Nov 24, 2008 116 reads by Navneet Kaushal

Most of the SEOs were amazed by reading the article written by Skip Chilcott, Sr. Product Manager of Microsoft. He openly asked the entire webmasters to participate in Link Exchange program as it results in providing a boost to their ranks in search engines. His statement contradicts with Google’s Webmaster and Microsoft’s guidelines.

Google has been seen saying following words about participating in the link schemes:

“…there are some webmasters who get involved in link exchange programs and other build partner pages just for the purpose of cross linking and disregarding the quality of links. This leaves a long term impact on their sites. But the strategy totally violate the set guidelines of Google Webmaster and can also have negative affect on search engine ranking results..”

When the Google is seen stating this, Microsoft is not left supporting its competitor:

“…use of techniques like Live Search index might affect the ranking of your website or even get your website removed from the search index. Settling down for link farms techniques can artificially increase the number of links to the webpage, but it is not genuine…”

Yahoo also believes that sites those are cross linked excessively are consider unwanted and thus, face lack of ranking problems.

Now the question arises, why would Skip Chilcott publicly recommend Link exchange scheme that is a semi black hat technique? Along with this, he would also endorse certain firms/ softwares to help you with adopting link exchange scheme.

Why Should we Discourage Link Exchange Schemes?

We have seen search engines becoming more competitive as well as useful for SEOs and even common researchers. All of us depend on these search engines to find relevant information. The reason why search engines have gained so much credibility is because they offer maximum information in quickly. As so many people have started gaming the search engines, this is resulting in more spam and less quality results. In order to stop receiving spam, we have to ensure that attributed like low quality links should not be taken into consideration by search engines. Google is one of the preferred search engines, which has not only discounted the bad links from counting but has also taken strict actions in order to prevent webmasters from googling the search ranking with shady SEO techniques.

It is true that reciprocal linking or participation in automated link exchange program however does not completely benefit users. These are only beneficial for the webmasters who game the whole system. And if despite of abiding to some strict rules, search engines are still gamed, they will lose their usefulness.

When a top notch employee of Microsoft gives a shady advice like semi black hat SEO, it clarifies the doubt that why Live search has yet not been successful in producing good results.

After identifying the mistake made by him in first post, Skip Chilcott came out with another post. For this, he took advice from colleagues over at Live Search. He made them share some expert advice about linking best practices.

Possible White Hat, which are Link Exchange

  • The links that assist users in finding more relevant information about particular subject.
  • Links, which are not meant for promotion or do not give link juice to a site that has spammy nature.
  • Links that are meant for traffic and not at all for better search engine ranking.
  • Links that you would also recommend to search engines due to the quality and highly informative details they offer.

There are some natural link building techniques referred by many Search Experts. These are:

  • Should I Avoid Link Exchange / Link Trading Hubs? by Aaron Wall of
  • 8 Ways to Buy Links without Buying Links written by Rand Fishkin of
  • 101 Link Building Tips to Market Your Website written by Aaron Wall working for
  • The definitive link building strategy offered by Web Credible
  • Five Link Building Strategies That Work by Brian Clark of Copyblogger
  • Link Building Tutorial – A Complete Walkthrough written by Saad Kamal
Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal is the founder and CEO of PageTraffic, an SEO Agency in India with offices in Chicago, Mumbai and London. A leading search strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. Navneet's expertise has established PageTraffic as one of the most awarded and successful search marketing agencies.
Navneet Kaushal
Navneet Kaushal
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