How to Identify Bad Link Exchange Transactions

Now that more emphasis (to get better ranking in SERPs) is put on the quality of links rather than the quantity, I will try, in this article, to identify the signs that may be precursors of bad link exchange transactions.

  • Quality of content

    I try to make sure that my links come from pages with original content that are not sourced from an affiliate program or duplicated hundreds of times on the Internet. I want links from websites that someone seemingly to have taken time and effort to put together. In addition, it is steer clear of ecommerce sites that is only recently launched and heavily SEOed.

  • The links page

    Check what the links pages are like. Definitely avoid links pages that have over 50 links, or use dynamic URLs, or are not ind exed by search engines.

  • The links page should be too far from the home page

    Search engine bots are unlikely to go more than three levels deep on any website. So links buried deeper may not be found. When looking for quality links look for websites that provide links as close to the home page as possible. Even a massive site like BBC News has a rule that every piece of content must be available within three clicks of the News home page.

  • The topic

    Unless the links page of the site receives a large amount of traffic or that they have a high PageRank, stick to sites about the same topic as your own. If your site is about widgets, I usually look for sites that are about widgets, widgeting, or anything widget-users would find useful.

  • The request email

    When I receive link request emails, anything that

    • Has a generic subject line (i.e. attn webmaster, link request, We linked to your site! etc)
    • Makes ludicrous claims (ie.e we believe ...)
    • Doesn't use personal names (i.e. Dear Site Owner -- you want a link from me - find out my name!)
    • Resembles an automated form email from bots
    • Contains excessive grammar/spelling mistakes
    • Are long and tells me how good links are for me etc etc etc.

    goes to the trash.
  • Quality of website

    I look for glaring typos, English mistakes, excessive fla shy banners, broken images, or the ever infamous animated Under Construction gifs.

  • Format of link

    I usually look at the source code of the links page to make sure that I will be receiving honest inbound backlinks. Does the site use rel=nofollow or external redirects for their outbound links? If so, they won't benefit you at all (SEO-wise) unless the link gets many human clickthroughs.

  • Are they willing to put the link in a "real" page of their site? If they are willing to place your link on a content page, then they are definitely my valued link partner.
  • If I see their phone number in the request email...

    Then I'd classify them as a valueable link partner. The same goes to your request emails: always include your name and phone number in order to be trusted.

    That's it for me. As you can see, I've only mentioned PageRank once. I believe that as long as a site has quality, it has a good potential (PageRank or otherwise) and is worthy to trade link with. Finally, although these are good criterias to stick to in order to identify good link partners when receiving requests, don't forget to see if you are adhering to these when you are the one sending requests!

    Tony Zhu is the owner of an online business resource website, InaWhim.com, the largest free resource for the new and experienced home business owner. At InaWhim.com, you will find massive listings of paid survey companies, products with free resell rights, exclusive quality articles, friendly community, and much more.

    In The News:

    Two-car crash outside St Mary's Hospital  Isle of Wight County Press
    Technology more effective at managing traffic congestion than building more roads  The London School of Economics and Political Science

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