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July 1, 2004 at 1:37 pm #585692
Due to the number of portals penalized by Google during their recent update I decided to go back through one of my Links Manager accounts and verify each link for the following:
* PR of Index Page I was linking to.
* PR of Back link as identified by Links Managers reciprocal checker
Please note that I was already checking all links at each update to ensure they were reciprocal so I maintain fairly strict monitoring (or thought I did) prior to yesterdays test.
When I began manually checking these yesterday according to links manager I had 335 links in place with 100% reciprocation.
By the time I was done I had less then 160 links remaining. 😮
I expected to delete some sites that had been penalized and I did find about 15 which were now PR0s or PR1. The rest that had to be eliminated are what concerns me most. Many were removed due to cheating and link tricks by the site owner and the level of this was very disturbing. I did not blame Links Manager for bad human behavior as I suppose assholes will always find a way to try to cheat partners. But I was very surprised to find at least 30 links that were showing reciprocation by the Links Manager control panel were down! The pages no longer existed either at the portal owners site OR at LINKS MANAGER themselves. This raises serious concerns about the validity of the reciprocal links checker.
I am going to post what some of the cheaters were doing so you know what to look for when verifiying your links (if you choose to do so). I hope that this does not inspire others to mimic these techiniques but I figured its worth chancing it to expose what these frigging parasites are doing.
See next postJuly 1, 2004 at 1:54 pm #651209
#1 – Biggest Trick by number of occurances
Many reciprocal link verification systems have a basic flaw that is being exploited by unscrupulous webmasters, the problem is how links are verified. Most links checkers will spider a site seeking a reciprocal link until they find it or give up and say the recip doesnt exist. This is fine and the trickersters are aware this will occur.
They create a links page(s) and link off their main index so the spider quickly locates the recip. Your checker says all is well and you approve their link, even if you manually check it at this stage it will appear that everything is normal.
The flaw is that the link does not stay visible to search spiders. After a short time (even up to two weeks) the trickster removes or redirects the link from their front page. They do NOT delete the page your link is on. BUT if the Google or Yahoo spiders hit their site its no longer within their site map or “findable” from the index.
Viola! they have you linking to them and they dont return any PR or return links to you in the Search Engines.
The flaw in the Links Manager Reciprocal checker (and many stand alone recip checkers) is that they do NOT spider the linked site each time they do a link check, they go back to the url where they found the original reciprocal link. This is done to save time and bandwidth, but it makes the check worthless. Sure, your link is still at that URL, unfortunately the only spider that will every see your link is YOUR reciprocal link checker!!!!
This is a totally fucked up trick that is being pulled with great frequency. I found this at dozens of sites that were supposedly oked by Links Manager
See next post for a variation on this that is also popular with scammers.July 1, 2004 at 2:09 pm #651212
Category? What Category?
This is a subtle variation on trick #1 which can be performed quickly by Links Manager users to defraud their fellow link partners.
1. The culprits create a category with links manager at their site IE:
2. They solicit links with Gambling sites like yours or mine via Link Partners.
3. After a week or so they go back and remove the category. To our friend the Google spider their Sites Menu now looks like this
Sites Menu – Entertainment
4. Your link was already verified and the url remains active for the reciprocal link checker, but of course search engines never see your link and credit you with it!!
Note: The way I uncovered this little gem was when I manually went to the url where the reciprocal link was located I noted it was a PR0 page. I then clicked on the link path above the listings which read Sites – Entertainment – Gambling. When I went back to Entertainment on their site I found the Gambling Category had been removed!!:angry:
More Tricks to follow….July 1, 2004 at 5:53 pm #651231AnonymousInactive
I even had some bonehead submit a link where the recip pointed at a cgi script on their domain linking back to my site…
Links manager showed it as a recip.
The two tricks you mentioned are very widespread.July 1, 2004 at 7:57 pm #651244AnonymousInactive
A trick I have seen a few times lately is not very difficult to do and is very widespread.
ALSO – I attempted to exchange home page links with someone a couple weeks ago – they put my links up and everything was cool – I returned to check this week and he had removed my links from his homepage! ALWAYS reverify that your supposed partners are not removing your links. DO NOT rely on recip checkers as prof stated they are not reliable!
Hard work and hard coding are the best way to successful link exchanging. Dont use shortcut methods that save you a little time up front – youll lose your ass in the end!July 1, 2004 at 8:30 pm #651251AnonymousGuest
I did that – by accident. I was updating my pages to add something to the navigation and I removed some front page links and didn’t realize it until I got an email from another webmaster.
