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Link Development Forum

Unfair Link Exchanges
People who renege on reciprocal link exchanges

 12:17 am on Feb 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'm sure this topic has been covered previously, but here goes.

We get oodles of link exchange requests. Needless to say, I don't accept all of them. Lately I've been checking our reciprocal links on the other guys' sites and find that as many as half of these twits never put up a link for us, didn't bother to put up the links information I gave them, or took down a link that I know was there previously. A webmaster in the UK I mentioned this to said he'd noticed the same thing.

To me this shows really low wisdom--asking someone for a link exchange, then not following through. (These people no longer have links on our links pages, nor will they get them back). It's also very unprofessional! Gr-r-r-r!


troels nybo nielsen

 8:39 am on Feb 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

I am sure that some of those people earn more money by cheating than you do by not cheating so it is hardly a question of being unprofessional. It's a question of morality. Some people live in a reality where cheating other people is quite alright if you don't get caught. They believe that crime pays. I don't agree, but a thorough discussion of this philosophical problem may be beyond the agenda of WebmasterWorld.

Sweet Cognac

 11:31 pm on Feb 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

aleatrix, I noticed the same thing a month ago. I went to check on links and couldn't find mine, even if I put the title in their search! So then I removed their link, and suddenly I get a nasty email saying, "We couldn't find our link on your pages!" I just write them back and say, "I couldn't find my link on your pages either, so I took yours off."

Right now I am in the process of deleting ALL my links pages.

The links that I know are reciprecating, I'm moving to a more revelent page, and squeezing them into the text somewhere, (and emailing them a nice note thanking them for linking to me, and send them the url of where I'm moving their link.)

I've had it with links pages. I say "Goodby and good riddance."


 8:49 pm on Feb 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'm preparing a system for link exchange to avoid this kind of problems. Please go ahead and share more of the problems you're facing when doing link exchange.


 12:56 am on Feb 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

Personally, I'm not interested in a link exchange just for the sake of it.
If I find a site that may be of interest to my visitors, I link to it.
If a site owner feels that my site may be of interest to their visitors, I get an inbound link.
For my money, that is what the internet should be about. Not exchanging links in the hope of artificially boosting your position on the search engines(although, I'm doubtful of the efficacy of the above technique).
I can't think of more than 3 instances in the last 8 years when I have accepted a link exchange and those were through choice, not a 'you link to me and I'll link to you' situation.
I might advise owners, of sites that I have linked to, that their visitors may find my site interesting, but I don't enforce a reciprocal link. Don't see the point!
Just my view of exchange linking......


 1:03 am on Feb 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

aleatrix, it could be worse -

One of my competitors put an outbound link to my site and all of the other competition right on his home page possibly thinking it would give him boost in the SEs. I can't decide whether to keep laughing at this guy (he also posts his laughable stats for advertisers) or to yell @ him and tell him to take me off.


 7:09 am on Feb 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

tbear, I agree with you, no one would like doing link exchange just for fun. Actually link exchange is worse when there is a two-way linking between two sites. A three-way linkig is better but still has disadvantages (google may track them as they do on a two-way linking). An N-way linking system per category - this is the solution , be them naturaly or not.

incrediBill: don't laught at your competitor (yet) because he is actually trying to become the 'authority in his field' as seen by Google. I did not try this way but please watch them for a month and share with us what you see. Maybe it is the new fashion in linking (spring 2005).

creative craig

 12:07 pm on Feb 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

They believe that crime pays...

Not exactly a crime, but underhanded I agree! It happens a lot with in certain specific market areas from what I have seen.


 7:22 pm on Feb 28, 2005 (gmt 0)


To avoid finding myself in a situation like this, as a routine at the end of each month, I check all the sites with links on my sites to confirm that the links are being reciprocated. Incase, I do not find my links on any of the sites, I just send an email informing that their link is being removed as they broke the deal.

Sure, one needs to invest a little bit of time but, I guess, it is worth it as I would hate linking to some slimy webmaster's site.

Matt Probert

 7:25 pm on Feb 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

Like some others, we don't operate a "links page" per se, rather when we come across a relevant and quality site, we link to it within the text. No reciprocal link is requested or required. We feel it benefits our readers to be able to find "more information" at other sites, and that in turn benefits us.



 10:45 pm on Feb 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

So link exchange is full of headaches for everyone. Here's a question (sounds like a new thread, but anyway): if I already have good page rank, is there any reason to do link exchanges? Will doing link exchanges help maintain the page rank I now have?

Re: IncrediBILL's comment, I did a check on Google recently and found that a bunch of web sites had put up links to some of my web pages without notifying me. I'm old fashioned. Yeah. I think it's a little tacky to put up a link to someone's site without telling them.


 11:48 pm on Feb 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

I think it's a little tacky to put up a link to someone's site without telling them.

Hmmm, I feel quite flattered, that someone sees my site as useful for information (content).
On my personal site, I ask people to suggest informative sites for me to link to. I also ask, that those that link to me, inform me, just in case I feel the same about their's. It is not obligatory, though.

be them naturaly or not.

