As is fairly common, I recently received an email from someone seeking to crosslink our two sites. It is always a wee bit of a surprise when these messages arrive, though, given my article How not to build traffic: respond to email solicitations of Link Exchanges. You’d think they’d at least reference the points made in that article in their email!
Okay, I said in my response, tell me how you would propose we accomplish this. Well, his second message with the details of the proposed exchange – to build traffic on both our sites and increase our mutual page ranks, of course – quite startled me…
Thanks for the reply. We would like to host some pages on free-web-money.com. For Example: www.free-web-money.com/partypoker.html, www.free-web-money.com/pokergames.html etc. These pages will be linked from your Homepage for navigation.
Kindly let me know if this is acceptable to you and also your expectations for each page. Hope to hear from you soon.
It’s a nice enough email and sounds reasonable upon first glance, but if you think about what’s being proposed here, this is a kind of link exchange that you should always avoid: they’re asking to have a page of links and ‘context’ (the all-important link context that Google wants to see) on your site in exchange, presumably, for a single text link back to your site from their own. If you’re desperate and really did want to pursue this sort of proposal, I would at least suggest that you charge the other party a significant advertising fee for a set of links rather than just one.
I mean, really, does this kind of “swap” sound equitable to you?
I didn’t think so.
Just as important as the value of links is the ownership of content. Whether you’re building a site with the intent of having some Google goodness or whether you’re creating a site that has lots of good information and just incidentally has advertising, you should always retain tight control over your content because if a page is part of your domain, you own it. People who come to your site from a search engine (and 80% of Web site traffic – or more – is a result of searches and clicking directly onto a subsidiary page) have no way of knowing who created a specific page, so it’s all lumped into content with your name on it.
And in that context, no, I’d much rather not have pages on this site talking about poker and other gambling games anyway, even if there was a nice payment involved.
What would you do in this situation?