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The Dark Side of Exchanging Reciprocal Links
Some of the tricks Webmasters sometimes use to get around linking back to you.
martinibuster




msg:416926
 9:44 pm on Dec 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

Bad webmaster! Bad...

  • Delink your links page

  • Bury the link to your links page on a single page that takes about five clicks to get to

  • robots.txt

  • Run your outbounds through your cgi-bin counter script

What are the worst tricks webmasters are playing on their partners today?

 

davewray




msg:416986
 9:46 pm on Dec 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

Lorel...There are automated backlink checkers. If you're heavy into recip linking and need to "babysit" your partner's sites to make sure they're not cheating then it's a must! Of course, it doesn't have all of that neat stuff that mb has on their wish list ;)

rogerd...You know, noone has ever asked me about the misspellings! It's gotten to the point where people are adding links so fast and furious that they don't even check the link titles or description for spelling or grammar anymore. It's worked really well for me. You'd be surprised how many people misspell your main keywords! Targetted, not-so-competative keyword traffic :)

Dave.

incywincy




msg:416987
 9:55 pm on Dec 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

if a website requests a link i check that site out. if i consider the site to be useful to my visitors i publish a link to it and email them requesting a reciprocal. i don't care whether they actually reciprocate or not.

ownerrim




msg:416988
 10:36 pm on Dec 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

"I remember linking to one interesting site that later morphed into a cookie-cutter affiliate site with no original content."

This sort of thing seems to happen often. But that, of course, is the good thing about being highly selective with regard to outgoing links. A limited number of outbounds makes it easier to conduct monitoring for the purposing of confirming that sites are still what their link text purport them to be.

Actually, I should probably check my own outbounds more often than I do. Remember what happened to the website of Sen. Orrin Hatch? His senate website had linked to bignaturals when that site was about "mountains". Later on, it was still about mountains...just a different kind.

Philosopher




msg:416989
 11:22 pm on Dec 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

This tool would have to check the html, robots.txt, be able to detect JS hijinks, and tell if it's being framed. I'd buy it in a heartbeat.

I had one built for just such a purpose. The only thing it doesn't check is whether the page the link is on is inside of a frameset as those pages will still have PR and can be found via visitors.

timchuma




msg:416990
 4:10 am on Dec 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

I get heaps of "register your site in our site directory" type emails - I ignore all of them.

The only ones I actually link to are if someone has actually had a look at my site properly and their site is similar enough in content to mine to be worth linking to (I'm not looking to make money as it is for a personal site.)

Thanks.

sit2510




msg:416991
 7:53 am on Dec 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

>>> What this thread shows us above all is that reciprocal linking has become really high maintenance. Checking link partners takes time, and who has the time to thoroughly check them all once again two months later to weed out the ones who have deleted or otherwise obscured your link?

==============================

Absolutely right! Good links are often mixed with bad links, so to check them thoroughly at regular interval would be too expensive. IMHO, one of the good approaches is NOT to seek for perfection and NOT to be too obsessive about being cheated.

Anyway I do not intend to mean that you have to work blindly. For me, I check backlinks quarterly using automatic approaches to weed out obvious bad links. Those links that are doubtful might be followed by humam review. Bad links are allowed to stay as long as they are not detected, but to spend tremendous time to check everyone is practically not wise. In the mix of bad guys, I know that there are always good guys in there who give good link leverage.

Having higher percentage of good links over the bad ones is the KEY, and that's enough for this game.

jaffstar




msg:416992
 9:18 am on Dec 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

This is where the concept of high quality vs. low quality comes into play. It is much easier to maintain 20, 30 or 40 high quality links than it is for 200, 300 or 400 low quality links. Think long-term instead of short-term. ;)

I agree with this 100%. There are some decent high PR recip links out there, quality will always beat quantity.

internetheaven




msg:416993
 9:46 am on Dec 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Alot of these "tricks" being mentioned are only visual - e.g. the mouseover stuff or redirecting to other pages from the link.