I heard back from linksmanager :
Thank you for bringing this to our attention. I will be forwarding this to management. You should be hearing back from us shortly.
______________________________________July 1, 2004 at 8:38 pm #651253AnonymousInactive
The webmaster that tried to pull a fast one on me played stupid – said – oops I missed up – Ill fix it tomorrow – well 2 days later I asked him if we were still on – he said uh what were your sites again? The entire time I was using reply which attached all past conversations – MORON!
Intentionally deceptive / dishonest people need to be shot! I understand an occassional mistake, but those are usually easily rectified – no problems with those type of occurrences, but I am glad those kind are few and far between.July 1, 2004 at 8:55 pm #651255AnonymousGuest
Ok, Joy at Casino Valet sent me this url that is a utility for spidering websites.
It spiders the whole site, but it separates outgoing links in its own section.
This may come in handy!July 1, 2004 at 9:14 pm #651260AnonymousInactive
Originally posted by Fergie
It spiders the whole site, but it separates outgoing links in its own section.
SPIDERING of my sites by other webmasters was just 1 reason I refused/refuse to accept links from links manager! When I find other sites running rapid thru my sites I get very irritated!
The only bots I want on my sites are search engines – webmasters stay the “F” out! Creating link partnerships should be done so with reputable webmasters and thus should include an important characteristic – TRUST! If you think you need to “continuously” check up on your link partners you probably are selecting the wrong ones in the first place! Sure check back a week later “manually,” but respidering their sites over and over should not be required!
We have all got caught up with chasing PR that we have forgot the importance of creating reputable “communities” if you will. Select partners based on trust, content – quality/value – do not select them based on a # alone! Its obvious as youve seen those 7-8s can drop to 0-1s over night!
Consider that a visitor to your site may in fact click one of those links – I for one dont want them leaving my site and going to a banner farm or some other lowly website – you ever hear of Guilty by Association – provide poor quality links and your visitors may/will see you as the same.July 1, 2004 at 9:57 pm #651263AnonymousInactive
That spider is not automated like something from a search engine or link software where it will be hitting your site constantly.
This is a business. Exchanging links is a trade between two people (that do not know each other personally) who both hope it benefits their business in some way, nothing more. It turns out, just like everywhere else in life, some people cheat. So you have to come up with a way to protect yourself from them. I agree that manually obtaining and checking links is the way to go, but it is very time consuming, which is why a lot of webmasters use/have used link software. And it has worked as far as rankings go. Same themed links with pagerank have a big effect in Google. And I’ll bet if there wasn’t this quirk in linksmanager the people that have used them in the past would probably still be using them. I haven’t used their software, but I have searched their listings looking to email webmasters with similar sites.
“Quality site” I don’t know if this has anything to do with gambling. Imo, people looking to gamble online want to find out where they can go to do so. The affiliate sites are just passing them on to their destinations. There are sites ranked very high and I wouldn’t consider them anything great but they serve their purpose – get the searcher to his/her destination.
Basically, losing links-people not linking back will cost you pagerank. But I think maybe some of the recent losses in that area might also be Google catching up to things like spamming blog guestbooks, buying links, non-themed backlinks, etc.July 1, 2004 at 10:11 pm #651264AnonymousInactive
What Arkyt said.
Though I think the guys who created Links Manager are pretty honest and sharp, I told them I could not use a system that crawled the hell out of my sites on a daily basis. Plus, the link pages were not truly being hosted on the domain.
I did open up site linking for a little while – but I always updated my pages manually and quite frankly it was a pain in the ass. I stopped accepting links in order to find some good software which would automate this – and as you see I have not been successful so far LOL.
I have to go back and study the current status of Links Manager – how it works, etc. – but at some point it is entirely possible that we will weed out all links from Links Manager.July 1, 2004 at 10:56 pm #651270AnonymousInactive
f&p – this community has been in existance for some time and many of us do know each other personally. We meet at conventions and things like the Miami spring break, and we have conversed exhaustively online.
Many of us have known each other for years. So we do have people we trust to treat our links well.July 1, 2004 at 11:21 pm #651272AnonymousGuest
With all due respect, Dom, exchanging links with members isn’t always easy.
Sure, if you have a PR 6 or higher page, people are all over you for a link, but otherwise ………… it’s hard to break into the old boys network.
