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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

WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 2036 posted 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?

 

Philosopher

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2036 posted 10:08 pm on Dec 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

Just got an email from a webmaster saying he had added my link to his directory and would I please link back.

Upon closer inspection the "link" was just text css styled to look like a hyperlink which incorporated the "OnClick" command to redirect to target website.

Needless to say I didn't reciprocate. ;)

treeline

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 2036 posted 10:53 pm on Dec 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

  • 3,000 outgoing links on the links page

  • clicking the sitename/anchor text leads to subpage that has a brief description of the site. To actually go there, click on the very small visit this site link from the subpage.
  • GranPops

    10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 2036 posted 12:47 am on Dec 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

    Of 2,300 recips we have deleted over 1,600 for many reasons.
    1. "you link to me first and I will link back" - 750 did not
    2. Removing link after trading - approx 500
    3. Link page never indexed - masses
    4. Link page indexed but link not, using "www.mysite.com" after many months

    martinibuster

    WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



     
    Msg#: 2036 posted 6:05 am on Dec 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

    Anybody else want to add to this list of shady tricks?

    GranPops

    10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 2036 posted 11:33 am on Dec 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

    Perhaps I should have added that many of those sites no longer appear in the SERPS.
    One wonders if the owner of the sites know that they have a no-brain webmaster

    nzmatt

    10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 2036 posted 5:21 am on Dec 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

    I hate when you fill out a 'mutual' link form only to press submit and find there is a hidden cost...or when you go ahead and add a mutual link, as a webmaster insisted, only to receive an email demanding cash!

    But I've had a couple that have gone the other way too:- where I have requested a mutual link by email, they never responded, but later on I found they must have just automatically added my link!

    Although this had mistakenly created a one-way incoming, my conscience usually gets the better of me and I add their link...(temptation strikes!)

    nuevojefe

    WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 2036 posted 7:39 pm on Dec 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

    make all your links hijack the pages linked to. ouch...

    Chef_Brian

    10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 2036 posted 7:50 pm on Dec 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

    This stuff is the worst, and breads upon itself. Is is really a shame that webmasters simply can not play fair. If everyone set up a simple little linking structure on the link section and linked everypage on their site to that section of their site then the links pages would recieve a fair amount of pagerank which would be shared amoung the outbound links.

    But this is not the case today, everyone is so dam worried about "me" that linking has become a terrible use of time simply because it just take to long to find those that "get linking" ...

    Ugh!

    nzmatt

    10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 2036 posted 8:22 pm on Dec 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

    I couldn't agree more Chef_Brian!

    GranPops

    10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 2036 posted 9:59 pm on Dec 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

    Have just checked a sample of the link requests of November 13, all of which were "you link to me first, and then complete our form.
    Non US 50 - 47 have linked
    US 50 - Not a single link

    I am fascinated.
    Is there a different form of education that creates such scum bags from highly intelligent youngsters?

    We still have to check over 2,000 link requests since November 14, and we usually wait to make the check the same day the following month

    [edited by: GranPops at 10:28 pm (utc) on Dec. 13, 2004]

    nzmatt

    10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 2036 posted 10:08 pm on Dec 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

    I don't get it GranPops?

    jk3210

    WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 2036 posted 10:23 pm on Dec 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

    >>Is is really a shame that webmasters simply can not play fair<<

    Yeah, but the good news is that they usually pull these tricks because they're either too un-talented, too un-creative, or just too stupid to create something of real value.

    That's why they're doomed to exist in the lower rungs of the net, thinking how smart they are because they beat some poor hobby site out of a PR2.

    martinibuster

    WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



     
    Msg#: 2036 posted 7:34 am on Dec 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

    Philosopher, that's a clever trick. If they put a "onmouseover="window.status=http://www.yoururl.com" command in there then most people may never notice that it's not an honest link.

    Exchanging reciprocal links has never been so fraught with danger!

    What other tricks are out there?

    [edited by: martinibuster at 7:49 am (utc) on Dec. 14, 2004]

    jaffstar

    WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 2036 posted 7:49 am on Dec 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

    I recentely analyzed one of our sites and found that 60% of recips had zero PR.

    Its another way of being shafted, they might as well block the link to you.

    Liane

    WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 2036 posted 9:16 am on Dec 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

    Many also do the [mysite.com...] and drop the www.

    Cute! Why bother with these people?

    brixton



     
    Msg#: 2036 posted 10:26 am on Dec 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

    if you get an email request ask the webmaster the page thTat will put your link ask of a page PR3-4 (if your site is 5-6,let him first add your link and after his reply that he did so add his link,of course after you have checked his links pages that they are not a bad neighborhood,thats the best way i recon.

    mipapage

    WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 2036 posted 10:54 am on Dec 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

    Received one yesterday with the declaration "PR 5" when referring to their links page.

