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Thing is, they're giving me like 3-4 links from their pages for one link from my page. Sounds too good to be true, something must be wrong, right?
Well, I've checked the sites for nofollow tags and they are indexed in G. I've also checked the page(s) they want me to link to for excessive ads or hidden text or cloaking, but maybe there's something I'm missing.
I've only been doing this for a few months and I learn a new black hat technique every day. But I don't want to learn three months from now that a site I'm linking to is using something I've never heard of, so Google put me in the box.
Should I be checking whois for verifiable contact info?
Is there an online tool that checks pages for hidden text/cloaking/ other known issues that I might not know about? How, for instance, does one check for dup content? Google a clipping?
Or am I just paranoid?
Thanks for your input.
You get nothing from the deal, except a possible Google ban when someone caught the same way complains to google.
Unless it is a verifiable, personal email, from someone who has visited your site (and quotes enough about it to satisfy you of that), then it's (a) email spam AND (b) an SEO scam AND (c) will never deliver what they promise.
If you trouble to check, you'll find that co-operating is breaking two or three Google terms, and therefore puts you at risk. But probably not them, as their links to you will be on one of 36 throway sites replacing the 36 that got banned last week.
If there's full contact info on the sites/emails that would be another good sign. Consider giving a phone call if that's provided. If you email, be sure to ask a question that requires a thoughtful answer.
Also, check their Alexa traffic rank. Ranks lower than 300,000 are pretty decent.
You're not paranoid if everyone really is out to get you. But once in a while a good deal does come along.
Oh, and once the links are up, check and see if they actually drive you any traffic.