Unexpectedly Intriguing!
January 23, 2013

We received a pretty unusual e-mail earlier this week from an individual at OnlineDegrees.net. Here is the text, which we'll present in snippets with our responses in between:

G'day,

G'day! How ya goin mate?

Not long ago, Google began reviewing websites for their past linking practices. They are looking for "over-optimized" back-links. What this means is that they are looking for links from one site to another that use the term that most users search for to find particular pieces of information. OnlineDegrees.net is one of these sites under review for bad practices.

Do tell! You've been very bad, haven't you?

While I appreciate your efforts to share our content and give credit where credit is due, I must respectfully request that you remove all links to OnlineDegrees.net from your site: politicalcalculations.blogspot.com

Let's see.... OnlineDegrees.net, OnlineDegrees.net, OnlineDegrees.net.... Doesn't ring any bells - are you sure that we've ever linked to OnlineDegrees.net?

This includes the links found on: politicalcalculations.blogspot.com/2010/04/cavalcade-of-risk-102.html

Oh, that one! Where we posted a link specifically submitted by OnlineDegrees.net to the edition of the Cavalcade of Risk blog carnival that we hosted back in April 2010.

That would be the very well-received edition of the Cavalcade of Risk where we shared your content and gave credit where credit was due by assigning OnlineDegrees.net's submission our second-lowest blog carnival contribution rating of Cc3, which is a rating that warns readers against clicking through to the contribution by describing the information at the link submitted by OnlineDegrees.net as being "Way off topic, might possibly make you stupider and also potentially painful".

We're pretty sure then that Google doesn't have a problem with how we've linked to OnlineDegrees.net. But why pursue this now, after more than two years?

We are updating our site to improve content and design, so I hope that you will return to see the information our site provides once this issue is resolved. Please send me an email, letting me know if and when you have removed our links from your site, or if you have any questions or concerns. I very much appreciate your help.

No, we can't say as that we have any questions or concerns. Your request for us to remove the link submitted by OnlineDegrees.net to the 102nd edition of the Cavalcade of Risk blog carnival that we hosted in April 2010 is denied.

And just so that the original post that earned our Cc3 blog carnival rating isn't lost as part of the update to OnlineDegrees.net's content and design, here is the Internet Wayback Machine's archived file of the content OnlineDegrees.net submitted to be included with that edition of the Cavalcade of Risk we hosted.

Thank you,

[NAME AND E-MAIL ADDRESS REDACTED]

P.S. I apologize if you received a request from us more than once. We are being assertive in our efforts to fix this.

We hope our public response works in place of the e-mail response you requested, as we've likewise chosen to be assertive in our efforts to deny your request as we stand by our editorial content.

We wish you the best of luck with your updates to OnlineDegrees.net's content and design. Although we've only ever linked to your site on just two occasions, should we ever disregard our own advice and click through the links we've posted to OnlineDegrees.net, we would certainly welcome improved content and design.

You're welcome,

Ironman at Political Calculations

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Welcome to the blogosphere's toolchest! Here, unlike other blogs dedicated to analyzing current events, we create easy-to-use, simple tools to do the math related to them so you can get in on the action too! If you would like to learn more about these tools, or if you would like to contribute ideas to develop for this blog, please e-mail us at:

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