I don’t know about you, but in the latest months, I’ve received a series of requests which follow the same pattern:
LINK REMOVAL REQUEST
Dear Website Owner:
It has come to our attention that a number of links exist on your domain which send traffic to our website [theirdomain.com]. We have determined that these links may be harmful either to the future marketing and reputation of [theirdomain.com], or to our users.
Accordingly, we kindly request that you (A) remove all existing links to [theirdomain.com] from your domain, including, but not limited to the following URLs:
(B) Cease creation of any additional links to [theirdomain.com]
(C) provide us with prompt notification once links to [theirdomain.com] have been removed by return email.
We do apologise for this inconvenience but [theirdomain.com] has been warned by Google of quality issues with their backlinks and we need to remove link that are simply not a good fit for [theirdomain.com].
Thanking you in anticipation of your co-operation in removing these links at your earliest convenience.
If you have a forum, if you’ve followed a little bit about this SEO stuff and the new rules used by Google, basically you’ll realize that these sites originally hired very cheap human spammers to come and fill (and I really mean fill, like filled-to-the-top-with-something-still-on-top-of-the-top kind of filling) your forum with crappy messages linking to their site to try and help their ranking get better so they could sell more than lawful businesses while not bothering about anything.
Now that Google changed their rules, these links act in the opposite way, bringing down the ranking of those sites which have used unlawful/unethical practices to promote their sites in the first place, and now they have the nerves of still asking you to remove their crap! This is my suggested answer to them.
Our site has suffered for several months of moral damages (we have several e-mails of complaints from our users) and countless hours lost, caused by your clearly intentional, clearly unethical low-cost spamming campaign in order to cheat the system and bring your site on top of others.
Now that Google changed the rules and that these same links are harmful to you, you are requesting us to spend valuable time cleaning your mess, which was created by your organization’s very obvious lack of good intentions and lack of respect for others.
Chamilo is an educational free software and a non-profit association which’s reputation has suffered severely from your past actions. However, considering the damages caused, we will consider removing those links in exchange of a US$20,000 fee (paid in advance) + our normal rate of US$xxx/h charge (which will depend on the amount of time it will take us to remove the links). The money received from this cleaning operation will be used to benefit the development of the free Chamilo LMS application.
I don’t know about you, but I’m actually even wondering if I should give them the opportunity at all… Come on, you cannot honestly let people like this on the loose, destroying the good sides of Our Internet…
Update 20130814: Actually, a more interesting answer might be “We are not responsible of the content put on our website by third parties. You are welcome to contact each such third party to ask them to remove the links they placed on our website, apparently infringing our policies of fair use.”