What’s That Link Really Worth? - Blogger help, tips and hacks

What’s That Link Really Worth?

How many times have you received an email, or seen an offer that claimed you could get a link on their high PageRank (PR) website for a few bucks, or for doing some random, small favor? I know I do alllllll the time. Years ago I fell for many of them, but now I know better.

So how do you know if a link is really worth your time, effort and/or money?

1. Does the “high PR” even exist? If it does, is the claimed PR assigned to the actual page where your link will be placed, or is that just the PR of the main page? For the beginners out there, PR is assigned to each individual page throughout the net. This means that if the index of a website is say a PR 7 and you’re getting a link on an internal page, it doesn’t necessarily mean that’s a good link. It all depends on the amount of “link juice” going to that specific page as well as other things that I’ll explain below.

2. How many other links are on the page where your link will be placed? This is the one that gets most people. The assigned PR for any given webpage is split up among all of the links on that page. This means that just because a page has been assigned a PR6 or whatever, if there are hundreds of other links on the page, your link is going to get a VERY small cut of that PR. This goes for both internal links and external.

3. Is the owner using shady techniques to restrict search engines (SE’s) from finding your link. There are three things you need to check - 1. robots.txt file. If they are disallowing the page in which they are offering a link in the robots.txt file, they are ripping you off because most major SE’s do follow the guidelines set in the robots.txt file and they will not follow that page, meaning your link will get no love by the SE’s. 2. Are they using the rel=”nofollow” attribute in the linking code? rel=”nofollow” is respected by some of the SE’s including Google. This tells some SE’s not to consider the link for indexing, some not to consider it for PR distribution and some for neither indexing or PR distribution. 3. Is the page where your link is supposed to appear using a nofollow META tag? The same goes for nofollow META tags, as does with the rel=”nofollow” linking attribute.

4. Is the site obviously selling text links? This is something that didn’t matter too much in the past, but with the recent buzz over Google’s dislike of paid links, there is a good chance that your link will get no PR distributed to it if the site clearly states that they sell text link advertising. This is a controversial issue, but Google has been known to strip sites of their ability to pass PR because of link selling.

All of these of course mean nothing if the link will actually drive targeted traffic to your site. In order to find that out you would just have to go through with it and give it a shot. Take a look at their rankings (Google PR, Alexa, Technorati if it’s a blog, Compete etc.) and make an educated guess whether or not the link will actually drive traffic to you.

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