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Google's Guideline on Link Exchange
Is it unfair to webmasters who exchange links w/ editorial discretion?
cnvi




msg:3388057
 8:44 pm on Jul 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

A webmaster guideline specifically mentioning link exchange has been published over at Google:

[google.com...]

It states (in part):

Examples of link schemes can include:

Link exchange and reciprocal links schemes ("Link to me and I'll link to you.")

I will carefully presume this guideline is more targeted towards some webmasters who participate in full duplex (fully automated) link schemes where links are obtained in high volume with little to no editorial control.

However, I wonder how this will affect those webmasters who obtain links sometimes through relevant link exchange while maintaining editorial control?

Is this Google webmaster guideline over-reaching?

Will this guideline affect how you link with other sites?

Do you think this guideline is fair?

Is Google dictating how webmasters will obtain relevant traffic apart from search returns?

 

DomainDrivers




msg:3404316
 4:13 pm on Jul 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

As was pointed out previously by someone with some reasonable sense, and a sense of history, reciprocation between two sites same realm is one of the original and most basic forms of marketing a website. It existed long before Google exsited, or any other search engine.

If two sites in the same realm of interest need to (or even if they simply want to) link to each other, they should not have to worry about a private third party, such as a search engine, looking at that arrangement.

Bewenched




msg:3404344
 4:36 pm on Jul 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

I think it is completely unfair.

We link to several of our manufacturers so that customers can do further research, however most link back to us for the customer to search from. Is this going to be seen as a link exchange? How can they possibly penalize us or sites that do this? We're making our site good for our customers and is in no way doing a "link exchange"

Jane_Doe




msg:3404378
 5:18 pm on Jul 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

How can they possibly penalize us or sites that do this? We're making our site good for our customers and is in no way doing a "link exchange"

I doubt that they are. I suspect that they are just looking for natural linking patterns which normally would include some reciprocal linking, and trying to eliminate sites that are getting the majority of their links from negotiated link exchanges made by webmasters or third party link developers, and not many links based on the site's own merits.

[edited by: Jane_Doe at 5:20 pm (utc) on July 25, 2007]

europeforvisitors




msg:3404390
 5:33 pm on Jul 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

If two sites in the same realm of interest need to (or even if they simply want to) link to each other, they should not have to worry about a private third party, such as a search engine, looking at that arrangement.

As Jane_Doe suggests, there's no reason to assume that those site owners need to worry about reasonable and normal two-way links.

As for whether a "private third party, such as a search engine," should look at that arrangement, it's worth remembering that anything published on the open Web is visible to third parties (both private and public). That's why intranets were invented--and why Webmasters who want to avoid the scrutiny of search engines block crawlers with robots.txt.

GerBot




msg:3404450
 6:35 pm on Jul 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

Bah,
link exchanges still work.

I know this site that ranks #1 for some really really tough terms and has millions of inbound links.
But it also links back to every one of those sites.
Not only that, it also links back to every pages for each of these websites.
Then it goes and links to every other website on the entire Internet.

the site is Google.

would you like another example?

glengara




msg:3404576
 8:53 pm on Jul 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

DomainDrivers, you've fought a good fight but your "system" is fecked, link directories are now one big target....

Marcia




msg:3404586
 9:09 pm on Jul 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

Aha! I thought the site I saw at #999 for their keyword that put a robots.txt exclusion on their link page looked familiar. I exchanged links with them a while back (mine is the identical topic, PR3 page with 6 OBLs to good, on-topic sites and only half recips) when they were doing decently and weren't doing that - quite a decent site actually.

I thought of putting up a negative description or using nofollow, but just pulled the link altogether and will replace it with a straight, unreciprocated OBL to a quality site. It is awful tempting to notify their other "link partners" though.

aleksl




msg:3404650
 10:11 pm on Jul 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

Google can keep playing their pipe...no luck putting that linker genie back into the bottle.

Yahoo! with their web directory - and any web directory for that matter - should forget about ever being ranked in Google. Boo. Scary (insert sarcasm here)

Not gonna happen.

>Is this Google webmaster guideline over-reaching?
Yes

>Will this guideline affect how you link with other sites?
No, work as if Google doesn't exist, remember?

>Do you think this guideline is fair?
Nothing is fare. Ignore this blah from Google (there will be plenty more where this came from), keep doing what you were doing.

CainIV




msg:3408143
 11:35 pm on Jul 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

Quote of what google deems bad... "Buying or selling links"

G never said that, they said that buying or selling links for the purposes of gaining pagerank or gaming the engine isn't good.

Buying links with the intent of brining qualified partners to your website that will convert is ultimately fine. That being said, if you buy a link, traffic and conversion should be first and foremost on your mind.

I'm still not convinced that Google smells as much as SEO's thing they do here.

1. I see websites with lots of reciprocal links and very few of anything else ranking. One thing I have really noticed over the last year is a gradual "buying of hype" from large scale 'newsletters' that claim this or that in SEO without any logical proof or control studies. Because of the 'spread' of the message and the sheer numbers of readers, many junior SEO's read and believe the statements to be true without validating this themselves. This leads to massive changes without any real testing or knowledge of why changes are made.

2. I see websites with artificially created (three way etc) links and paid links doing very well.

My sense is that factors such as footprints, build time / rate, quality of pages, possibly theming fit the current scenario much better.

spiritualseo




msg:3408435
 12:10 pm on Jul 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

Instead of asking webmasters to stop link exchanges, Google should tell webmasters only to link to good quality sites or exchange links only with good quality sites.

I get a whole lot of link exchange requests everyday, but I linkback only to the best of the sites. I carefully have a look at their products/services. content and the like. So how is this bad?

callivert




msg:3408446
 12:32 pm on Jul 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

I get a whole lot of link exchange requests everyday, but I linkback only to the best of the sites. I carefully have a look at their products/services. content and the like. So how is this bad?

It's not. Has Google 950'd your site? No?
Me neither, and I indulge in the occasional link exchange also.
Next topic please.
Here's one: Why it's so unfair that Dell uses elf labor to make their computers, when everyone knows elves are not unionised.

CainIV




msg:3409240
 5:46 am on Jul 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

I get a whole lot of link exchange requests everyday, but I linkback only to the best of the sites. I carefully have a look at their products/services. content and the like. So how is this bad?

It's not, who said it was? :)

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