    Well, they frame their links page with their root, so it shows the PR of the root though it "appears" that you are on the links page.

    Pretty basic, really. In the end their link frame had a PR of 3 and a google cache, so I went for it...

    Macro

    WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 2036 posted 11:23 am on Dec 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

    One "directory" site bought in PR for a couple of months. While they had a PR of 8 they went on a major recip campaign. They got tens of thousands of inward links and then dropped their PR buying.

    mifi601

    10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 2036 posted 11:46 am on Dec 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

    I am starting to wonder whether this thread is turning into a 'howto' rather than a 'BAD webmaster, bad webmaster' one ;(

    internetheaven

    WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 2036 posted 11:54 am on Dec 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

    Well, they frame their links page with their root, so it shows the PR of the root though it "appears" that you are on the links page.

    Two great variations on that theme:

    1. Have a PR5-7 page and frame a geocities or netfirms page and put all the links on there. They link to your site and you're not linking to theirs, geocities is. This works a charm on webmasters who don't check the coding, simply check the link works.

    2. Put the framed page with all the links in robots.txt:

    e.g. have the links page:

    [example.com...]

    as a framed page with FRAME SOURCE:

    [example.com...]

    and put

    User-agent: *
    Disallow: /cgi-bin/

    in robots.txt Most webmasters miss this as even though they check the robots.txt file they fail to connect the dots as cgi-bin is so common to see in robots.txt and in their minds eye they are searching for the /links/ folder.

    jaffstar

    WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 2036 posted 11:58 am on Dec 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

    One "directory" site bought in PR for a couple of months. While they had a PR of 8 they went on a major recip campaign. They got tens of thousands of inward links and then dropped their PR buying.

    Macro, what is the conlusion? Did it not work? Was it a test?

    Macro

    WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 2036 posted 12:15 pm on Dec 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

    jaffstar, I'm appalled you think I did it!

    No, I'll sticky you the URL if you want but I came to know of it via a "tip" a friend sent me about a "directory where you can get a high PR link". I did a bit of searching as to how they got their PR and it seemed it was all coming from one PR9 page. As expected that PR dried up. But they were sitting pretty as they had got many, many inward links from webmasters who thought they were exchanging with a high PR site. It's unlikely those webmasters even know that this "high PR" link partner is no longer high PR but is getting all their PR from the links those webmasters kindly provided..

    irishaff

    10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 2036 posted 12:31 pm on Dec 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

    Using GEO IP software to display the links page to me in my home country but not feeding this link to America..

    mipapage

    WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 2036 posted 12:53 pm on Dec 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

    I am starting to wonder whether this thread is turning into a 'howto' rather than a 'BAD webmaster, bad webmaster' one ;(

    Well, look at it like a 'how to avoid getting ripped' thread ;-)

    @internetheaven - thanks for that!

    Philosopher

    WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 2036 posted 2:42 pm on Dec 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

    Philosopher, that's a clever trick. If they put a "onmouseover="window.status=http://www.yoururl.com" command in there then most people may never notice that it's not an honest link.

    Oh yeah, forgot to mention that part. They did exactly that. It really was a fairly slick way of doing it. I'm just to jaded not to check the source code of link partners these days. ;)

    jaffstar

    WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 2036 posted 2:49 pm on Dec 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

    jaffstar, I'm appalled you think I did it!

    I did not think you did it!, your post did not make sense to me, that's why I asked you those questions wrto your example :)

    pageoneresults

    WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 2036 posted 2:51 pm on Dec 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

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

    Not really a trick, but ju-ju...

    www.example.com/links.htm
    www.example.com/links/

    I typically stay away from anything that looks, smells and acts like a links page. Those are probably the worst type of link exchanges to get involved with. Just the phrase link exchange conjurs up images of disdain. ;)

    HyperGeek

    10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 2036 posted 3:01 pm on Dec 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

    There are also two other tricks:

    - Using a querystring to display pages themed to your web site. For instance, instead of linking you to www.somesite.com/page.asp, they link you to www.somesite.com/page.asp?id=subject - where both display different pages and the one you're linked on will never see the light of day unless you use that query.

    - Having a link partner submit a form, getting their IP from that form, and displaying a different page that caters to what the partner wants to see when visitng from that specific IP. Although it is very unlikely that you'd see this (I saw it once, so I'm mentioning it here) this is double-edged, because they can also confirm that your e-mail is active and sign you up for lists, too.

    [edited by: HyperGeek at 3:04 pm (utc) on Dec. 14, 2004]

    stef25

    10+ Year Member



     
    Msg#: 2036 posted 3:02 pm on Dec 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

    what about simply having a links page that is not linked to internally?

    it exists, it can be reached by spiders, but cannot be found unless you have exact url

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