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Happy Birthday, Remove’em!
It’s just one year since we introduced Google penalty recovery tool Remove’em, and already it’s been used to remove over 1 million spammy back links from the web, and helped hundreds of site owners on their road to Google penalty recovery.
I asked Ian, our head of link removal services, to share his team’s experiences and thoughts on this first anniversary of Remove’em:
Why a Bad Link Removal Tool?
In April of 2012, Google launched Penguin, an update to their algorithm that allows them to make good on their commitment to quality search results by targeting and penalizing sites that use unnatural link building for SERP rank manipulation.
The introduction of Penguin algorithmic penalties and associated unnatural linking manual penalties has radically changed the SEO world. Prior to Penguin, Virante provided link removal services, but this typically consisted of removing a few dozen links, at most. Our first 15,000+ link removal project made it clear that we needed tools to effectively provide this service; and so the idea of Remove’em was conceived, and we set to work developing the tool.
Link Removal’s Ancient Past
In the meantime, though, the need for removals was only increasing, so we worked from spreadsheets. By “spreadsheets” we mean long lists of linking urls, that’s it.
We visited each site, checked for our clients’ links, and then tried to find contact information to then email a removal request. It was a tedious task, to say the least.
It was like we were Psyche and a jealous Aphrodite dumped a mountain of dust and seed in front of us, but there was no army of ants to help us sort; or perhaps we were the ants. Regardless, we needed tools to make the process efficient.
This need became a major imperative with our first handful of clients who came to us, all at about the same time.
A Link Removal Tool for Everyone
We didn’t build Remove’em to be just an internal tool, though. We came to recognize a real need in the SEO world for a tool that allows users to find, contact, and track their backlinks. We recognized that the tool should be simple and easy to use because it wouldn’t be just other SEOs using our tool. In fact, most of our users are individual site owners looking to clean up their backlinks.
We wanted to build a tool that effectively helps users remove links and can be used by anyone. A year and over a million removed links later, we feel we have accomplished this; but that doesn’t mean that we feel we can rest on our laurels.
The process of developing Remove’em has been an evolving project, filled with all sorts of unforeseen hiccups. Most of these come from the sites being tracked. Who knew there were so many ways to get html wrong and still make a site that loads?
Over the past year, we have been constantly updating and fine-tuning our systems. In fact, we are currently in the process of some pretty major upgrades. We want Remove’em to be the very best link removal tool available and work constantly toward that goal.
1 Million Links Removed and Beyond
It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year since Remove’em was first launched. Over this year, link removal has grown from an auxiliary service we recommended as part of a larger SEO strategy to a service needing an entire department to adequately keep up with the demand.
We’re proud of the full-service clients we have helped with Google penalty recovery by submitting successful reconsiderations. We appreciate their thanks, even if they don’t want us to publicly quote them (for understandable reasons–very few people sing the praises of the dermatologist who removes a wart, at least not in public).
We’re happy to know that Remove’em has helped hundreds of site owners remove over a million links (and counting). We look forward to continuing to improve our systems, making Remove’em a more effective tool for removing linkspam and cleaning up the internet.
Here’s to 2 years and 2 million links!
Want to know more about Remove’em, or need to get started on your own site’s penalty recovery? Visit http://www.hivedigital.org/