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Friends don't tell friends: Avoiding Inbred Links
I happened across the donors page of an open source link directory script and recognized a cluster of names in there. I also noticed that the owner of the page had subsequently nofollowed the links that were listed on this PR 6 or 7 page, hehe. Whoops.
It's unwise, imo, to go about clustering your links with someone else's links. I keep my links as separate from the links of friends and associates as I can. So if I see clusters of links to websites I recognize, I often stay away because I want to create a map of inbound links that don't intersect with recognizable SEO IBLs.
If you find a donors page with a pr 7, it's best to keep it to yourself. Otherwise, all these great pages are going to show up all over the internet with the same gang of six listed in each one of them. Ack.
Look at who else is listed
If you see the same SEO brand names popping up in the link directories or text link pages you are considering advertising in, think twice. If those websites are already in there, that page may likely already be above the radar.
One thing I've been thinking a lot about lately is footprints, and the need not to leave any.
Which begs the question - Do we want links from the same places that the top ranking places have links? Or do we want links from on topic sites that don't have links to the top ranked sites?
Currently I do both - check out the succesful site's inbound links and do some begging. My attitude is that this tells Google et al that my site is about the same topic as the top ranked sites does it not? I also then use other tactics to develop unique links from relevant sites.
In short, don't we *want* the same footprints as the top ranked sites?
If you're going around to key authority sites to get links, I wouldn't be worried. If you're trying to keep up with and participate in every SEO trick out there, I think there's good advice from MB on finding your own neighborhoods to do it in.