Cult of Linking Exorcist Casts Out Linking Demons!

Jan 16 00:36 2005 Mike Banks Valentine Print This Article

Have you ever known someone who has blind faith to a religous sect or ... group and has been takenin by a ... leader? The devotion to the cause is ... blind and support in d

Have you ever known someone who has blind faith to a
religous sect or self-improvement group and has been taken
in by a charismatic leader? The devotion to the cause is
seemingly blind and support in donated time or financial
contribution exceeds all reason? That is where we are with
the cult of linking. You stand by marveling at how an
intelligent person could be so entirely absorbed in their
linking fanaticism that they lose sight of reality?

I ran an article in my blog a couple of days ago called
“Link Swapping Killing Web Sites” and commented that I
was glad to see some sanity returning to webmasters as a
preface and introduction to the Michael Cheney piece.


Today I've been shown a bit more lunacy from three
different angles. First,Guest Posting I have a client seeking quality
links. He has hundreds of outbound links from his network
of sites and uses his own linking script with an admin
control panel where he approves or deletes links submitted.

I talked him into scrapping that and took down links to the
"swap" page from major pages of his sites. To replace those
"Swap" links, I proposed that we use one of the many "text
link brokers" popping up across the web.

We can simply buy the links from relevant sources from
reputable brokers - or so I thought. I contacted two of
those brokers asking for some type of substantiation for
the value of the links they were selling. I simply asked
them if they had any case studies showing search engine
rank increases attributable to major text link purchases.

I'm still reeling from one response. He said, "We don't
keep track of that sort of thing. Most people have been
happy with our partners links." I had to pick my jaw up
from the floor! He is asking the better part of $1000 for
"run of site" links from a questionable "network" of sites
that, although on topic, were not a good fit for my clients
links.

When I pointed out to him that they were all on very close
IP addresses and clearly resided on the same virtual
server, he seemed not to understand what I was talking
about when I asked if they couldn't offer more variation in
IP address range to avoid a link farm penalty from the
search engines.

I shook my head in astonishment and moved on with my day
and then I got a note from a colleague who asked me if I
were interested in his "Linking Engine" for my client
sites. He pointed out that it cost the better part of $1000
to install this PHP script on a client site and customize
it. He sent me the promotional sales letter they use to
convince prospects of the value of the script. He told me
he sells it ... "to all of our SEO clients".

When I asked if he had any proof that this "Linking Engine"
benefits clients after installation by increasing their
rank or traffic, he seemed shocked and said, "I don't have
time for that, everyone knows linking works to increase
rank and traffic." Now I like this friend very much on a
personal level, but he's lost all track of reality when
he's too busy to prove the value proposition of this $1000
software to potential customers, then expects them to take
it on faith that it's worth the money. What about ROI?

The final straw came when I was emailed another one of the
hundreds of the usual daily reciprocal link requests. They
wanted a link from a particular highly ranked page of my
site and since their site is new, he'd give me TWO links to
my one. WOW! Two worthless links for one valuable one, what
a deal! I worship links, so I’ll take you up on that!

I recently heard Michael Palka speak at the WebmasterWorld
Search conference, he's Director of Product Management for
AskJeeves, and during his presentation, he said plainly
that webmasters should ALWAYS post a linking policy on
their site. I'm inclined to agree with that and I'm
considering a notice saying that I ONLY link to those
contributing content to my site. It has been my policy for
nearly a year anyway, that will just make it official. I
link only to those who contribute content to my site via
their resource box giving them credit for the articles.

That said, now I have only to add that to over 1000 pages
over several templates. I doubt it will reduce the link
requests because many are generated by software or are
requsted by link campaign managers from SEO's who don't
read the site, they simply run software looking for highly
ranked pages for client keyword phrases and fire out a
couple hundred link requests to site owners who turned up
on top of their list.

I'm coming very near to turning into a linking exorcist in
a campaign to rid these raving linking lunatics of their
maniacal linking demons!

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Mike Banks Valentine
Mike Banks Valentine

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