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The Link Swapping Trap

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If you want to make money on the web, you must get traffic to your website. If you want to get traffic to your website, you must have a high rank in google’s search results. Google ranks websites based upon the number of links that point to the site.

Many novice webmasters believe they can trick Google into giving their website a high rank by swapping links with other webmasters. One reason they believe this, is because “wanna-be” web marketing “experts” keep spouting that trash.

It’s only partially true that Google ranks websites based upon the number of links that point to the site. Google uses a highly sophisticated page ranking formula that keeps changing and evolving all the time. Google caught onto the link swapping trick years ago.

Novice webmasters put all their link swaps on one gigantically long page referred to as a “link farm”. When Google’s robot finds a link farm, their ranking formula penalizes the websites listed in the link farm. If Google finds the same site listed in many link farms, they remove that site from their search engine.

Just about every week I get an email message saying “I placed a link to your website on my website. Please put a link to my website on your website. Here’s where you can find your link on my website” … followed by a link to a single webpage containing hundreds of links … a link farm.

I usually reply to such a message with a request to remove the link to my website from their webpage. The novice webmaster often responds with a message of pure astonishment. Link swap requests have become so common lately that I have been responding by clicking on the “Delete” button.

Every webmaster that wants to swap links has a website with zero traffic. Even if Google didn’t penalize websites for being listed in a link farm, why would I want to send traffic away from my website to a website that can’t return any traffic?

Not only are these novice webmasters not experienced in the way of the web, they seem inexperienced in the way of the world. The first rule of the universe is “you never get a free lunch”. If you want your website to rank high in Google, you have to pay them. If you can’t afford to pay them, you have to do the work.

It’s hard work to get traffic to your website. There is only one method I know that works: put valuable, original content on your website. Other websites, blogs, and forums will post links to the valuable content on your website, not with a link swap, but as a resource to their audience.

When someone places a legitimate link to valuable content on their webpage, the webpage has low link density. Google’s page ranking formula gives the page a high score. If a link to your webpage is found on a high scoring webpage, that raises the rank of your webpage.

On the other hand, a page with a high link density, with hundreds of links and little other content, gets a negative score from Google. If a link to your webpage is found on a webpage with a negative score, that lowers the rank of your webpage.

Don’t try to scam Google by swapping links, and don’t cooperate with foolish webmasters who think there is a “free lunch”. If you want to get a higher ranking in Google, resulting in more traffic to your website, there is only one way – good old fashion hard work.

Stephen Bucaro

To learn how to maintain your computer and use it more effectively to design a Web site and make money on the Web visit bucarotechelp.com. To subscribe to Bucaro TecHelp Newsletter visit http://bucarotechelp.com/search/000800.asp.

The Link Swapping Trap
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