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Link Development Forum

Is it even worth it?
Potential link partner has 150 links/page

 8:23 am on Dec 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

I am currently working about 4-12 hours per day on a massive reciprocal link exchange program with 4 sites (theme related) I own. I am going about it the hard way, but the right way. No link farms. Theme or semi-theme related as well as off theme sites I just think my visitors would like.

After spending a lot of time hunting down what I hope is another link partner, I get to his links page and my heart sinks:

The "idiot" (a word I use out of frustration for wasting my time) has a links page with 75 or 100 or 150 links on it.

With that many links my traffic possibilities are about zero. And if I am even looking at his links page it means his home page has at least a PR 5. Most cases, his links page also has a pr of 4 or higher.

But with a generally accepted dampening factor of .85 and his PR 4 or 5 being divided up among 75-150 other sites, I've been asking myself, 'What's the use of wasting my time of putting his link on my site, writing up an email, sending it, then trying to follow up on it for the next 10 days.'

I try to put no more than 15-20 links on a single page for my own site. And I try to divide them up into relevant themes. I try to be considerate with my PR, in other words.

And since I would clearly be giving the other webmaster a better PR vote, and I am practically getting nothing in return as far as PR reciprocation, my question:

Is it even worth it to ask for a link exchange?

(I am not a mathematician but I am guestimating his link would be about worthless in PR value if divided up over 100 other links. Yes?)



 7:59 pm on Dec 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

As you describe the situation, I'd tend to agree that it's not worth it to even bother to ask for a link on that huge links page.

But if your site has a decent PR, why don't you try to negotiate a more favorable deep link exchange. You'll probably have to offer more PR to them than they'll initially return to you, but consider it as an investment, hoping that their site will grow and make the exchange more equitable over time.


 8:17 pm on Dec 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

Obviously this web site owner knows little about strategic link exchanges, PageRank, and the power of links.

Obviously you have at least some knowledge in this area.

Today -- knowledge is not just a powerful tool but also a way to leverage a relationship.

Help the guy and in return get a better deal for yourself.

In addition, if he has any influence with the web site owners he is linked to, the relationship is much valuable than the a few links from just him.


 8:24 pm on Dec 29, 2002 (gmt 0)


most link pages with too many links would split their links amongst several pages with less links, as you suggest. However if this split-up is done from a generic "link-page" towards sub-sets of link pages, mathematically speaking, you get less Pagerank as linked to partner. (twice the dampening factor, the 75-150 links page has, or the Pagerank is still divided amongst the 100 or so links).

It is funny that most expect a recip link from a higher, and less diluted Pagerank page and never vice-versa ;)

Personally, I just ask a link for my content.
Pages that deserve links from my site have already gotten them in the natural course of creating content.


 9:58 pm on Dec 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

Thank you for some interesting and helpful replies.

The one thing I should have mentioned in my original post is I am starting to feel as if I am running out of worthwhile theme/semi-theme related link partners and I am starting to run into junk sites.

I've got a couple ideas to keep going including negotiating special "deals." I also may go back and start at the beginning and try again with the people that rejected me in the first round.

Thanks again.


 9:16 pm on Dec 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

Zapatista try a site search in DMOZ on some of your keyphrases. Take a look at the directory structure and the site that appear.

Site appearances not currently linked are more (normally quality) possibilities and the directory structure -- possible new areas to move into.


 10:56 am on Dec 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

Well, I have tried that. Out of a population of 800 theme and semi theme related sites, maybe 25 percent have link pages. The 800 does not include junk sites.

Of those, there is a certain type I don't want to link with because I think they offer a scam product. My ethics. Weed out those that won't link to me for whatever reason and the pool gets smaller.

So I am forced to go semi-theme, semi-semi-theme related sites. Out in those realms, you meet these uneducated, moronic webmasters with 150 links per page.

Only a very few webmasters in my theme, semi-theme, have the courtesy and brains to put 10-20 links per page.

I actually had one brag during a link exchange his page was a PR 6. I didn't have the heart to tell him that when there are 100+ links on it, his PR 6 is not impressive.

