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Friday, February 18, 2011

Guidelines to a Perfect Link Exchange Scam

Reciprocal link exchangeReciprocal link exchange still is an important strategy of link popularity building despite all the measures taken by the search engines to diminish its effect. Back in 1999-2001 obtaining a quality link exchange was not difficult, and webmasters used to respond more willingly to an e-mail request. But as more people became aware of this strategy so the reciprocal linking scam started to be a common practice.

Sometimes I check my old ‘link exchange’ e-mail account I used to build link popularity for my very first website. There are lots of people contacting me daily with exchange proposals. Well, not actually people – they are mostly bots.

Probably one of the reasons I still maintain that e-mail is that those requests are a source of a persistent amusement for me. One example: a request in pink letters with images of dancing puppies and bouncing hearts written by a ‘blond chick’ (picture attached) asking me to link to her pharmacy site! Or maybe I just enjoy reading the admiring comments on the outlook and content of my site that precede every exchange proposal?

Link exchange scam is an interesting theme for a study per se and still awaits its researchers. But in the meanwhile the SEO community is being successful in summarizing the guidelines for the most perfect link exchange scam.

Send an automated e-mail request or use a bot to submit it via an online contact form. Combining the both methods is preferred whenever possible.Use a free e-mail account such as Gmail, or better yet, some foreign free e-mail service to send your message. Sending a duplicate request from your company account is also beneficial.Do send follow up e-mails. Sooner or later your victim will give up and read one of them.Send minimum 100-300 automated requests every day. Push your mail server’s spam detection to the limits.Make sure that the website you are trying to contact is absolutely unrelated to your field.Send your request to every e-mail address you can find on the target site. Let the sales or customer support guys forward them to the webmaster.Address properly. No names required. Best thing is to use the website’s title or at least the URL: “Dear Blue Cheap Online Widgets”, or “Hello www.bluewidgets.com”Kiss ass. Tell your victims how much you adore their websites. Do use superlatives.Inform. Let your recipients know how important PageRank and incoming links are. Go in depth with the mysteries and magnificence of the PageRank and how the high PageRank will ensure them the first positions in Google.Scare. Notify them that their link popularity is low, and their positions in search engines are threatened.Share a secret. Tell them that the three-way linking is more effective, since search engines detect and ignore two-way links.Threaten. Notify them that their link will be removed from your high quality directory if they do not provide a link back in the specified number of days.Show your scale. Make your message easily detectable as a bulk sending by setting a different font size and color for the recipient’s address and site name.Be unofficial. Use the Internet argot in your e-mail. Like ‘u r’ instead of ‘you are’. This is the Internet – formalism is unacceptable.Threaten them again. With hundreds of reminder e-mails.Use a girl’s name. Most webmasters are male and should not resist a lady asking for a favor.Your link page must have at least 100 outgoing links, preferably uncategorized. Make sure that minimum 50% point to pharmacy and gambling websites.Your proposed links page has to be deeply buried in a keyword-rich URL like: http://www.yoursite.com/widgets/cheap-widgets/amazingly-cheap-widgets/widgets-links/Make sure the links page URL contains at least one poison keyword like ‘links’, ‘partners’, ‘directory’, or ‘exchanges’.Alternatively provide a dynamic URL with a minimum of 100 characters of meaningless parameter values.Choose links pages that are in Google’s supplementary index.The PageRank for your page has to be between 0 and 3 with 0 being the best.Make your page look more credible by putting AdSense ads on it. “Well, if Google approves this page, then it is worth having a link from it”.Disguise your low PR links pages by opening them in a high PR frame.Orphan pages are the best.Link to your partners using one of the following options: ‘nofollow’ attributejavascript links302 ‘Found’ redirectsEdit robots.txt to restrict spiders from indexing your links pages.Double protect your links pages from indexing by adding meta ‘noindex,nofollow’ tags.

The above guidelines are compiled from my own experience and the hilarious thread ‘SEO Link Exchange’ from the WebMasterWorld forum.

The list can be continued. Any suggestions?

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