WTF (Photo credit: Orin Zebest)

This has got to be the weirdest email I’ve gotten in a while.

Subject: Contact: Re: Link Removal Request


I am emailing on behalf of [Website Name]

We have been reviewing our website and have become aware of a drop in our rankings for certain terms. When in conversation with Google via webmaster tools they highlighted our link at [Page on The Whine Seller] as being one that they consider potentially unnatural.

Can I therefore ask how we can get that link removed please?

I think that if Google consider this link potentially unnatural that removing it will benefit both our site and yours so I am keen to work with you to get it removed.

Please let me know if that is possible and what we need to do to get it removed.

Thanks in advance,


That’s the full text, unedited except to remove identifying details.

Let me back up a little. I get a lot of people asking me to post their infographics on this site. I very rarely do but I have posted them a handful of times if they seem interesting and always with credit and link backs or whatever the requester specifies for credit. The thing with these infographics is that they are mostly a way for the creator of the infographic to generate traffic to their sites and increase SEO which is why they are always nagging bloggers to post their stuff and why I get so fracking many requests of that nature for infographics that have nothing to do with what my site is about. So, the few times I did relent and share something I thought was worthwhile, I was doing them a favor by agreeing to post and not the other way around. In theory, my linking to their site helped increase their SEO and I am always a respectful blogger a credit whatever I post whenever I can.

The link in the email above is to one of these infographics and the link they want me to remove is the link where I credit their website for the content (though, interestingly, the person emailing is from a completely different domain than the infographic).

Which raises the following questions:

  • Why did this company go through the trouble of asking me to post their content and link to their site only to turn around and ask me to remove their credit a few months later?
  • Why do they only want me to remove their link and not their content?
  • Is this even from the original company at all (since the domain on the email doesn’t match) or have I gotten in the middle of some kind of SEO prank among makers of infographics?
  • Is it possible to be more of a jerk then to nag a blogger and be like, “please link to my site!” and then, “j/k take my link down your site sucks unnatural monkey balls”?
  • Did Google really label a link from my site as unnatural? If so, why? They make me feel like an (un)natural woman.
  • What could this company possibly gain from having someone remove a link to their site? How can my linking to their page (which they GD asked me to do, may I add) ever hurt their traffic? Is there such a think as a bad link back?
  • Is this some kind of weird scam thing I just don’t understand?

I removed the link but, frankly, I’m very confused.

What do you think? Have you ever gotten an email like this?