So when I complain here about these 75-150 links per page webmasters, I am also thinking to myself I am running out of options. I may have no choice but to trade links with them for whatever small value it is worth.

The way I see it, 1. I can negotiate some special and deep link exchanges. 2. Build up the PR of my non-commercial sites which link back to the commercial ones. 3. Swap links with these ignorant webmasters and hope that sheer numbers can drive my PR up.

I still hunt for a good site that meets an acceptable criteria for a link exchange. Often, it takes hours and hours. Once in awhile I strike gold. Not too often.


 11:05 am on Dec 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

Naturally, is different for each area, but have you considered targetting industries that may share the same users as you?

You could offer a content exchange (articles, etc), which would have links back to your respective sites. Obviously not a large scale....you want to keep your site 80% orginal at least.

For example if you sell camping supplies, target regional tourist information sites with articles about camping (top tips, etc) in exchange for a link back to your site. In some cases you will get the article link and the links section link! ;)

In return (although not necessary) they can provide your site with local tourist information - instant content! :)

Your site becomes a better resource and you are getting qualified referals from elsewhere!



 12:46 pm on Dec 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

Thanx JOAT - I am going to chew on that one for awhile.



 1:24 pm on Dec 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

Zapatista, while sites with "link pages" are the most obvious and easy targets, you are likely to run into a lot of what you describe - loooong lists of links that provide little value in terms of PR or traffic potential. It may be worth your effort to work on links from sites WITHOUT links pages. This is certainly more time consuming, and you won't succeed all the time, but in the long run the links you get will be more valuable.


 4:36 pm on Dec 31, 2002 (gmt 0)

I don't worry about pagerank and linkpop when link-exchanging.

If the site has useful information which benefits my users, the site has useful information which benefits my users. That's my only basis for determining whether or not a site should get a link from one of my sites.

PR changes, contents change, nothing is constant. As long as a site meets my criteria (useful information which benefits my users) it gets a link.


 8:03 am on Jan 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

rogerd, I've tried that a bit. Will probably try it again more agressively. Thanks.


 8:05 am on Jan 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

weisenator, I grew up in your state. We need Osborne to come back!


 2:02 am on Jan 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

What a coincidence, I just got another link exchange request from a guy who has about 300 to 400 links on one page. What a mess. I'm going to write him back with a tutorial.


 8:31 pm on Jan 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

Question: do the outbound links from a website dilute PR of the whole site, or just the pages they originate from?


 9:00 pm on Jan 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

Here's the problem I see with too many links on a page.

1. It looks like a link farm.
2. It really serves no benefit to the visitor.
3. The dampening factor does not even come into play when you have that many outgoing links on a page. It's a moot point.

Every time I visit a page like this, I go right back to where I was and look for other resources. If you are serious about your link exchanges and they are there to serve your visitors, then you will take the time to nurture them.

When you've got that many reciprical link partners, you need to set them up in a directory type structure. If not, PR is of no value to those you are linking to. Take a PR6 and do the calculation based on 100 links on the page, what do you get? A fraction...

Also, when doing link exchanges, make sure to link to the appropriate content. Don't always shoot for a link to your home page as that is not where the visitor needs to end up in most instances. Make sure you have a plan for proper link exchange.

Let's say you have five main categories on your site. Your linking campaign should target those categories and links should be labeled appropriately. Don't have them all coming in to the home page, you need to spread the wealth and make sure the visitor is one click away from what they are looking for (from the referring website).

In a more defined link strategy, you may be able to work outbound links into your existing content. For example, a reader is browsing a page on your site. You make reference to a product or service within one of your paragraphs. Well, provide a link to that reference or product and make sure it opens a new window. Not javascript, but a plain ole' target="_blank" does the trick.

In a bulk link exchange environment, directory style is the only way to do it. It won't work any other way. Oh, the page will work, but it will have little to no value to both your visitors or the bots. Or in this case, the transfer of PR.


