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Link Penalty Remediation (3/5)

Gather Contact Email Addresses

Back to: 2. Audit your Inbound Links

Gather Contact Email Addresses

Gather Contact Email AddressesNext comes the truly difficult part. You need to establish contact details for every single domain name the toxic links are coming from. If you’ve collected email addresses while manually auditing, you’ve saved yourself some work, though the bulk of it still lies ahead, on the sites originally included in the “Toxic Links” list.

It's not so Easy Anymore...

Gathering contact details is no longer as easy as it used to be. Since the European Union’s introduction of its GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) legislation, the contact details of all domain names are basically privacy protected. So the Bulk Whois Tools that used to be life/timesavers for link penalty remediation, now all return blank results instead of viable contact details. There are services claiming to hold six billion or more ”Historic” Domain Whois records, which they’ll let you search for a fee, but given the churn-and-burn nature of the spam domain sector, historic records are little more than utterly useless.

But there's a Workaround...

List of Common Email Prefixes

List of Common Email PrefixesBased on extensive professional experience, the vast number of domain administrators are reachable through a tiny number of email prefixes tied to their respective domain names. So while the domain name itself maybe registered to something like, the website in question almost invariably has one of a number of stock email addresses set up for contact purposes.

By far the most common of these are:

  1. info@
  2. root@
  3. support@
  4. contact@
  5. webmaster@
  6. admin@

Between these six prefixes you should be able to reach eighty percent or more of webmasters on the domains you’ve shortlisted as toxic, if there are no other contact addresses available. Be sure to pay attention and make a spreadsheet of which of the above email prefixes return bounce notifications. If it bounces, it doesn't count.

WARNING: You will need to exercise due diligence and try to establish actual contact email addresses before you fall back onto those listed above. Otherwise Google’s Manual Review Team will realize that every single one of your takedown contact attempts were sent to one of half a dozen common email address permutations, and dismiss your reconsideration request due to a lack of sufficient effort.

With that said, using the above prefixes to send takedown requests to those websites you’re unable to find the contact details for, is a viable approach. Face it, the review team does not have sufficient time or resources to check up on every email you send to spam webmasters. So long as you’re making a genuine effort to remove as many spam links to your website as possible - and you can document it - your request will receive the consideration it deserves.

Next up: 4. Prepare & Send Takedown Requests

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