XXXXXXXXX" 
Priority:   	Normal
Options:   	View Full Header | View Printable Version  | Download this as a file

On 3/11/2014 6:27 PM, XXXXXXXXX wrote: I am not sure where that came from. We did not authorize any links, and i would not even know how to do such a thing. I do not know how to undo what you say happened.  In fact I do not know where to begin. Lee

I responded to Lee, asking him if he had access to his website and whether. I also asked him if he was going to be able to remove that page on his site or if he still could remove the link. I have not heard back from him yet.

I suspect that a lot of business owners, especially those who are not as technical, don’t know about certain pages on their websites that their webmasters have built or added to their website. Pretty much now a “resources.html” page on a website isn’t recommended, especially if you are going to link out to sites that are off-topic.

Comments

  1. brad says

    I assume it’s better to have the links removed and spend the time emailing people like this than to dissavow the links? If that is the case, then isn’t google giving a penalty to your site for something that is beyond your control?

    Thanks,
    Brad

  2. says

    Brad,
    If the site has a manual penalty (a manual action) then you’ll need to contact site owners to get the links removed. I usually document everything when going through this process. If the site doesn’t have a manual penalty then it’s not really necessary to contact site owners to get links removed. But again, if the site has done the types of link building that are against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, I would consider it a necessary step in cleaning up everything so the site doesn’t get a penalty in the future.

  3. Michael Martinez says

    Some years ago I was reviewing a portfolio of about 20 Websites and noticed that each had a “links” or “resources” page. They all linked out to a different batch of the usual smarmy stuff. I asked the guy who had built the sites why they all had these link pages. He replied he didn’t know about them but assumed they came with the templates he had bought (all from the same source). Who knows how much of that stuff is still floating around out there even in 2014?