Does anyone actually fall for that? I mean, surely people click on the link to check it works and goes to the right page?

Rogi




msg:416994
 12:17 pm on Dec 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

I agree with ownerrim's idea of 'Link to site's that do have content and deserve to be linked to'.

These are usually the sites that will not pull any link scams etc as they realise your site may be useful to their visitors.

In fact, I recently linked to a rather crappy-looking but very content-based site with a PR of 1. That site has brought me tons of very targetted traffic through the recip link.

Otherwise, too many tricks and scams with reciprocal linking.

brixton




msg:416995
 12:31 pm on Dec 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

the best way...you have friends webmasters? yes then ...do it between you, good way and works fine. I don't believe there is a future in RCPlinks exchange.
I delete about 10 emails a day ....we have added your interesting page at .....www.my0site.com/links or friends.php...
If you have unique content and top listings you don't need that c$%^&p you get only one way links (referrals) that's I recon is the best for your site PR and authority.

Macro




msg:416996
 12:50 pm on Dec 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

A twist:

Sometimes their link uses a hotlink to an image on your server and you misinterpret your logs to mean that he's sending you lots and lots of traffic. That, of course, is unlikely to happen to the experienced webmasters here.

GranPops




msg:416997
 1:38 pm on Dec 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

I don't know anything at all about coding but find it interesting to check if a link is indexed in G, 60 days after trading.
If not, I don't wish to know the reason why, out it goes.

However I do send a spider, with which I have been provided, over the site, and send a SPAM report to G if it comes up red.
One site had over 90 No.1's but now has none.

rytis




msg:416998
 1:39 pm on Dec 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Still no tool to check links for ALL the tricks from this thread? I believe it would be extremely useful not only for reciprocal links and sell fine to webmasters.

sticky me if anyone takes the challenge, am willing to beta-test it on my ~1000 incoming links.

webdev




msg:416999
 1:56 pm on Dec 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

I had a great one last night

I sent out an email to a site to exchange links that I hand crafted and made it a very personal email. Within 20 minutes the other guy had linked back to me and we were all done - great doing business with you.

1 hour later I received an email in my inbox of another similar site I own, from this same guy who I had linked to earlier. He had addressed it to multiple recipients and also managed to get my other site in his email list.

The punchline was that he had sent me and everyone else an exact copy of the email I had sent to him earlier in the day except he changed the name and site address - and I even realised I had a spelling mistake in the email I originally sent him - of which he hadn't picked up on.

I thought it was hilarious and I'm going to write to him and tell him how much I liked his email :)

I guess my copy must of been good :)

GranPops




msg:417000
 1:57 pm on Dec 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Yup I gess like wot it must of been

Testing.........Me too, on more than 11,000

rfung




msg:417001
 2:27 pm on Dec 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

I thought it was hilarious and I'm going to write to him and tell him how much I liked his email :)

Imitation is the best form of flattery :)

old_expat




msg:417002
 2:43 pm on Dec 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

I had an interesting one yesterday. A meta tag on the links page requested the Googlebot to redirect to a different URL

Got one today that was priceless:

I looked at your website - yourwebsite.com - and I
really liked the [[Enter something that you like about the link
partner's site]].

I own a site that provides [[Enter topic of your site]] -
mywebsite.com. Since your site provides [[Enter Topic
of link partner's site]], our sites are related to but are not
competitive with each other. So, I would like to propose a link
exchange partnership with your site.

My site gets a lot of traffic every day, so a link from my site
to your site will bring in a decent amount of traffic to your
site.

Rogi




msg:417003
 2:53 pm on Dec 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

lol old_expat.

