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I cannot use previous performance of the keyword as a basis since I have had problems with it in the past....goes way up and down. Will this harm future ranking (all other things being equal, of course)? Should I ask the site owner to remove all of the links except for one? Is this a good thing?
IMHO, I'd avoid them like the plague.
Of course, nothings 100% about G's penalty/ranking, just educated guessing in the dark.
Looking at the gaming sites with PR4 and above, lots seem to have site wide links to each other. Some of the owners of those sites have 10 or more sites, so they must have some idea of what works and what doesn't. My son is one of those. From what I know from him, site wide links work fine.
same anchor text for all IBL's, many links at once, all links pointing to the homepage and no links to internal pages....those solutions should be avoided IMO or, at least, managed carefully.
I second that. I did what I thought was an index page to index page link exchange with a site some time ago. Little did I realise they put my link on all 2,000 of their pages pointing to my home page. I was 950'd a few days later and didn't know why. When I noticed all these extra links (a few months later) I removed their link and got them to remove all my links and my site came out of 950 a few days later. Could've been coincedence, but gaining an immediate rush of identical links all pointing to the home page trips a Google filter IMHO.
So far, I have not been 950'd for the keyword. I remain in the same place (same page) before the G found the links.
As this site gets more popular, the links may generate decent traffic for my site. I am cautious to ask for removal for this reason. Would it be better to report the link to G as a paid link even though it is not? It has the look of one.
Could've been coincedence, but gaining an immediate rush of identical links all pointing to the home page trips a Google filter IMHO.
So is this effect temporary? Or does the problem have less to do with the link itself and more to do with who's linking to who?