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Recent publicity suggest that Link Exchanges are being frowned
upon by the search engines, and sometimes even penalizing
those that misuse this particular tool..

Here is what the search engines are formally stating:

"...participation in certain services to artificially inflate
link popularity.."

".. we pay attention to products that automate link management,
check site ranking, cloak, generate automatic doorways, etc.
And, people who abuse those tools may run afoul of scoring
in just the same way as people who do unethical things by
hand.. "

What's springing up around the Internet are
Free-for-All type link exchanges. You put your link in a
page that everyone is supposed to copy and update once a
month, to a page on your website. So you have 400 links on
a page, all jumbled up, no ordered organization, total link
chaos and this is attached to your website with your domain
name embedded into the URL address for all to see. This is
supposed to look like everyone included has links pointing
to and from them. Supposedly this will create the look of
popularity with the search engines, thus sending the webmaster
the traffic they so desperately need to survive.

Now along come the search engine robots, which are the most
sophisticated machines ever known to man, infused with millions
of dollars of development money, pretty much all-knowing
of every keyword on the Internet and the pages to which they
belong, running on banks of super computers, sitting at the
apex of giga giga giga bytes of storage. Besides just link
popularity, these machines do correlational calculations,
linking themes or subjects together.

Search Engine robots understand which keywords belong to
each website and have the ability to do statistical correlation
which is common in most languages used to create these programs.
A quick query to it's database and it comes up with a score
of how closely you are in theme-tightness to the sites you
are linking to and perhaps even how tightly-themed those
sites you are linked to, are to the ones linked to on their
websites. The more tightly-themed your score means that you
are only including websites in your link pages that match
or have something to do with the theme of your website.

What we

have here in the case of free-for-all link pages
is total link chaos. No organization to it at all. Of course
these sites using these methods will be punished.

Now, consider how these same smart search engine robots think
when they stumble across a Link Directory where all the links
are related to one central theme. The links listed in these
directories are websites that match each other in themes
without the threads of the cancerous growth of link disorder
infringing into it. The difference is like night and day,
organization over disarray.

Hundreds or thousands of links, all nicely organized on hundreds
of keyword-tuned pages. Resonant Keyword patterns throughout
each page, using the embedded keywords you selected as your
themes. These are used in the meta tags, titles, text, and
most importantly, the page's URL address. Add to each page
the hundreds of listings which include those same keywords
again and again in each theme site's URL address, title,
description and comment and perhaps banner image URL address.
These are very good pages to find for a search engine robot.

Order against chaos.

The Altavista search engine on its Link Popularity page,,says
in part:

It values: "Pages that serve as good hubs, with lots of links
to pages that that have related content (topic similarity,
rather than random meaningless links such as those generated
by link exchange programs intended to generate a false impression
of "popularity")."

The problem, as I see it, is that uninformed webmasters may
start shying away from links of any kind. Can you imagine
the Internet without links? All because of misinformation.
It would be the end of the Internet as we know it today.
If we don't inform the public on how to properly obtain and
use Reciprocal Links and the dangers of using these Links-for-All
pages, every webmaster on the net will pay for it.

One great free program to create theme based link pages is
Zeus. Read about it at

About the Author

Joel Weiner is the Webmaster of,
The NEW Internet Opportunity! Hosting, Products To Sell,
Recurring Income & Marketing Support.