I read this article on Econsultancy last month with some amusement.
Econsultancy is a widely respected and professional online marketing site who publish content from some of the biggest names in online marketing, SEO, PPC and Web Development and are certainly considered a trusted source in the field. Most of us would jump at the chance to get an article published by Econsultancy, never mind a link back to our site. The idea that people would want to get links removed from Econsultancy just sounds silly.
My initial assumption was that the SEOs involved in sending the link removal requests were using some method of automatically categorising backlinks to mark for removal. I figured Econsultancy had been erroneously placed in a bucket labelled “Sites with SEO in the page title” meant for spammy directories and nobody had bothered to sense-check their outreach list before sending out a templated email.
But then the blog post linked above also notes that their guest bloggers had been receiving suspicious link emails from Google which included signature links on the Econsultancy blog amongst the examples. This in itself seems odd as the signature links on Econsultancy generally aren’t what you’d consider a ‘spammy’ link – I haven’t noticed any with optimised anchor text for example, usually just brand names and links to social media profiles.
So I filed the affair as a slip up or maybe some isolated cases where the guest bloggers got greedy with their signature links and used excessive, deliberately manipulative anchor text and I went about my business. But then I was doing a backlink review for a client this week and noticed something interesting. They also have a link from the Econsultancy blog. Actually, they have around 20 links from the Econsultancy blog. All from the same article, but not from the same URL…