We received an interesting request this morning in an email from a tech firm in Australia that acts as a clearinghouse for technical information related to the mining industry.
The entire text is reproduced below. I’m a nice guy, so I’ve redacted anything to identify the firm or the manager. I mean, it’s not his fault that he lives and works in a soviet state, is it?
From: Web Manager
Sent: Monday, August 03, 2015 11:07 AM
Subject: Important Request for Link Removals to [tech co].com from gatesofvienna.blogspot.com
Dear Webmaster of gatesofvienna.blogspot.com,
My name is [Web Manager], web manager of www.[tech co].com.
As a result of Google’s ongoing Penguin and unnatural link updates, we have undertaken an audit of our backlink profile and have identified a number of links that we would like to remove in order to help our Google rankings and organic visibility. We are contacting you, along with a number of webmasters asking them to remove links to our site. In making this request we accept that you may have added links in good faith and this request is no comment on the quality of your site.
There is/are 1 link/s on your website to our website are as below:
http://gatesofvienna.blogspot.com/[link from 2008]
They point to these pages on our website;
[URL on tech company’s website]
We’d like to thank you for linking back to our website, however we would like to take this opportunity to ask you to remove all links to our site www.[tech co].com from your website to help clean up our website’s backlink profile. It would be very appreciated if this could be done as soon as possible, and you could also please reply and let me know once this has been completed.
If you have any questions, please let me know.
Thank you for your cooperation.
e: webmanager@[tech co].com
t: +44 (0) [phone number]
Sales and Editorial Office
This message and all files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for the addressee. If you have received this message in error, please notify the sender or contact us via info@[tech co].com and destroy your copies of this message and any attached files.
The link he’s referring to was in the comments, and was used to back up a technical point made by one of our commenters in a very long thread.
Notice that the company’s marketing is done from the UK, and the international prefix on his phone number is also for the UK.
I surmise this: On orders from somewhere far above his level, Web Manager was tasked with removing any backlinks to his company from that nasty racist Islamophobic site, the hateful blogspot blog for Gates of Vienna. That is: This is another trickle-down from last week’s Hate Not Hope report.
Update: I should have mentioned that the last time I got one of these was four years ago, a couple of weeks after Breivik’s manifesto hit the web. That’s what makes the timing of this suspect.
Here’s my reply:
Mr. [Web Manager],
The link you sent is to our blogspot site, which has not been the home of Gates of Vienna for more than two and a half years, since we migrated to our own domain. I’m not certain that I can locate the login for the old site; it’s been so long.
But I’m perplexed — why would you wish to be delinked by Gates of Vienna? I would think that a link from a site with the stature of ours would be an asset to your company’s web profile and Google ranking. What possible reason could you have for wanting it removed?
a.k.a. “Baron Bodissey”
I’ll let you know if I hear anything more.