Well, I'd say that naturally knocks spots of 'or not'. If you can assist the natural linking strategy for your site, I'm sure that can help, but I am very hesitant about getting involved in 'helping' nature, LOL

Oh, when I said, "just for the sake of it", I didn't explain myself very well. I actually meant (honestly....) making link exchanges for the sake of getting a rise in position in the serps, which is 'not' always successful...
I will suggest myself to sites, those I think whose visitors would benefit from my content, while raising the kudos for themselves. I don't get upset when they don't use my suggestion, but I'm pleasantly surprised when an unknown links to me!

One of my clients sites, recently, got a link from The Times (London).
We found out (I was explaining what stats are, LOL), that he had visitors from The Times and on looking found an article about the site, with a link (must ask about getting the link text changed ;)). Me? Pleased as punch!

I think it's a little tacky to put up a link to someone's site without telling them.

<cheeky>I hope you are not suggesting....snicker</cheeky>


 12:02 am on Mar 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

incrediBill: don't laught at your competitor (yet) because he is actually trying to become the 'authority in his field' as seen by Google. I did not try this way but please watch them for a month and share with us what you see. Maybe it is the new fashion in linking (spring 2005).

I'm not really concerned as my site has been the authority in the field for 7 years now, on AV, Yahoo/Inktomi, Google and MSN. Yes, someone could upset my apple cart but many have tried and failed to date. I'm tracking his keyword relevance and he's not moving up and my domain link has been on his home page for at least 4 months now.

It just irritates me that my site is even associated by reference to his site.

[edited by: incrediBILL at 12:08 am (utc) on Mar. 1, 2005]


 12:04 am on Mar 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

Yeah. I think it's a little tacky to put up a link to someone's site without telling them.

It all depends on who put up the link.

If it's someone that thinks you have a cool and useful resource, smile and thank them.

If it's a competitor trying to siphon hits off your popularity, tell them to get it the heck off.


 1:13 am on Mar 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

True, IncrediBILL, it depends who's doing the linking. In the case of one page it's okay with me--it's more hits. In the case of the others, I'd rather they didn't because it leads to misunderstandings when people think I offer something on my site that I really don't. Probably it's a generation thing--I still think it would be courteous to ask first.


 9:19 am on Mar 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

I don't belong to the young generation, but I never ask or tell when I link out. If a site's contents is important to the visitors of my site, I feel I must link to it - regardless of reciprocity too (both-way benefits are uncommon in my case). Nobody has complained yet. But the site must be perfectly on topic.

Less than two webmasters out of ten who have linked to me have ever contacted me. However, my sites are information sites and it's hard to see any real competition issues. A few links to me causing inadvertent 302 page hijackings in SE's have forced me to intervene though.


 11:20 am on Mar 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

I think it depends on the type of site. A content site (as evidenced by statements such as 'my readers would find interesting') may get links naturally but many commercial sites have very little chance of getting these so link exchange is a must.

On that note then, I use Arelis to track link exchanges, though for this purpose there surely is other software. I have also moved away from the links page/directory to finding relevant(ish) areas of my site for links.


 11:24 am on Mar 4, 2005 (gmt 0)


say you have an information website and would like to link another site you feel helps your readers.

But the other website wants you to take down the link, do you have you? Well i mean can he sue or anything of the like?

I would like to think i can link to who ever i like.


troels nybo nielsen

 11:43 am on Mar 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

Raymond, you can link to anything that you want to link to. Of course if another webmaster kindly asks you to remove a link it may be the most sensible thing to do so. But you don't have to.

creative craig

 2:13 pm on Mar 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

I would like to think i can link to who ever i like.

You can, your website your property as such!


 2:33 pm on Mar 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

I think it's a little tacky to put up a link to someone's site without telling them

It's worth reviewing what links were invented for -- as opposed to the insane uses they have been put:




 3:55 pm on Mar 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

tbear: I agree. the most important factor (to me) when considering a link exchange (or a non-recip link) is whether it will help my visitors...

create good content and the links (non recip) will eventually roll in automatically...

my two URLs,


 7:33 pm on Mar 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

As big business gets onto the internet things are becoming more complicated and regulated. Currently, there are few legal precedents on ownership and fair use of internet materials, but (GEICO vs Google for example) things are changing fast. It's possible that a link to or from someone else's site could constitute a legal issue in the future.

At the same time as I hear you all going "phooey, I want to put a link to whatever will benefit my site and page rank," I have also run into people who don't understand the internet at all and feel that any link relating to their site takes traffic away from it. I don't agree with them, but I honor their wishes. I have a little caveat tacked on my wall that says "Be careful of the toes you step on today because they may be connected to the ass you have to kiss tomorrow."

The people who inhabit this world haven't changed since we first stood upright and thought of ways to outdo our neighbors. I believe that a little prudence and a little courtesy go a long way.


 6:11 am on Mar 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

This thread has deviated from the original post, but I find the new direction interesting and important. Needless to say, courtesy is always allowed, but I would like to stress Berners-Lee's well-known views (see the above links).

It could be a dangerous development if we let ask-before-linking become the standard on the web. In addition to the intentional trouble webmasters could cause each other there would always be webmasters who do not understand they are expected to respond, and in a timely manner. What do you do if you today ask for permission and get no reply? Do you feel you can still put up that link?

As far as I know legal issues have aroused from cases where a site has contemplated to cash in upon someone else, or damage them in some way, and perhaps refused to take down the link. I.e. intentional or unintentional malicious linking causing losses to another site.

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