Jon’s In Waikiki (AKA The Waikiki Marketer)

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What’s So Bad About Exchanging Links? – Part 3

September 14th, 2006 · No Comments

I’m finally back on track with the Link Exchange thread. Im now going to start discussing how your link partner can cheat you, fixing the exchange so that the link on their site to you is worthless. Here’s one way they do it.

If you work with websites, you’re probably familiar with “robots.txt” files. What these files do is tell search engine robots what, if any, pages or areas of the site should not be cataloged. In other words, they’re off limits.

This is done for a variety of reasons. For example, in cases where parts of a site that are still being built. They’re not ready, lacking any content, or with content copied from other pages. Why would these pages be up then? So the site owner or webmaster can see how things look online before going live.

But back to link exchanging. What your shady link partner will do is this – they’ll declare the page(s) that your link is on to be off limits. This is a particularly sneaky trick as you won’t be able to detect it by doing a ‘View Source’ of the web page.

Keep in mind, that a page with a Page Rank of 0 does not necessarily mean that you’re being taken. It’s not a good sign. But, it may just be that your link is on a weak page. So how do you find out if someone is doing this to you?

Here’s what you do – in your browser address bar, put the site’s URL along with’robots.txt’ like this: www.example.com/robots.txt and/or example.com/robots.txt. That should bring up exactly what’s in that file. You’ll need to learn how to read a robots file, but that’s not very difficult. Searching in Google or Yahoo using something like How To Robots.txt and you should get a number of sources of good information.

You also should use this same trick using the subdirectory the links page is in, if there is one. For example, if your link is on a page with an URL like this: www.example.com/links/link.html
you should try this: www.example.com/links/robots.txt

I’ll talk about more of the ways you can be duped in a link exchange in the next chapter.

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