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And the tactical links which you normally have to beg, buy or promise or blackmail. These are on pages
that are high PR on the toolbar, and have few outgoing. These are the ones that act like whaleing harpoons and pull you through the serps.
The other sort will get you penalised. I know, it just happened to me on msn. I swoppped poor links with the world, as as a result had 40% of the listings
for actually quite a competitive keyword. Silly as I was already position 1 3 5
Sigh. Don't bother with the low ones. It's spam.
Bad ones that will get you into trouble are anything that is 18 rated. gambling, porn, alcohol, smokes, medications, drugs etc
4 links on a high PR empty page are better than 40,000 submits
Ranking is not as important as getting visitors.
So strategic links from seemingly unrelated sites can make extremely good business sense.
For example, I run a UK specific personal finance website <snip> and I have recently placed a link on a dog breeders website.
You may think I'm mad but my site offers pet insurance.
Now my pet insurance page has risen to 14th out of my 30 top referral pages!
If the search engines want to penalize me for having links from 'seemingly' unrelated websites (because I intend to get more) then I firmly believe they are out of line.
What's more, the more visitors your site gets, the more some search engines like it...
So with regard to links from unrelated sites, if it gets visitors, who cares what the search engines think!
But I would definately avoid link farms, linking with adult, gambling, drug, hate, 'directory' sites that are just link farms...etc. You get the idea.
[edited by: sugarrae at 3:39 pm (utc) on Mar. 25, 2006]
[edit reason] No urls per the TOS. Thanks. [/edit]
A link from a pet website to a pet insurance webpage is not unrelated. Not to the human eye and not to a search engine "eye". A pet site linking to a site selling Viagara would be unrelated. The search engines are fairly smart.