 9:24 pm on Jan 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

Question: do the outbound links from a website dilute PR of the whole site, or just the pages they originate from?

Directly, they effect only the single page. But since among the links on that page are, presumably, links back to other pages on the same site, there's some indirect impact on the rest of the site as well.


 9:35 pm on Jan 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

Question: do the outbound links from a website dilute PR of the whole site, or just the pages they originate from?


Directly, they effect only the single page. But since among the links on that page are, presumably, links back to other pages on the same site, there's some indirect impact on the rest of the site as well.


But the page that the outgoing link is on in effect does not drop in PageRank - the actually PageRank of the page is sub divided by another linking channel, that page still retain this exact same PR as before.


 1:33 am on Jan 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

But the page that the outgoing link is on in effect does not drop in PageRank - the actually PageRank of the page is sub divided by another linking channel, that page still retain this exact same PR as before.

Re-reading my previous post I see it's worded in such a way that it might seem to say something different, and incorrect. So, to clarify: adding links to a page directly affects only that page, and that direct effect is a change in the PR that single page passes on through each link. Changing the number of outgoing links on a page has no direct impact on that page's own PageRank.

But, the other point -- that it has a more minor impact on pages within the same site to which it links -- can mean it has an indirect effect on the same page in the same way. If it reduces the PR of another page in the site, and that page links back to the page that was changed, the changed page's PR will then be affected to a smaller degree.


 7:22 am on Jan 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

see related thread:


 10:18 pm on Jan 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

A link is a link. If a link page is page rank 6 even with a lot of links on it it will help you more than a page rank 1 site with very few links. Also a site that will actually link to you even with lots of links per page is better than the site with 10 links per page that will never link to you. And if the link page has many links that means usually that the webmaster is active in trading links. This means that even if there are 500 links on the page that you can be assured that in the future hundreds more webmasters of various sites will visit the site to try to trade links with the link page. There is your traffic and some will be interested in your stuff too. Some of the webmasters going to the big link page to trade links will also see your site and perhaps offer you a link trade.

If you get 10,000 links from link pages with 200 links per page I assure you that you will get traffic from them. Link building is about quantity as well as quality. If you worry about how many links there are on a page you are spending too much time on a low level potential link partner. Decide if the link is even worth the 1 minute to add a link and email the owner or not. If not move on to the next potential link partner.


 6:31 am on Jan 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

Sorry, but you and I are in total disagreement with just about everything.

I prefer quality over quantity any day.

I don't want to turn my site into one that smells like an FFA with 10,000 links. This quantity approach increases my chances of linking to a site that is a "link farm" or "bad community" and getting my site banned from Google which happens often enough to scare me not to risk it and waste all my hard work.

With 100 links or 300 links on a page in small type, nobody is going to find my site and the PR is mathematically worthless. Like you said, the most likely traffic source I'll get is other webmasters looking for links. Sure, that might give me more traffic but it will give me junk traffic that is worthless.

Not all links are created equal and not all traffic is created equal either.

Furthermore, if I am looking for a link exchange, I want something that is equal in quality to what I am giving the other webmaster. When I see 100, 150, and even 300 links on a page, I see a selfish webmaster that doesn't give a damn about what he offers past and potential link partners.

If he/she doesn't have consideration for me, why should I give him my consideration?

Google doesn't penalize you for who links to you because you can't always control that. However, they do penalize you for who you link to, and GoogleGuy has said as much. With 10,000 outbound links, you risk getting a penalty or ban for your site.

On just 50 quality links, I was able to put my site at #5, #1, #1 and #21 on my best keywords, respectively, this last update. I worked my a&* off for those links since they were theme or semi-theme related. I think Google recognizes theme relation and weights more for it.

From a design and surfer standpoint sites with 150 links haphazardly organized on a page is unattractive and unprofessional looking. It reflects poorly on the company.

This link is a link philosophy is a 1999 internet marketing mindset. Sure 10,000 links would probably give me lots of traffic, but it also puts me at high risk for getting banned by Google. I am not going to risk that. If I had a choice right now of 10,000 links or being listed in Google, I will take Google anyday.

