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Links only pages penalized?

JBaldwin asked 1 year ago
I was doing a little educational reading about search engine optimization and in the book a valid point was brought up in regards to “Links Exchange” only pages. You know, the ones we all have on our sites that are used for exchanging reciprocal links with everyone.

They may not be penalized now, but what about in the not so distant future? Search engine algos seem to be using different criteria every time you turn around. I am sure the search system companies realize that these “links pages” are only there to boost page rank and don’t really serve any other purpose than that. I can speak for myself when I say, I never follow any of the links for “poker related sites” in anyone’s links pages, so won’t search engines/systems eventually realize that these reciprocal link pages are just exploiting the backlinking idea?

So my question is, (to anyone who is more actively involved in SEO), how soon do you think something like this (being penalized for reciprocal link pages) when and will happen?

Is the best alternative trying to scatter a few high PR links around your site and use a few specific ones? Or am I totally in the dark about this stuff and need to go find something else to worry about? :blahblah:

6 Answers
mwack answered 1 year ago
I don’t think that entire websites will be penalized for having a page with all outbound links on it. That page may be penalized in the rankings (and maybe in the PR it passes, eventually), but link exchanges have been around long before Google was.

As far as how soon, I’m half-hoping my links pages will get penalized in the rankings.. they rank higher than my normal pages for some phrases.

JBaldwin answered 1 year ago
Doesnt the amount of links you have on your links pages also affect the amount of page rank that is passed on to the link. Meaning, if your links page has a PR of 2, all of the pages you are linking to get that PR split up (PR=2, 10 links on the page, each link gets 0.2 PR) So in essence, if you have your link on a links page with a PR of 4 with hundreds of links on it, that back link is not as valuable as a page (with your link in it) with a PR of 2 and only 10 links on it (see below example…)? Is my assumption correct? I’m pretty sure this is the way I interpreted it. I am going to go back and reread it.

My link is on a page with a :

|=== PR ===|=== #of Links ===|=== Shared PR ===|
|…… 4 ……|………. 100……….|………..0.04……….|
|…… 2 ……|………. 10………..|………..0.2……….|

webber286 answered 1 year ago
That is the theory as far as how PR gets split up, although there is also the issue of non-related links being discounted altogether, so it may not be just a simple calculation.

There are a couple of sites out their that are cited as credible information for helping to figure out how PR is calculated.

Check out:

elgoog answered 1 year ago
1.i never experienced dis-accounting of non relating links

2.i submiited a page to Google with only links on it
about 30 outbound to DMOZ sites
had only ne inbound link from myself from a pr4
it had a pr3 immidiatly

mwack answered 1 year ago
The thing that makes that theory confusing, JBaldwin, is that it’s not simply “PR 2” or “PR 4”. That’s just what we see. So while you’re correct in that the PR of the page is split amongst ALL other links, one link from a PR5 page with 200 other links on it could be worth more than a link from a PR2 page with 0 links on it. The reason being that the PR system is scaled – so if it takes 500 links to get to PR2, it’ll take 4,000 to get to PR3, 17,000 for PR4, etc (these are just examples, as it’s alot more confusing than this).

webber286 answered 1 year ago
Yes, PR is logrithmic. It is very easy to achieve a PR3, reasonable to get a PR4, alot of work for a PR5, extremely tough to get a PR6 and about impossible for a PR7 (though I have seen a few).

Assume all of your links are on PR4 pages (unique domains on unique IP Blocks) with less than 50 links. According to the table at:

You would need:
3.5 links for a PR3
18.5 links for a PR4
101 links for a PR5
555 links for a PR6
3,055 links for a PR7
16,803 links for a PR8

While no one has cracked the actual formula for calculating PR, especially given all of the factors (links on a page, sitewide vs. home page vs. directory page with 50 or more links, reciprocal vs. one-way, etc. etc.). I’ve seen several SEO experts refer to this table as more or less accurate from their experience.