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  1. #1
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    Here's something interesting -- I exchanged links with two different sites that fell under two different categories of merchandise. I put each of their links on the appropriate page on my website, and they in turn linked back to me -- but in one case the return link was to a generic directory page of mine. One of the other sites has a PR5 and the other one has a PR6.

    When the Google dance was finished last month, both of the pages where I had placed links showed up as "0" -- i.e., a white bar with no page ranking.

    Weird. Has this happened to anyone else? What did Google think I did wrong?

  2. #2
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    Google doesn’t like reciprocal links.

  3. #3
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Google doesn’t like reciprocal links. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Where did you get this from. Google doesn't like sites manipulating PageRank or link popularity for the purposes of increasing ranking. That is a very different thing from sayng that Google doesn't like reciprocal links.

    Regarding the PR0 thing - was the PR0 on your pages or the pages linking to you ?

    Search Engine Positioning - 1 Design 4 Life

  4. #4
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    The PR0 is now the ranking for my two pages. The two pages whose links I listed have not changed in PR.

  5. #5
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by markymark:
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Google doesn’t like reciprocal links. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Where did you get this from. Google doesn't like sites manipulating PageRank or link popularity for the purposes of increasing ranking. That is a very different thing from sayng that Google doesn't like reciprocal links.

    Regarding the PR0 thing - was the PR0 on your pages or the pages linking to you ?

    http://www.1design4life.co.uk - 1 Design 4 Life<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I wrote rather extensively on it in the past in this forum. Since then I have done even more testing, and I wouldn’t trade links with anyone anymore.

  6. #6
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    Got a link to some of your old posts discussing that topic? I'm with markymark here, from everything that I know about the linking business, you're comments are coming in from far left field.

    &lt;b&gt;I want to make you more money with a professional and low cost web design.&lt;/b&gt;

  7. #7
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    Malibber,

    care to share some evidence of this ? I can find some of your previous posts relating to cross-linking and circular link patterns, but nothing regarding this.

    Admittedly, I haven't read through all 200-odd posts you've made, so I may have missed it.

    Search Engine Positioning - 1 Design 4 Life

  8. #8
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    Exchanging links does not hurt. You either got some bad information or bad research. Link popularity is a factor in all search engines, some more than others. Getting links from DMOZ listed sites helps even more.

  9. #9
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    Link Popularity is one of the critical factors in determining page rank.


  10. #10
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Google doesn’t like reciprocal links.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    That's such hogwash.. The only reason I'm even adding a response to this is so that newbies look into it before banking on your word..

  11. #11
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> That's such hogwash <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    What about exchanging links with a site that has zero page rank on it's home page.
    Is there a penalty for this, or just a zero benefit?

  12. #12
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    There's a penalty. The idea is that by linking to a PR0 site, you are making yourself part of a bad neighbourhood.

    Search Engine Positioning - 1 Design 4 Life

  13. #13
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    Interesting.
    So if the outbound link was removed, does that resolve the problem or would the site still be part of a bad neighbourhood because the link back remains?
    (btw, the graphics on your site are not displaying)

  14. #14
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    Chinaski,

    I am in your debt sir. I had uploaded a couple of pages of a new client's site into the wrong directory. Thanks a thousand times for noticing that. God, I hope Google hasn't just come round. That would really mess things up.

    Anyway, to answer your question. Removing the outbound link will sort the problem, yes. Links in from sites can't hurt you.

    Search Engine Positioning - 1 Design 4 Life

  15. #15
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    Is there any way for a Mac user to check the page rank of potential link exchanges?

  16. #16
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    You SEO guys really crack me up!

    On the one hand you say that reciprocal links do not hurt, and you act like that is some terrible advice and the guy saying it is a moron. But you leave yorself an out by saying that if you do it to increase popularity, then it does hurt. Oh, and also if you get a link to a PR0 site that will hurt. In the end it all comes back to what the original guy said: you can get hurt really bad doing reciprocal linking.

  17. #17
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>But you leave yorself an out by saying that if you do it to increase popularity, then it does hurt. Oh, and also if you get a link to a PR0 site that will hurt. In the end it all comes back to what the original guy said: you can get hurt really bad doing reciprocal linking.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I did address each point individually but have deleted it and decided to put forward an interesting case study from one of my old sites instead.

    I built a site in early 98 as an industry links directory. It was about 400 pages in size, and contained 1000's of outbound links. I didn't know that much about search engines but I figured I could get some traffic by having links on other sites.

    First I started off by asking other sites to link to me - and got basically no response. Then I changed tact and started emailing sites that were listed in my directory, advising them that I had placed their link online and letting them know where they could find it. Without even asking for a link, I started getting close to 8 reciprocal links out of every 10 sites I emailed. I did this for a while and got close to 120 reciprocal links this way.

    My site then started topping search engines (AltaVista which was big at the time) for important industry terms and the traffic started to roll in. Strangely enough, the site was not optimised for anything and to make matters worse, it was a branded site - no keywords in the name.

    The site over the years has gained a few extra links here and there, but nothing to write home about. It also crumbled due to the fact that I became disinterested in it. There must be a good 200 dead links going out of the site, and people have even emailed me to let me know that some of the links were now being redirected to porn sites (these I removed).