Seen that in my email too many times. Damn template.

richlowe




msg:417004
 4:21 pm on Dec 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Sites which request a link and appear to be well targeted, then morph into garbage within a couple of months...starts as an on-target links page with site content related to my content, then changes to porn, gambling or pharmacy (all trash). Sigh.

ownerrim




msg:417005
 5:10 pm on Dec 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

rogi, old_expat, I've gotten that same email more than once as well. It has "canned spam" written all over it. I wonder why people don't take the time to simply write a short letter. It would be a lot more productive.

old_expat




msg:417006
 5:33 pm on Dec 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

ownerrim, all the SPAM that these guys are sending is costing us dearly. I spent about 6 hours over the last couple of days identifying a few sites, looking them over and figuring what is the best approach to take to start negotiations with the owner. (I believe all really good links exchanges have to be negotiated)

Anyhow, I did everything pretty much right, wrote out whe whats and whys .. and got back a canned reply.

It really gets frustrating when your emails never get read.

Harry




msg:417007
 5:47 pm on Dec 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

I simply ignore all link requests as most sites are not worth the time. Only crappy sites request links anyway. I get mostly replies for directories and similar Adsense generating crap. They'll just take one key word from us an blast us with requests.

I personally find all of this link development thing annoying. I link only to real sites and don't ask anything in return.

I spend quality time developing real unique contents. There's no way I'm gonna link to someone who just to increase their Google bar rating.

Sorry if I offend anyone here.

JudgeJeffries




msg:417008
 5:57 pm on Dec 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Harry,
Thats all very well but if your site is being blasted into position 999 by others using automated link exchange programs how do you compete without joining in. I held out till recently and have been amazed by the difference its made.

pageoneresults




msg:417009
 6:04 pm on Dec 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

I held out till recently and have been amazed by the difference its made.

I do believe it is a short term strategy and one that will backfire at some point. I could be wrong but I sure wouldn't want to take that chance with an established site and one that will be around for the long term. If it is a short term throwaway domain, then go for it. ;)

If you look back at many of the topics surrounding penalties, I think you will see a common denominator amongst most of them. Their link exchange practices.

ken_b




msg:417010
 6:05 pm on Dec 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Only crappy sites request links anyway

I get few link requests, but the vast majority are right on target, written by the business owner, or at the direction of the business owner. They are usually sites that I would have linked to anyhow, if I had found them before they found me.

I don't bother asking for a link back. If they do link back, fine, if not, that's also fine.

I have done a couple, maybe 3, "link exchanges". They're more bother than they are worth.

Harry




msg:417011
 6:06 pm on Dec 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Jeffrey, all of my web sites contain nothing but original and real useful contents. When people added them to their lists, it's because they truly believe in what we offer, not because they want to look better in Google. I have the same outlook.

Call me a fool, but at least, I'm an honest joe. For me, that's good enough.

grelmar




msg:417012
 6:27 pm on Dec 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Thats all very well but if your site is being blasted into position 999 by others using automated link exchange programs how do you compete without joining in. I held out till recently and have been amazed by the difference its made.

I dunno, I have a site that's just plain cleanly optimizied, has good content, and all the LEXs like to send spam to, and right now it's sitting at 37 without me ever getting into a LEX.

Sure, maybe not page one, but in a competitive keyword phrase (26million), on a site that doesn't get updated often, that's not bad at all.

It makes me wonder if LEXs have any value at all.

Essex_boy




msg:417013
 6:48 pm on Dec 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Amazing! I didnt know there was so much to lok out for in such a simple thing.

Crush




msg:417014
 9:20 pm on Dec 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Only crappy sites request links anyway

Ha ha, more fool you.

ArcoJedi




msg:417015
 9:44 pm on Dec 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

If you see a reciprocal webmaster posting links to your site that actually redirect through GOOGLE...

[google.com...]

Yes, this will still take them to that page, but the Google spider bot knows to ignore these links... meaning no page rank benefit.

old_expat




msg:417016
 9:45 am on Dec 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

"Only crappy sites request links anyway"

Hmm .. so profound! I guess my site is "crappy" since I often request links.

This 133 message thread spans 5 pages: < < 133 ( 1 2 [3] 4 5 > >
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