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Learning How to Promote My Websites

A Day by Day Journal

August 11, 2007 – Reciprocal Links: the Scam?

By Peter Ramsey

Something is going on with reciprocal links that feels like a scam to me. Here’s the scenario…

I find a place that allows me to submit my link to their site. They often require a reciprocal link, which is fine and fair. But what about when they require me to add their link and give them the page reference before I can even submit my link to them? Even that may not be so bad, after all, somebody has to put theirs on first. But somewhere on their submission page there’s usually a reference to the fact that they get such a huge volume of submission requests that it may take weeks or even months to get around to evaluating your link. Now that starts to feel a little unfair! Their link will be on my site for those few weeks or months – just long enough to get soundly picked up by the search engines as a link to them – and I get nothing in return. I almost never hear from them again and eventually I remove their link, but perhaps the damage (or benefit to them) is done?

Do they really have such huge volume of requests? There was one I saw that actually showed how many requests were pending approval – a grand total of 50. Yet there’s that message about huge volume and weeks or months to get to mine. How slow are these people? And how dumb is that to put the number right on there?

That particular message has become a red flag for me and I usually move right along and don’t waste any more time on them. But I’m sure there are others doing the same thing, they just don’t bother to tip you off with a message.

What is supposed to be a win-win situation turns into a win for them and a waste of time for me.

If it looks like a scam, sounds like a scam, and smells like a scam, most likely it’s a scam.