Removing state reciprocal directories : Notifying Google


Many users of REW websites who are doing their own SEO have asked us if we could document the proper process of removing the state organized reciprocal linking pages that they were previously using for link exchange. Here is a detailed breakdown:

  • Step 1: Create a Google Webmasters Account
    To create a webmaster account, visit click on "webmaster tools, including sitemaps" To the right you will see a "create a google account" click on that link and follow the step to create your account
  • Step 2: Once you have created your account login and you will see an "add site" option, type in your URL and hit ok.
  • Step 3: Verify your website: Click on the URL you have added and there will be a text box that says "verify your site" - click that link, and from the dropdown choose "Add Meta Tag" - this action will produce a meta tag that looks like this
  • Step 4: Add the tag: This tag needs to be added to the "head" portion of your website, not accessible via the CMS - to have this tag added, simply visit the REW customer support forums located at - Title your thread "Add Google Meta Tag" Identify your website and request that your tag be added, an REW staff member will response with "please PM me the tag" - send a private message with the tag (Do not post it in public) and that member will add it ASAP

Congratulations, you now have your website verified for Google webmaster tools.

Now that you have added your site to Google Webmasters, it is time to remove your state organized reciprocal linking directory. Log into your CMS, choose the main category "typically called resources" and hit delete to the bottom left. This will delete the main page and all sub pages (The state pages) - Be sure to make note of the URL of the directory

After you have deleted the directory, login to your Google webmasters account, click on the URL in question, in the left navigation, there will be a link called "URL removal" click that.

There will be a button in the middle of the page that says "new URL removal" click that - Choose the option of A directory and all subdirectories on your site (DO NOT CHOOSE ENTIRE SITE!)

You will then be presented with a text field where you can fill out the URL of the directory (You remembered this from a previous step) - plug it in, hit OK and you are done.

You have now successfully requested removal of your directory from the Google index.

Requesting re-inclusion: If you feel that your website has been affected negatively by engaging in excessive reciprocal (Peer to Peer) link exchange, you can now submit a re-inclusion request.

Once again, visit the main page of Google webmasters Tools (Dashboard) - To the right (Top) you will see a tab labeled "tools" with a plus sign to expand the menu. Click the plus sign and choose submit a re-inclusion request.

Choose the site that you are requesting re-inclusion for from the drop down, and fill out the form with a letter explaining why you are requesting re-inclusion.

This letter should contain the following:

Why you feel you may have been penalized
What steps you have taken to rectify the situation
An acknowledgment  that you are now aware that this type of excessive linking is frowned upon by the search engines, and that you have learned from your mistakes.
Detailed description of what you are planning to do for your website in the future to promote your website to Google, based on best practices, and acceptable (Defensible) linking practices. (Directory submission, article publication, press releases, blogging, content syndication etc)

Google are not the bad guys and they will listen to you if you are honest about your situation, and can show true effort in attempting to bring your website up to their very admirable standards. Do not be afraid to be honest, it is the first step in great webmastering.

If you have any questions regarding this blog post, feel free to discuss at the linking strategies forum



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Morgan Carey

That is correct


How do we know if those pages are holding us back? We might not have gone down as a result of them, but we might be limited in our ranking.

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