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Suspicious Link Request?


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Maybe I'm just paranoid, but I'm kinda suspicious about some recent requests, from other inspector sites, about reciprical links.

In the last week I've gotten three, one from CA, one from Canada, and one from Israel!

My policy is to only swap links w/ inspectors I feel comfortable referring, so I haven't responded to any of the requests.

I'm wondering if they are innocent, or something more sinister...

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I don't swap links with anyone, but it's mostly because I am a computer dufus and am not personally capable of setting up the links and don't want to learn. Plus I don't have a links page on my web site.

Besides, I read somewhere recently that just exchanging links won't help unless they are handled properly, on the home page, and that mishandled links can actually hurt. This is scuttlebutt and not verified so don't take it as gospel. Hopefully someone more knowledgeable will jump in here.

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Paul is part correct.

Let's just deal with Google since they are the largest.

Google takes a look at how many other sites are linked to yours. Basically, they want to know how popular you are. However, they will dock you if you have a lot of low quality sites linked to you. They figure you must be a low quality site also. Guilt by association so to speak.

Just any ole link won't work. Google makes sure the links to your site and those from your site to other sites are related. Having a bunch of links to affiliate marketing and go-go girls websites won't help your rankings with google at all and more than likely will hurt you. I try and have only real estate related websites linked on my site.

Now if you have quite a few quality sites linked to you (quality as determined by your PageRank "PR"), then google will bless you with a higher rating. They don't like to see a bunch of links just show up on your site either, plus if you have hundreds or thousands of links, they're gonna consider you a link farm. The (Search Engine Optimization (SEO) guys say it's best to keep the number to a hundred or so.

That's the simplified version. There are other critera that Google ranks on, but PR is one of the highest. It has been their goal over the last year or so to delist spammers and scammer websites.

Links help as long as they are a click or so away from your home page. Don't use a script or a service. You want your link page to be a static web page so google will treat it as just another page of your site. Using a service that redirects you to their webpage or using a script to generate a links page will get you delisted.

By the way, I trade links with quality home inspectors and other real estate companies. My site has a PR5 rating as of now. (TIJ has a PR5 rating and ASHIh as a PR6 rating) If you're interested, drop me an email.

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Out of curiosity I did check out the Canadian site...he appears to be legit. However, here was my reply, which is pretty much my standard response.

Joe,

I appreciate the offer but I will have to decline. Even if it's only there to boost ratings, I view a link on my site to another company as an implicit referral...and I have a rather old fashioned, ethical problem with that.

You may be the best inspector in Toronto (Go Leafs! I lived there from '74 to '80), but I really have no way of knowing that. I will say that your web-site is one of the "cleanest" I've seen.

Anyway...thanks for the consideration and best wishes for your business ventures.

Richard Moore

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