Reno - 7:15 pm on Feb 27, 2010 (gmt 0)
In the past people swapped links on link pages to generate traffic, now that's "bad" says G
This Google position which you describe is one of the worst things they've ever done. Link trading/swapping was a great aspect of the WWW in the early days as in was cooperative by its very nature. People worked together to help themselves and each other. That is admirable and gave the WWW a sense of empowerment for the little guy. Then Google gets to a dominant position and, purposely or not, gives the impression that trading links could theoretically work against you. Boom..... it drops off dramatically between individual websites (we all know that SEO firms contact us on a daily basis). This loss of communications between 2 small website owners to help further each other's business is a real shame, as it was a good thing, and its demise is laid squarely at Google's feet.