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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.

     
9:44 pm on Dec 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

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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?

10:33 pm on Dec 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Small guy, instead of complaining about your link partners, how about making their lives easier?

Perhaps your system is too complicated. Also, why do you expect people to link to your first? Why don't you link to potential partners first? From my point of view, you should be happy that some folks even reply to you. Most people who ask for links are considered spammers. You're lucky that you can get that far.

3:19 am on Dec 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

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"But I'm rambling and Christmas is coming. So, I'll end with a Merry Christmas to all of you, including all those annyoing folks with crappy sites requesting links.

Why Oh why, can't I ever a get a request from a genuine and real quality site for a change...."

Maybe you come across like one of those [annoying] folks with crappy sites.

But a belated Merry Christmas to you anyhow, and maybe make a new Year's resolution not to generalize nor make unpleasant comments about sites based on the actions of the webmasters who run them.

3:22 am on Dec 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

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"Most people who ask for links are considered spammers."

ROTFL!

4:10 am on Dec 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Perhaps your system is too complicated. Also, why do you expect people to link to your first? Why don't you link to potential partners first? From my point of view, you should be happy that some folks even reply to you. Most people who ask for links are considered spammers. You're lucky that you can get that far.

The system is uncomplicated, and it works very well. Every week the site picks up one or two links. Without me having to do much work, and it STILL takes a half hour to delete all the spam submissions.

Going out and trying to find link partners takes a lot more work, and most of the time they don't respond to you.

Yes, most of the submitted sites are pretty spammy, and I'm not really proud about having a directory of such sites, but that's what it takes to get the stupid search engines to acknowledge your site.

1:20 pm on Dec 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Old Expat, I don't mean to sound snobbish or anything, but I can tell you right off the bat, that my sites aren't crappy. Some folks may not be interested in the contents - but that another story. My contents is real, unique and extremely targeted toward specific industries.

Small Web Guy,I'm the type of guy who says that you let your customers tell you if your products and services are good. They know better than you. If people have difficulty using your link registration system, they are not dum, your system is not simple to use. That's all.

Also, since you find that trying to look for link partners is more work, than you can't really complain when people send you spammy links. You only reap as much as you're willing to put efforts in. If you were putting more efforts in your link development work, you would get better sites.

I put ZERO efforts, and all I get are Italian sites selling leather belts and Spanish fireworsk equipments... Totally unrelated to me, of course.

6:56 pm on Dec 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

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From AcroJedi
If you see a reciprocal webmaster posting links to your site that actually redirect through GOOGLE...

[google.com...]

Yes, this will still take them to that page, but the Google spider bot knows to ignore these links... meaning no page rank benefit.

This gave me an idea. Instead of deleting links when I find that people are using nefarious methods for diplaying my links, I'll just change their link to this structure. This way, we are still linking to one another and can potentially pass traffic back and forth, there just is no PR benefit.

If they complain, then I can say "sure, move my link to a page that is cached and indexed in Google..."

7:39 pm on Dec 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

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it STILL takes a half hour to delete all the spam submissions

Suggestion: start using your robots.txt to ban known spiders from link exchange programs, and become less visible to the automate-everything crowd.

9:10 am on Dec 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I just changed to an automated system for adding and checking backlinks on my web site. I had page ranks of 5 on the 4 old resource pages I had and then the first page went down to a 4. I could not figure out why. That is when I automated as I just could not keep up with link exchange requests.

I discovered upon the system checking that more than 30% of the sites were no longer linking to me. This fits into what I have read here in this thread. That is a big percentage not to still be linking to me. and no wonder my PR went down on the old first link page.
I am trying to get the percentage back up but it is taking time as I have to find a current email addresses for the web sites.

The other thing I have done since the link pages are categorized to help the new pages obtain page rank is to have a link to every category page on the bottom of the home page. Maybe I need to add that to all pages. I know the pages are now indexed by Google but the page rank has not been updated.

I had no clue about a lot of the tricks listed on this thread that web masters could do. I realize that probably some of those I have linked with have used these things. I know some are blocked from being checked for reciprical links by the automated system.
Thanks for all the info and it looks like I may have rambled on a bit much. :-)
Carol

4:58 am on Dec 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

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"Old Expat, I don't mean to sound snobbish or anything, but I can tell you right off the bat, that my sites aren't crappy. Some folks may not be interested in the contents - but that another story. My contents is real, unique and extremely targeted toward specific industries."

You are the one who was slinging the "crappy" term around, not I. I doubt *very* seriously if you have ever seen many/most of the sites .. yet you dub them "crappy" and their webmasters "spammers" because they opt to seek out links and link exchanges.

You do *indeed* sound like a an amateur snob. The real pros doff their noses with much more panache.

5:49 pm on Jan 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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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:

So to avoid sites employing either of these 2 methods would the following be sufficient?:

1. Goto the page where the site links to you.
2. Right mouse click on an area near a link.
3. If the options include "open frame in new window" then forget the site (they are probably using one of the above mentioned deceptions).
4. If open frame in new window doesn’t appear then check the source code for mouseover and check the source code from internally referenced links.
5. If the html looks normal then the site is fine to exchange links with.

I'm trying to put together some quick and easy steps to follow to check out sites.

6:28 pm on Jan 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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this G PR update is helping root out some of the bad ones, sites I recipted with a few months ago have homepages with 4,5 or 6 and link pages with 0...

of course even some of the ones with PR on links pages have turned out to be stinkers, employing a wide array of the methods discussed above...

wouldn't it be nice if people could just play fair?

11:40 pm on Jan 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Well, I didn't get my link pages sorted out enough yet of finding sites that were not linking and URLs that were forwarded to some other site from what I had linked with origianlly before Google came through. Unless it doesn't like separate pages for different types of links. I got a page rank on a lot of my new categorized links pages but only 3s.
But all my other pages went from mostly 5s with a few 4s to all 4s with the exception of my 5 home page. I am so discouraged. I also have been making some changes to the content, obviously bad timing.
3:01 am on Jan 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Huh, if you hadn't mentioned the change in PR, I wouldn't have noticed. But my homepage actually went UP in PR with the changes, as did all my sub pages ( a whopping 1 point gain across the board).

I think I'm enjoying this dance.

This 133 message thread spans 5 pages: 133