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Somebody with a brand new site (no search engine listings, no inbound links in any search engine, gray toolbar) just sent an email request to me to do a reciprocal link. It's a very professional looking, well done site on a similar theme as mine. Since the webmaster is reciprocal link savvy, I suspect the site will eventually be well placed.
My questions are:
Would you link to this site now if you were me in the hopes that it will soon be link-worthy? (I usually don't link to sites lower than PR3, but since this site looks very professional I thought maybe I'd make an exception.)
If not, do you have a polite way of pointing out that it would not be an equitable link exchange at the present time and would prefer to defer the request until the site has some traffic and placement?
Any suggestions would be appreciated.
The web design firm was listed on the site. Their home page is a PR6. The web development firm has a list of client sites, mostly PR5, and lists the one that wants the link as "under development" so I think it is legitimately a new site and not a banned one.
The web design firm does advertise search engine promotion, but it doesn't look like they are spammers at all. I think they know about reciprocal links but probably not much more. The client site I looked at didn't seem to be optimized especially well for any particular keywords. It didn't use a lot of the basic tips one could get from just hanging around the webmaster forums. Which is probably good news for me because I wouldn't be linking then to a potential "bad neighborhood site" that would get kicked out of Google for spamming techniques.
A search for the product advertised on the site doesn't appear in any other pages, so I don't think it is anyone starting over with a new domain. I think it is a new product on a new site.
I found one link to the site in Google from a PR6 page, but the site itself isn't showing up yet. I'm assuming that's okay because it is a new site and proabably just didn't get crawled yet, while the site linking to it did. (Please let me know if I'm wrong in this assumption.)
Whois shows the site as just registered a few months ago to a company in the same state as the web design firm.
The site is on a related theme, some overlap with mine, but selling different products so its not a direct competitor.
I think I will link to the site. Thanks for all of the great advice!
One more question. Is the whois data for this site "I found one link to the site in Google from a PR6 page", the same as the one requesting a link?
Good question. I just checked - no, it is not. The link is from a site owned by someone from a different state with a different web design firm listed as the technical contact.
[edited by: Jane_Doe at 5:59 am (utc) on Aug. 25, 2002]
Brand new (current) orphan sites are excellent for fast turnaround on PageRank, particular since you are effectively getting all of their PR (at least until they multiple their outbound links).
You have now inspired me to look closer. Especially so since I have virtually decimated my outward links since being penalised by Google 10 months back and only have ones to PR4 sites and higher now.( my penalty probably relates to my being involved in Zeus program at that time - among other things).
You can add a new page to your site, a... "what's new links page".
Those links where the sites move up in PR vice down deserves to receive the same courtesy from you and the PR link back and those that drop in PR, stay the same (low) or those that provide no traffic... well let the owners know your intensions and break the link completely.
In addition, as these are reciprocating make sure:
2. check their robot tags on the page where your link is, and
3. check their robots.txt to see if the directory or page allows bots to index. (this is assuming the page is not already in google).
All of this can be done very quickly and by default helps to protect you. External links help alot and in many ways but they are also very problematic and hurt more if you don't manage them wisely.