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Article Title:
Top Dirty Linking Tricks

Article Description:
Part of achieving top search engine positions is through links 
from other Web pages.  These links can come from people who like 
your site (natural links), reciprocal linking, directory 
submissions and a few other ways. 

Additional Article Information:
1062 Words; formatted to 65 Characters per Line
Distribution Date and Time: Tue Jan 31 23:14:00 EST 2006

Written By:     Lee Roberts
Copyright:      2006
Contact Email:  mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]

Article URL: 

For more free-reprint articles by this Author, please visit:


Top Dirty Linking Tricks
Copyright © 2006 Lee Roberts
Rose Rock Design, Inc.

Part of achieving top search engine positions is through links 
from other Web pages.  These links can come from people who like 
your site (natural links), reciprocal linking, directory 
submissions and a few other ways. 

The goal of trading links is to get quality links for quality 
links.  True quality links will carry benefits far beyond that of 
attaining a coveted position in the search engine results.  The 
links will bring traffic from the Web page linking to your Web 
page.  Therefore, you want to ensure you trade or barter links 
from quality partners.

Sometimes it's hard to determine who is a quality linking 
partner, even for the expert.  So, how can you tell if your 
link is on a Web page where its value will not be very good?

The short list below highlights ways of diminishing or nullifying 
the value of a link to your site from another Web page.

Meta Tag Masking - this old trick simply used CGI codes to hide 
the Meta tags from browsers while allowing search engines to 
actually see the Meta tags.

Robots Meta Instructions - using noindex and nofollow attributes 
let's the novice link partner see the visible page with their 
link while telling the search engines to ignore the page and the 
links found on the page.  Nofollow can be used while allowing the 
page to be indexed which gives the impression that the search 
engines will eventually count the link.

Rel=nofollow Attributes - this is not a real attribute based upon 
HTML standards, but rather it is an attribute approved by the 
search engines to help identify which links should not be 
followed.  This attribute is often used with blogs to prevent 
comment and link spam. The link will appear on the Web page and 
in the search engine's cache, but never be counted.

Dynamic Listing - dynamic listing is a result of having links 
appear randomly across a series of pages.  Each time the link is 
found on a new page, the search engines count consider the 
freshness of the link.  It is extremely possible that the link 
won't be on the same page upon the next search engine visitation. 
So, the link from a partner displaying rotating, dynamic link 
listings rarely helps.

Floating List - this can be easily missed when checking link 
partners.  Essentially, your link could be number one today, but 
as new link partners are added your link is moved down the list. 
This is harmful because the values of the links near the bottom 
of the list are considered to be of lesser value than the links 
at the top.  With the floating list, it is possible to have your 
link moved to a new page whose PR value is significantly less or 
not existent and the new page may not be visited and indexed for 

Old Cache - the caching date provided by Google indicates the 
last time the page was cached.  Pages with lower PR values tend 
to be visited and cached less often than pages that have medium 
to high PR values.  If the cache is more than six months old, it 
can be surmised that Google has little or no desire to revisit 
the page.

Denver Pages - while Denver, CO is a nice place to visit, Denver 
Pages are not a place you want to find your link in a trade. 
Denver Pages typically have a large amount of links grouped into 
categories on the same page.  Some people call this the mile high 
list.  These types of pages do not have any true value in the 
search engines and are not topically matched to your site.

Muddy Water Pages - these are dangerous and easy to spot.  Your 
link will be piled in with non-topically matched links with no 
sense of order.  It's like someone took all the links and thrown 
them in the air to see where they land.  These are worse than the 
Denver Pages.

Cloaking - cloaking is the process of providing a page to people 
while providing a different page to search engines.  You could be 
seeing your link on the Web page, but the search engines could 
possibly never see the link because they are provided with a 
different copy.  Checking Google's cache is the only way to catch 
this ploy.

Dancing Robots - this can be easily performed with server-side 
scripting like PHP and is rarely easy to catch.  In this 
situation people that attempt to view the robots.txt file receive 
a copy of the robots.txt file that does not include exclusion 
instructions for the search engines.  However, when the search 
engines request the robots.txt file they receive the exclusion 
instructions.  With this situation the links pages will never be 
linked and you'll never know why without expert assistance.

Meta Tags and Robots.txt Confusion - which instructions have the 
most weight?  Don't know the answer?  Shame.  Search engines do. 
If they conflict the page Meta tags are typically considered the 
rule to follow.

Link the Head - while these links do not count in the search 
engines and do not show up on the Web page, they do get counted 
by scripts or programs designed to verify the links exist.  These 
programs only look for the URL within the source codes for the 
Web page.

Empty Anchors - this is a nasty trick, but can be an honest 
mistake.  The links exist and are counted by the search engines, 
but unfortunately are neither visible nor clickable on the Web 
page.  So, there are no traffic values from the link.

The goal of trading links is to trade them for equal value. 
Understanding the ways people will attempt to prevent passing a 
quality value from their Web page to your Web page can help you 
avoid these useless links.  If your link partner pulls under-
handed tricks the links they trade you are useless.

While you may never be an expert in knowing all the latest 
tricks, traps and tests, you can now become an expert in knowing 
the thirteen mentioned above. Ensuring your link partners are not 
following or using these tactics can help improve the quality of 
links you gain from other Web pages. By having quality links 
pointing to your Web page will you gain additional traffic 
through organic search engine results and visitors driven 
directly from your linking partners. 

Lee Roberts, The Web Doctor®, is President/Founder of Rose Rock 
Design, Inc. ( a <a 
href=""; target="_blank">website 
design company</a> and Founder of the Apple Pie Shopping Cart 
(, an <a href=""; 
target="_blank">ecommerce shopping cart</a>. 



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