Questionable Links. Get it? (Photo credit: Oberazzi)

I’ve become sort of weirdly fascinated with link removal requests. See: Link removal request: We don’t want your traffic (that we asked for in the first place) and Another weird link removal request for content they asked me to post: Is this some kind of spam/scam? If you’ve never seen one, it’s where a company asks a blogger to remove any links to their site often times links that they asked you to post in the first place in a guest post, info-graphic or other shareable content. They ask you to remove it because they’ve been engaging in some sketchy SEO tactics and search engines are starting to penalize them for it so they’re trying to cover their trail.

I loved this explanation of why a company would send an email like this:

It is a good email. For you, not them.

Think of two wooden sailing ships at sea using rope to exchange goods and messages. You, Captain Hillary of the USS Whine Seller, see Captain Name of RMS Site Name signaling ‘Don’t worry about the thick gunpowder smelling black smoke bellowing from below decks. Double check OUR lines.’

Advanced notice is good. You wouldn’t want to be caught in the back blast of someone’s bad SEO.

Anyway, I haven’t seen any requests like that in a while so I was surprised to get this one. Especially since, expecting it to link to another info-graphic, instead it went to this page: 5 Tips for Saving Money on Shipping Supplies and Postage

That post is a 100% Hillary original that I wrote so I was like, um… what? But then I noticed, down in the comments, that someone had asked me if I thought it was a good idea to get a postal meter and had linked the words postal meter to the site in question. At the time, I assumed it was a real post and commented as such but now I realize that it’s spam… albeit pretty good spam. (They even sent a follow-up reply!)

The link has been removed so that’s taken care of but it got me to wondering… I’ve always thought of spam comments on the blog as annoying but otherwise harmless. I removed them when they’re obvious but, if I’m not sure, I don’t go nuts. But based on the explanation above, could they be more harmful than I realized and drag me into someone else’s SEO?

What do you think?