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Link Cheating Alert


Maya Pinion

For all you webmasters who are trying to improve your search engine ranking by trading links with other sites, beware. Beware of link cheating.

What is link cheating?
Link cheating happens when you add someone else's link on your site first, submit your link info, and assume that they will reciprocate and add your link to their site. What often happens is they don't. And you end up promoting their site and improving their search engine ranking not yours. Link cheating. Worse, you end up wasting a lot of your valuable webmaster time and energy for nothing. And, often, you won't even know it. You may not know you are the victim of link cheating or may not find out your link was never added to the other site until weeks or months later! Because link cheaters don't email you telling you your link has been added to their site and they don't email you telling you they have decided not to add your link (for whatever reason). They will just take advantage of the one-way benefit of you linking to them. Link cheating.

How can you protect yourself from link cheating?
As a webmaster, protecting yourself from link cheating is very time consuming and frustrating. Of course, you can check every site you linked to and see if your link has been added to that site. This is very time consuming, even with a "link checker" tool, and you may not find your link even if it is there! Or, if you don't find your link you can follow up with a polite email. And, if you don't get a response within a week or two, you can remove their link from your website. Unfortunately, by then you've been promoting the other site(s) for a month or more and getting zero in return. Link cheating.

Link cheating costs trusting webmasters, trying to build their website ranking, a lot of time and a lot of irritation. Time adding links, submitting links, checking links and, ultimately, removing links which don't reciprocate. One website became so fed up with link cheating that they changed their reciprocal link policy. will now no longer add a link to their site unless their link is added first, and confirmed by email. And they will no longer trade links using those automated you-go-first link management programs.

Link cheating appears to be on the rise. And there appears to be no easy solution. But here's some good advice for webmasters when trading links ... be alert ... be aware ... be awake.

Maya Pinion is a freelance writer and contributing editor for News4Net. Maya is credited with coining the term "link cheating".