How to Formally Request a Link Be Removed From a Website

by Brian Flax, Demand Media Google

To formally request a link be removed from a website, you must reach out directly to the website owner or person responsible for adding and removing content. The most efficient way to send a formal link take-down request is through email. Unnatural links are links that were created specifically with the intention of increasing the search engine ranking of a website. Search engines may penalize websites that contain inbound unnatural links, so these links should be removed to reduce the site's risk of downranking.

Finding Unnatural Links

Before sending a formal request for a link take-down, find out where the link is and who owns the website it's located on. You need to send the link removal request to the person who owns the website and is able to remove the content. Search the website for an email address; it's the easiest way to request a link take-down. If you're unable to find contact information on the website itself, look up the Whois information for the domain in question. You may be able to find an email address or mailing address for the person or company that registered the domain.

Draft a Link Removal Email

After you find the contact information for the website owner or person in charge of adding and removing content, draft a formal email requesting that the link be removed. Don't be mean or threatening when writing the email. The website owner is not obligated to remove the link, so sending a threatening on angry request is not an effective method. Reassure the website owner he's not at fault, and you're not blaming him for the unnatural link. Include a link to the pages that contain the link back to your website so that the webmaster knows exactly what needs to be removed.

Send the Link Removal Request

When your done writing your formal link removal request, send one copy to the contact email address found on the website, and another to the email address registered as the Whois contact. Don't continually send email requests day after day; your email address could be marked as spam and it could irritate the webmaster. Give the contact a few days to review the information and send a response back to you. If you find additional links on the website in question, send a full list of links that need to removed after you receive a response.

Save a Copy of the Request

If you're requesting a link removal due to an unnatural link warning from a search engine, keep track of the contact attempts by saving the emails. If you don't receive a response from the website contact, you can show the search engine the email attempts as proof that you tried to rectify the situation. Any penalties imposed on your search engine rankings may be removed once it receives proof of the contact attempts. If you don't save a copy of the email, search engines may not be as willing to remove penalties from unnatural links.

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About the Author

Based in the Washington DC area, Brian Flax holds a Master of Science in education technology, and a Bachelor of Science in entertainment business from Full Sail University. His articles have been published on, where he was a daily writer in the smartphones and tablets section.

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