    The site today is still in ruins. It is not optimised, has many dead links, and is never updated. It is not in Yahoo, and is listed in a sub-regional category page of dmoz with a pr of 4. It does however rank in the top 3 in google for numerous keywords - including the main keyword for the industry for which it is number 1. It has been in the top of the serps across most engines now for near on 4 years, and this is also a very competitive area with lots of high pr sites.

    The best part is that it receives over a million unique visitors a year, and has done so for over 3 years.

  18. #18
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    Buckworks,

    Yeah, there is, kind of. The Google directory shows the PageRank of sites that are in the directory, so you could check against that. However, if the sites you are exchanging links with are not in Dmoz, then it's not much help.

    I don't know of any other way, but someone else might have some suggestions. You could always, gasp, buy a PC.

    Jimbo,

    I'll say it all again, just for you. Exchanging links is one of the foundations of the web. It will not hurt your rankings to exchange links. If you try to manipulate PageRank by joining link farms, excessively cross linking your own domains, etc. you are spamming Google. If you spam Google and they catch you doing it, you will be penalised.

    That is not the same as making a blanket statement like 'Google doesn't link reciprocal links'.

    To draw a comparison: If you want to rank on the phrase 'blue widgets', it is a good idea to have that phrase somewhere on your page. However, if your page only has the phrase 'blue widgets' repeated a thousand times, then you are spamming and will be penalised. It would be wrong to say, however, that 'Google doesn't like to see your search terms on the page'.

    Search Engine Positioning - 1 Design 4 Life

  19. #19
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    One of my sites has around 100 pages, with various page ranks from 0 - 5. Should I remove internal links to the pr 0 pages on the basis that linking to these pages attracts hurts the rest of the site? [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_confused.gif[/img]

  20. #20
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    markymark, That is a good comparison. It makes a lot more sense than the other way you put it (that Google 'doesn't like sites manipulating PageRank or link popularity for the purposes of increasing ranking').

    That is very vague, because Google is the one calculating page rank etc, not the user. Google does not measure intent. What it does measure is reciprocal links, and as a result people who innocently do reciprocal linking get burned every month.

  21. #21
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    Chinaski,

    Can't answer that one without seeing the site. I would look to try to get the PR0 pages unpenalised rather than restructure your site architecture as the latter may adversely affect your visitors and therefore, your sales.

    Search Engine Positioning - 1 Design 4 Life

  22. #22
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    I hate to differ with markymark, but the "received wisdom" I have got on this is that a reciprocal link is not worth as much as a "courtesy link" - i.e. if the link goes both ways Google detects it as a link exchange rather than a "vote". However, a reciprocal link with a decent non-spammy site should never hurt your PR.

    If you're running multiple sites I would think that you could enchance the link exchange doing a more complex link..

    ..so, if you run sites A and B and want to exchange links with someone running site C, instead of doing and A-&gt;C-&gt;A link, do an A-&gt;C-&gt;B link.

    On PR0.. sometimes pages will temporarily get a PR0 which will be fixed on the next update. I've only had PR0 a couple of times on pages and it went away on the next update, maybe because of an algo tweak or maybe because of some other unfathomable reason.

    I'm tempted to think that the anti-spam algo is changed and tuned all the time and that sometimes it makes mistakes when it spots an unusual linking pattern. I don't know if you've ever experienced "false positives" with virus scanners, but I think that the PR/anti-spam algo sometimes screws up in a similar way.

    Меня зовут Динаму

  23. #23
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    Thats what i have found. People linking to your site without a reciprocal link, is better than a reciprocal link, which is good also. Even better are links from sites listed is DMOZ. I got in a big argument with lots of people over this at webmasterworld. Anybody can get reciprocal links, it just takes time. You could spend a whole week doing nothing but this and get hundreds. It's much harder getting someone to link to you without benefit to themselves. So it should be worth more. I would also watch those guestbooks links(Dynamoo) GoogleGuy was saying something about this being devalued.

    Sales are everywhere, Sales are mine.

  24. #24
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I hate to differ with markymark, but the "received wisdom" I have got on this is that a reciprocal link is not worth as much as a "courtesy link" <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I don't recall saying otherwise. All I was doing was pointing out that Malibber claiming 'Google doesn't like reciprocal links' was wrong.

    Search Engine Positioning - 1 Design 4 Life

  25. #25
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by markymark:
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I hate to differ with markymark, but the "received wisdom" I have got on this is that a reciprocal link is not worth as much as a "courtesy link" <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I don't recall saying otherwise. All I was doing was pointing out that Malibber claiming 'Google doesn't like reciprocal links' was wrong.

    http://www.1design4life.co.uk - 1 Design 4 Life<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    You are welcome to take my advice with a grain of salt. After all I offered it freely. If your links pattern is a two-way pattern it is very possible you will get a big 0. Of course having reciprocal links with one site is unlikely to hurt you, but as Dynamoo indicated it doesn’t really help you either. If you can get a yahoo listing for $300 and a DMOZ listing your site will rank much higher than a site that has numerous link exchanges. Of course the fire you are playing with when you use the reciprocal links is that the person you traded with could go on to do multiple link trades with other parties, which could very well result in a 0 for his site. It is very possible that once he is awarded a 0 in the next cycle your site will also get a 0 especially if you have other reciprocal links.


    Once your site gets poisoned with that 0 there is literally no fixing it. (I know from first hand experience) You’re better off dumping that domain and starting over from scratch.

    [This message was edited by malibber on November 16, 2002 at 01:36 PM.]

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