Way back I started a directory of websites and thought it would be cool to tag the links to sites with my domain name in the query string. Kind of referral spam I guess, but really to remind them where they got their traffic from.

Well I had a couple of webmasters horrified to find this appearing in their web stats. The latest one was complaining that their website failed to appear in the search results due to duplicate content from my site.

I think what they meant was that my directory listing for their site was outranking their website for their keyword.

So I complied with their request to remove my link to them and today I got a complaint that their site no longer shows up in the SERPs like it did a month ago.

And they are asking me how to remove the non-existent duplicate content page which they think is causing the problem (advice from their web designer). I think that they see my site URL in their Analytics thinking it is a page on their site.

This was a free link to a legal services company for years, and this is the thanks I get. I kind of enjoyed removing their link though.

Anyone else have to deal with crazy requests like this?