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This is link farming correct? Will it really help them?
As far as I know google knows of these tricks already and they really are not new so I do not believe it will help.
What is the general consensus here?
Adding links in places that don't make sense for readers usually doesn't yield good results.
Will it really help them?
if it is a link without a 'nofollow' tag, it will pass link equity, which is one of the ranking factors google gauges when determining which pages should be posted on it's front page when queried for relevant keywords. further they will receive traffic from visitors clicking on the link from your site
This is link farming correct?
if you are unsure of the other site's motives, be aware of link practices google warns against:
Don't participate in link schemes designed to increase your site's ranking or PageRank. In particular, avoid links to web spammers or "bad neighborhoods" on the web, as your own ranking may be affected adversely by those links.