And – a webmaster who is new to the business doesn’t know the rest of the webmasters from a hole in the ground. So what is a new webbie do?
I sat here for months with a PR5, and waited for that PR 6 to arrive, diligently linking, and google’s decided I’m a 4 in their update!! grrrr.
Well, I give up. I get great SERPs, and that’s what is important.
I’m tired of playing the link game. The whole purpose of making a website was to put some quality content on it, to make a site worth visiting – but linking is distracting and total bullshit if it’s only to bluff google into thinking you’re important.
I’ll link to sites I think my visitors would benefit from – such as wizardofodds, etc., and maybe someday my site will have a high enough quality that people will link to me for the same reason! (and it might just happen, since I won’t be wasting time with the link reciprocation I’ll actually have time to put unique content up)July 1, 2004 at 11:27 pm #651273AnonymousGuest
Here is the email I just received from Linksmanager:
Thanks for bringing this forum thread to our attention. We spent some time this afternoon going over the referenced thread and looking at the claims the author stated.
The link checkers are programmed according to a set of rules that we have been tweaking since we launched LinksManager on day one. In the early days of LinksManager, the bots checked far too frequently. Alot of webmasters didn’t like us back then and they sure did let us know about it.
We have analyzed data and determined that most webmasters do not link back in the first few hours after a link swap has been initiated by first webmaster. We have learned over the years that the majority of webmasters who would return a link do not link back until a few days have passed. We also have learned that the majority of link swaps happen in the first 5-14 days and if they don’t happen by then, chances are the other webmaster simple has no interest in linking with the first webmaster.
The link checkers are constantly being improved to check in a way that will not annoy webmasters, but will give our customers the fastest results possible. It’s a tough balance. We want to be accurate as accurate as possible but we don’t want to be bad web neighbors.
By design, the first reciprocation check for a newly submitted link is delayed about a day in order to give the other webmaster necessary time to add your link to his or her website. If the reciprocal link is not found on the first check, a few days will pass before the link is checked again for reciprocation. Each time the link is checked and is not found to be reciprocating, the time between future checks is greater and that is intentional so that we do not annoy our web neighbors. Sites that don’t link by the 4th or 5th check around the 3-4 week mark usually end up never linking back.
In 99% of the cases that we investigate perceived ‘link checker errors’ for our customers via this Helpdesk, the webmaster simply had not posted the link at the exact time that the link was checked by the LinksManager bots.
In summary, if LinksManager spidered more often, the thread you showed us would be folks complaining about how often LinksManager spiders through their sites. It’s a no win situation for us but that does not deter us. We will keep working to improve the software such as improving communications. We did this recently by adding the new WHERES MY LINK variable which displays a URL that hyperlinks to a control page where the receiving webmaster can specify location of YOUR link on THEIR website and vs versa. For more information on that new feature:
The forum thread you referenced did make a note of removing links after a reciprocation agreement was made, but thats not really a LinksManager matter, that’s just bad webmastering. Anyone can do that with or without LinksManager.
Feel free to pass along some or any of this information to the folks you know on that forum that you referenced. Thank you again for bringing this forum thread to our attention. Please rest assured the link checkers work quite accurately and if they ever get bogged down, or behind, or we have a technical problem with them (it does happen from time to time), we would be the first to let you know of the matter with a quick update via your LinksManager account control panel entrance page, or a direct mailer.
Please let us know if you have other questions or concerns. Thanks for using LinksManager.com.
Joel – LinksManager.com Helpdesk
–I can see the dilema they face: A fine balance between not being invasive and the ability to check links accurately.
As with manual links pages, the onus is on us to check our recip. links manually from time to time.July 2, 2004 at 1:11 am #651277
I brought this to everyones attention rather then just letting YOUR links potentially go un-reciprocated.
I was doing what I thought was the prudent thing in warning my peers to what I had found. I was not taking shots at Links Manager and was plainly clear in laying all blame for the problems with cheating by other webmasters and not the links manager system.
There were however at least 15 or so occurances where the links manager reciprocal checker said the links were active yet when I checked the pages no longer existed.
I have at least 20 accounts with Links Manager and am well aware how their system works. I am NOT a newbie or technical imbecile. :angry:
The links that I deleted were ALL over three months old
as I wanted to be sure the links spiders from the search engines had ample time to spider the partner sites and assign PR values at Google. Quite frankly I am insulted.