I get link requests all the time from webmasters with low pr and very large link pages. Since the work is mostly done for me, it would be easy to add their link. However, I don't accept them because I am not going to risk getting my site penalized or banned by linking to "contaminated" web-sites.

The one thing I agree with you on is this: "Also a site that will actually link to you even with lots of links per page is better than the site with 10 links per page that will never link to you."

That is true. However, when I have exhaused my population of high quality links, I will fall back on that as long as their links page is PR4 or greater.

The quantity approach can backfire. I will take quality any day and I think Google prefers that too.



 7:49 am on Jan 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

Quality links are better than quantity links anyway.
But you should link quality sites even if they will not link to you. If one is link building more links rather than less is not bad though.
Segment your links and only link to sites where your link is manually added. You should start with links related to your site and if a site is related it is not usually a bad link. If your site is big it might very well have 10,000 quality outbound links. If you are concerned about only linking where you benefit exactly the same as the site you link to then you would be running a top site of sorts, that is not what linking is about.
If you limit those you will link to only to page rank 4 sites and higher you realy are limiting yourself. You should prioritize link requests to sites with high page rank first, but a lower page rank site is not necessarily something you should avoid. Links themselves generate traffic even without pagerank. And I do highly doubt that 10,000 links from individual sites to your site is generally going to put you in danger of being removed from Google. Thats a lot of links more than many large sites on the web. I doubt Google mathematically can punish sites with so many inbound links as there would be no patern of potential FFA or link farm activities to analyze with so many links and thats what Google punishes for. The point I was making is that low level link requests should be either done or not, no real thought is required. If it looks worthwhile request if not go to the next potential link request. Just get a list and make requests. Don't expect sites to alter their links per page or site design for you as a link requester though. Expect only a small percentage of those you request links from to actually add your site anyway.


 10:36 am on Jan 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

Well some of what you say might be true. However, I am just not going to take the chance of getting banned for who I link to.

Besides, low number high quality links got me top ranking. I am in one of the more unique areas for marketing on the web.

I just found this on a different thread but Google confirms my original post for this thread.
"Keep the links on a given page to a reasonable number (fewer than 100)." [google.com]

It also states: "In particular, avoid links to web spammers or "bad neighborhoods" on the web as your own ranking may be affected adversely by those links."

The reason I would rather link to a PR 4 is because it shows the highest liklihood the site is not violating any of Google's spam policies.

A PR 1 or 2 on a site that is 2 years old with 100+ links is a risk.

I am not going to risk it and don't recommend others to either.


you wrote> "If you limit those you will link to only to page rank 4 sites and higher you realy are limiting yourself."

True, but I also limit my risk. I've seen what happens to people who get banned for life and it could take me 3-6 months to build a site back up.

you wrote> "And I do highly doubt that 10,000 links from individual sites to your site is generally going to put you in danger of being removed from Google."

You didn't read what I wrote. Google won't ban you for who links to you because you can't control that. They will penalize/ban you for who you link to which is taken from their quote I gave above.

I don't dictate to anyone how to build their links pages. If I don't like their links page, I just won't link to them.


 9:28 pm on Jan 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

I get link requests from sites that have a link directory page with links to a separate page for every imaginable type of subject such as entertainment, automobiles, health, animals, art, etc. The categories are only occassionally related to the content of the web site. How bad is that for getting ranked with Google?


 9:54 pm on Jan 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hi Surprise355, Welcome to WebmasterWorld. It sounds like the link requests you're receiving are from webmasters that are using Zeus to build a reciprocal links directory. Look at the PR for the link directory index page, it's probably PR0. I would avoid linking to any of these sites, use the site search [searchengineworld.com] and search for zeus, you'll find plenty of related discussions. You can start with these:

  • Zeus and Google [webmasterworld.com]
  • Zeus and Google (again!) [webmasterworld.com]

    I wouldn't worry about these sites linking to you, but I wouldn't want to link back to them.

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