July 21, 2012
Imagine linking to a company’s website when referencing them in an article and having that company demand you remove the link because of copyright concerns. Or worse, the company threatens to sue you because they say the link from your website resulted in “material financial loses [sic] to the company.”
That is exactly what happened to blogger Christine at Big Pink Cookie for a blog post that was critical of the company Guardlex.
According an article at Hubspot:
A lawyer at Guardlex contacted Christine at Big Pink Cookie on behalf of their client — whose name Christine graciously removed in her blog post detailing this whole ordeal — asking her to please remove a link from her site that led to their client’s site. Since he works on behalf of the Anti-Piracy Department at Guardlex, which provides services that protect intellectual property, we presume the outbound link was classified as a piracy or intellectual property ‘problem.’
According to the letter sent by the lawyer, the link from Christine’s website resulted in ‘material financial loses [sic] to the company.’
Although, the pretense for the threat was a copyright claim, the company explained that the outgoing link from the blog hurt the company “due to search engine penalties resulting from the links originating under your control.”
Google’s most recent Panda update is said to punish “over-SEO’d” websites. In other words, websites with too many links originating from weak or spammy websites will be penalized by Google.
However, BigPinkCookie is the furthest thing from a spammy website. It’s a personal blog with an impressive Google PageRank 5, which means Google has deemed its content quite valuable, and links from that type of blog are typically very desirable for search engine optimization purposes.