The Link Swapping Trap

If you want to make money on the web, you must get traffic
to your website. If you want to get traffic to your website,
you must have a high rank in google's search results. Google
ranks websites based upon the number of links that point to
the site.

Many novice webmasters believe they can trick Google into
giving their website a high rank by swapping links with
other webmasters. One reason they believe this, is because
"wanna-be" web marketing "experts" keep spouting that trash.

It's only partially true that Google ranks websites based
upon the number of links that point to the site. Google
uses a highly sophisticated page ranking formula that keeps
changing and evolving all the time. Google caught onto the
link swapping trick years ago.

Novice webmasters put all their link swaps on one
gigantically long page referred to as a "link farm". When
Google's robot finds a link farm, their ranking formula
penalizes the websites listed in the link farm. If Google
finds the same site listed in many link farms, they remove
that site from their search engine.

Just about every week I get an email message saying
"I placed a link to your website on my website. Please put
a link to my website on your website. Here's where you can
find your link on my website" ... followed by a link to a
single webpage containing hundreds of links ... a link farm.

I usually reply to such a message with a request to remove
the link to my website from their webpage. The novice
webmaster often responds with a message of pure astonishment.
Link swap requests have become so common lately that I have
been responding by clicking on the "Delete" button.

Every webmaster that wants to swap links has a website
with zero traffic. Even if Google didn't penalize websites
for being listed in a link farm, why would I want to send
traffic away from my website to a website that can't return
any traffic?

Not only are these novice webmasters not experienced in the
way of the web, they seem inexperienced in the way of the
world. The first rule of the universe is "you never get a
free lunch". If you want your website to rank high in Google,
you have to pay them. If you can't afford to pay them, you
have to do the work.

It's hard work to get traffic to your website. There is
only one method I know that works: put valuable, original
content on your website. Other websites, blogs, and forums
will post links to the valuable content on your website,
not with a link swap, but as a resource to their audience.

When someone places a legitimate link to valuable content
on their webpage, the webpage has low link density.
Google's page ranking formula gives the page a high score.
If a link to your webpage is found on a high scoring
webpage, that raises the rank of your webpage.

On the other hand, a page with a high link density, with
hundreds of links and little other content, gets a negative
score from Google. If a link to your webpage is found on a
webpage with a negative score, that lowers the rank of your
webpage.

Don't try to scam Google by swapping links, and don't
cooperate with foolish webmasters who think there is a
"free lunch". If you want to get a higher ranking in Google,
resulting in more traffic to your website, there is only
one way - good old fashion hard work.

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