Step Two: Use Whois to Find the Owner
|Link Removal can be Enjoyable like a Video Game|
Removing Bad Links
Removing bad links is hard work. You have to be persistent. It is not for the lazy or the feint of heart. If you give up or get discouraged easily then you should not bother. Start over with a new domain right now.
You can make link removal more enjoyable if you have the right attitude and like a good challenge. Pretend it is a video game and the links are targets ( they are.) There is a certain satisfaction in removing each link and the end goal of recovering your ranking is the sheer pleasure of winning.
Site with Bad Link
Here is a site with an article linking to my client. My client hired someone (not me) to do SEO for him in 2009, not knowing that low-ranking article sites might not be a good idea, or maybe the article site was not low-ranking at the time. Besides, it was before article spamming was even known to be harmful. Certainly my client was not at fault, but last spring, several years later, his site went down in ranking. The articles were still there on now low-ranking, spammy sites. His site got hit with the second Penguin.
For over six months I have been removing his bad links. I have tried in vain to communicate with the owner of this article website via the comment form.
Comment Form Not Working
What you can't see above are my comments, asking the owners to remove the link and article, so I'll let you see them below. They make me laugh since I sound so pleading and pathetic. Speaking of which, you can't let ego get in the way if you are doing link removal. Pathetic begging becomes routine. Think of that before you sign up for bad links. Link removal ain't pretty.
I use the "we" in the comments, although neither my client or myself signed up for this article. It was a previous SEO company who in 2009 thought that this was a good practice. I'm not judging them too much because it was standard then. (Much like guest posting was thought a good practice until recently.)
The owner is either not seeing these comments or ignoring them. It is obviously time for Step Two.
Step Two: Use a Whois Site
You need to fine a good Whois website. I use whois.net. You'll need to type in the domain of the site with the unwanted link. This is what I find:
Still No Contact
If I want complete details, and the contact information, I have to go to the Godaddy Whois. When I get to Goddaddy I find I have to enter in the verification code into the captcha to see the details. This is the result:
Perhaps You'll Have Better Luck
Sometimes the contact info is available on Whois and you can write an email or even a letter. I've even called an owner before when nothing else worked. Just because whois and emailing didn't work this time for me, it doesn't mean you won't find the information you need.
Time will Tell
Only time will tell if the owner will respond to my email. Let's keep our fingers crossed. And if not all is not lost. There is still Step Three.
It is more than a month later and I still no response from the website/article owner. Definitely time for Part Three.
The other posts in this series are:
How to Find Bad Links
How to Remove Bad Links Part One - Ask for Removal on the Site Itself
How to Remove Bad Links Part Two - Use Whois to Find the Owner
How to Remove Bad Links Part Three - Create the Disavow Tool Text