When you first build a web site you need to show the search engines that your site is popular, and that other web site owners want to link to you. It is really hard to get webmasters to put a link to you without wanting something in return. Therefore we exchange reciprocal links. The webmaster puts a link to my page on his and vice versa.
However these reciprocal links are not always what they seem to be. Here is a list of evil tricks that webmaster use to avoid actually putting your link on their page.
Delay Tactics - You arrange to exchange a reciprocal link and the other webmaster seems to never get around to putting your link on their site. Therefore until he does, he is enjoying the benefits of a one way backlink. I f this happens you should remove their link.
Bury Links in Categories and Sections - I have been to sites where my link is listed in a category where you have to do 5 to 10 clicks just to find it. Are you kidding me!!! I found one link in Computers>Tutorials>Basic>Windows>Free>Free computer help. Nevertheless it is a link, however I do not do my reciprocal links like that. I put them 2-3 click from My home page.
Anchor text is not used correctly - You usually have your keyword as a anchor text that links to your site. However when an evil webmaster places your anchor link on their page, it points to another landing page before going to your site.
For example I use Free Computer Help as anchor text. If a web site has this link, a visitor presses it, goes to another page mentioning my site with the clickable text now being 'click here to visit', my anchor text is worthless!!!
Mention their Links Page in their robot.txt file - There are some sneaky ways to tell the search engines to not crawl certain pages on your web site. The webmaster may just write it blatantly in their robot.txt file to disallow the links page. They may also disguise the way they disallow it by putting it in another directory or folder and disallowing that .
The Reciprocal link appears to be a link until you click on it - This is why you must check your reciprocal links. I hate it when this happens and the webmaster says they had no idea this has happened... Yeah Right!!! They are so dumb, that they created a webpage, got ranked in the search engines, and probably made money from your stupidity.
A Mouse over of the reciprocal link shows my URL - Who cares if a mouse over shows your link.. When you press the link, does it actually go to your site??
Page Rank Deception - When you exchange a reciprocal link and their page rank may be for their homepage only. When you are on their links page the page rank may be lower.
Your reciprocal link is removed a few months later - If you are not constantly checking on your reciprocal links, webmasters take advantage of this and discretely remove your link, therefore turning their link on your page into a one way backlink to them. OOOOO Very Sneaky!!!
You can't even get to the links page from anywhere on their site - They have sent you the page where your link has been placed, and it is there, however when navigating from their home page, there is no way to get to your link... This is an obvious deception and you should forget about exchanging anything with this webmaster.
The add a NOfollow attribute to your link - This is a new way of putting a link on a site, all works fine, however when it says to nofollow, the search engines ignore it. I have recently found a few sites to be doing this. They have all had a ranking of around 5. No wonder, because all the reciprocal links are now counted as one way backlink. Here is an example of a Nofollow attribute with the:
href="http://www.tips4pc.com" rel="nofollow">Free Computer Help
Tips For Webmasters when exchanging reciprocal links
- If you cannot personally check the reciprocal link then it is not worth it.. You need to go to the exact page and click on the link to see where it goes and what is does.
- Check The content of the Website you want to exchange a reciprocal link with. Make sure it gives its visitors a sense of value and has original content. It is no good referring your visitors to a worthless web site that is out to do nothing but scam people out of their money.
- Don't worry about page rank when choosing a reciprocal link partner. I have chosen some with a Page rank of 0 that later ended up with a Page Rank of 5 or more. Every Web site starts at the bottom of the Page Rank system. But you have to start somewhere. And I say badluck to those sites that did not link to you when you had a page rank of 0. Because one day that very site may pass them in the ranking.
- Make sure the web site you intend to exchange reciprocal links with has relevant content for your users. For example if I exchange reciprocal links with another great computer help site it will benefit both web sites as the visitor is sure to find what they want on either of the sites.
- Reciprocal links are being abused by so many webmasters now days, to such an extent, that soon they will mean nothing at all to the search engines. Remember when the same thing happened to meta tags. Everyone was writing meta tags that attracted the most hits from the search engines, which actually had nothing to do with their actual site.
Luckily, if they do become useless with the search engines, reciprocal links will still be handy for bringing traffic to your web site.
If anyone would like to exchange reciprocal links be sure not to employ any of the above tactics.
I also found this great article on the subject Fake Links: Nofollow is Just the Beginning
Also here is a FREE backlink checker
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