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Message
James
Posts:1757
Moderator
Member since: 2006-11-29
:: Quote ::
Subject: Link exchange I think is unsuitable - opinions please
I've been asked by Marie Stopes organisation to link to a certain page on their website. I already have several links to that site - either the main index page, or appropriate content. However, what they want me to link to in order for them to place a link to me is a page on abortion. Whilst there are some relevances between my site and theirs, my personal feeling is that the link is not relevant to my site, or visitors and I would consider it innapropriate - therefore it's not wise to do this link. I am inclined to tell them that I will continue to link to them wherever it is relevant to do so, and it's down to them if they choose to link back or not.

But to be professional about this, I was wondering if there was any merit to doing a link that isn't totally relevant, or possibly innapropriate. So my question is does Google penalise irrelevant linkage?
February 03, 2009 06:20PM
Joshua
Posts:2831
Administrator
Member since: 2007-03-16
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Link exchange I think is unsuitable - opinions please
IMHO they do penalize, but not in your case. It's not like a link exchange scheme I see all the kiddies (to be professional webmasters that is) doing nowadays.

Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I'd seek relevant links, but on the other hand everyone linking to my site voluntarily is OK with me too.
February 03, 2009 06:58PM
Harold
Posts:2494
Senior member
Member since: 2006-11-30
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Link exchange I think is unsuitable - opinions please
" I am inclined to tell them that I will continue to link to them wherever it is relevant to do so, and it's down to them if they choose to link back or not. "

That's pretty much my policy--in fact it's stated on my site as such.
February 03, 2009 07:41PM
DamonHD
Posts:6158
Moderator
Member since: 2006-11-30
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Link exchange I think is unsuitable - opinions please
Indeed.

No explicit quid-pro-quo except in very special cases.

Rgds

Damon
February 03, 2009 08:12PM
Pengi
Posts:3345
Senior member
Member since: 2006-12-17
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Link exchange I think is unsuitable - opinions please
I have a theory that somehow G only considers links that are actually used. I.e. a clearly irrelevant link that no one clicks on would count neither for you nor against you. However, an apparently irrelevant link that your visitors use, would count in your favour.
February 03, 2009 08:36PM
GegaBit
Posts:3311
Senior member
Member since: 2006-11-30
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Link exchange I think is unsuitable - opinions please
Follow your heart James, obviously you don't think it adds value to your visitors.

As for Google, even if they don't penalize it now, there's no telling how future algos see it, but one thing remains true now and in the future, link relevance.

Send their idiot webmaster a list of where you've linked to them, and at the bottom tell him that his giving you that one link should not come with conditions that cripple your site, but as a natural act otherwise you don't need it and have better things to do with your time.
February 03, 2009 10:28PM
James
Posts:1757
Moderator
Member since: 2006-11-29
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Link exchange I think is unsuitable - opinions please
Thanks for the feedback everyone! As per usual you have come up trumps for me, and I've got a win win proposition for them now.

I do want to exchange links with them, but not the content they suggest. I've written back asking for the correspondence to be passed on to head of web development. I've told them how I will link to their site, and that I won't link to content I think is irrelevant to my site visitors. I've also pointed out that I have content on my site they would be daft NOT to link to. I have a section whereby people can write in their experiences, and one of the pages has several stories that are in fact positive independant testimonials to their clinics and services. I've pointed out the value of this content, and suggested they link to it.

I'll let you know IF they are sensible enough to reply!
February 04, 2009 07:45AM
James
Posts:1757
Moderator
Member since: 2006-11-29
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Link exchange I think is unsuitable - opinions please
The person who originally emailed me hasn't replied, so I've gone to the webmaster direct, and will see what happens now. I'm slightly suspicious now, as I note the original emails were done from a gmail account. Maybe this means nothing, but it just struck me as slightly odd not to have an official email address from the organisation.
February 08, 2009 09:06AM
Troi
Posts:4431
Senior member
Member since: 2006-11-30
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Link exchange I think is unsuitable - opinions please
MMmmmm - suspicious indeed. I must admit that I tent to ignore any commercial emails from gmail addresses. But I guess this could be legitimate. Are there any other contact details/email addresses on their site? What does the whois tell you about them?
February 08, 2009 09:29AM
James
Posts:1757
Moderator
Member since: 2006-11-29
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Link exchange I think is unsuitable - opinions please
I used the contact the webmaster button on their site this time. marie Stopes is a global organisation based in London, so they are legitimate and worth trying to get a link out of.

The thing about the gmail address may not be that suspicious. I guess that occasionally organisations have a temporary flurry on to generate links, and if the bod charged with the task does it from a gmail account rather than set up a real address then that may be a possibility. Especially as the bod charged with this seems to be a little dumb! But if it was me personally, I'd have a proper email address set up. But hey ho....
February 08, 2009 09:40AM
Troi
Posts:4431
Senior member
Member since: 2006-11-30
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Link exchange I think is unsuitable - opinions please
Is it possible they have out-sourced linking?
February 08, 2009 11:17AM
James
Posts:1757
Moderator
Member since: 2006-11-29
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Link exchange I think is unsuitable - opinions please
Maybe. I've mentioned the gmail address in my email, so maybe they will give more info on this. But I sort of get the feeling that what they have done is given an unwanted task to the most junior person in the office and not given them any resources!
February 08, 2009 01:48PM
DamonHD
Posts:6158
Moderator
Member since: 2006-11-30
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Link exchange I think is unsuitable - opinions please
James, my hunch is with your hunch...

Rgds

Damon
February 08, 2009 05:38PM
GegaBit
Posts:3311
Senior member
Member since: 2006-11-30
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Link exchange I think is unsuitable - opinions please
Quote:
Is it possible they have out-sourced linking?

Indeed, an AdSense forum mod you all know does link building for a living among other things..
February 08, 2009 06:59PM
Ian C. Purdie
Posts:2220
Senior member
Member since: 2008-12-12
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Link exchange I think is unsuitable - opinions please
Quote:
Indeed, an AdSense forum mod you all know does link building for a living among other things..
Interesting.

BTW I get link requests several times a week. I've only added two in the last ten years.

One to a fellow in Britain whom is a well known author in my field and I gave him a deserved link to get him off the ground with Google when I had a PR of 7.

The other one was a talented 15 year old kid after I confirmed he wasn't stealing content from elsewhere.
February 08, 2009 07:47PM
James
Posts:1757
Moderator
Member since: 2006-11-29
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Link exchange I think is unsuitable - opinions please
Update on this one is that they never replied. I'm not really bothered to be honest.
February 20, 2009 05:13PM

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