.@JohnMu: Do NOT pay for the link to be removed, use Disavow instead


It's not a seldom case that you are asked to pay a fee when trying to remove a backlink. In the recent Google Plus Hangout this was discussed and John Mueller gave a pretty straightforward answer:

Personally I’d recommend not going down that route.  If this is something that you want to have removed just for Google’s indexing and crawling then probably it’s ok to just list it in the disavow file.  On the other hand, if it is something you want to have removed from the web completely and you don’t want to have this reference on the web for your website then maybe you can talk to those webmasters to see what you can do about having those things removed.  But, essentially from our point of view when it comes to unnatural links to your website we want to see that you’ve taken significant steps to actually remove it from the web but if there are some links that you can’t remove yourself or there are some that require payment to be removed then having those in the disavow file is fine as well.

BTW: Is it just me or do Googlers abuse the words "significant steps" when talking about lifting the penalty? Kinda gets on my nerve...