Every so often there is a little surge of spam which works its way through into my email box. As a rule the spam filters function well and most of the nonsense doesn’t see the light of day. Some of the ones that do make their way through are about ways of increasing your website visibility through link sharing.
Now, getting links to your website can be a very good thing as long as the site linking to you is reputable. But it can be easy to be fooled by an email which appears to be targeted to your website offering a link exchange. It all sounds pretty reasonable and when they throw in the fact that they found your site through the reverse google pagerank algorithm it can sound even more convincing. Except that there is no such thing.
The sites that offer these link exchanges are generally the sort that you wouldn’t want to be connected to in a million years. If they put a link to your site on their site it will most likely be hidden away on a page called ‘links’ whilst they will no doubt want prime position on your website. In many cases these sites will already have a bad reputation with Google and other search engines and this will rub off on your site if you link to them. You could end up being blacklisted by the search engines you are hoping to impress.
For links to be of any benefit there must be relevancy. If your business is plumbing then it probably wouldn’t make a lot of sense linking to a website that sells hats. Unless of course they are waterproof hats to protect you from that leaking pipe…!
So if you get an email from someone you’ve never heard of, saying that they found you this way (or any other!) and offering to exchange links, you know what to do… run!