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I've been getting emails like this:

Our site has been penalized by Google because of a handful of back links pointing to our site (we have lost 80% of our traffic). I have opened a line of communication with their WebSpam team and am working to clear the penalty. HOW THIS AFFECTS YOU? We have isolated the back links causing our penalty which we need to have removed, ONE is from your site and I need to get that link taken down asap. Heres the thing... In order to get out of the penalty they have asked me to submit to them all the paid or unnatural links which are currently pointing to our site and in the next 30 days I will be submitting to them this list and unfortunately your site is included. HOW TO AVOID NEGATIVE ACTION FROM GOOGLE If you can take the links down to hisdomain.com then of course I will be able to leave your site off that list. I really don't want to be the cause of a penalty to you, nor report anyone else's website to Google hence I'm reaching out to you now, and if you can get that link taken down ASAP then of course I won't include your site when I report back to them!

Do Google request such lists and can this cause a problem for my SEO? (of-course I have no idea who this is and have never sold a link to him or anyone else for that matter on my site, it's just User-Generated-Content)

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Do they give you specifics about which links on which pages? If not it is generic for a reason. It's bulk spam/scam. –  John Conde Feb 28 at 17:02
    
@JohnConde they actually give specifics. But even if they wouldn't, what can they gain by this anyway? –  Noam Feb 28 at 21:45
    
Depends on what the next step is. They might ask for access to your site to "help" you remove the links? or add code to do the same. –  John Conde Feb 28 at 21:49
    
You might convey the info in John's answer to them, and that your site is composed of user-generated content. Threats to negatively impact your site's SEO is essentially extortion, so this doesn't sound like a legit request. –  dan Feb 28 at 21:56
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1 Answer 1

Smells like bull doody to me.

  • A handful of links will not cause your site to be penalized by Google.

  • When you have the ability to disavow the links it makes it even more suspicious.

  • Google doesn't ask anyone for lists of unnatural links. The aforementioned disavow tool handles that automatically.

  • You've been getting multiple emails? Sounds like a persistent scammer to me.

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