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Humor on the Net: Reciprocal link builders


you can't rely on bad links

Anyone who has a website, or does SEO work for one, has likely run across reciprocal link builders. Heck, Matt Cutts gets requests. Even after numerous changes to reduce the value of their links the internet is still full of them.

The other day I got the following, and decided to check it out. Unlike most, they do nothing to hide who they are, in fact they seem to be marketing their own site (or set of sites).

Dear webmaster,

I have added your site to our site here [removed] . Our site have good PR3 and We assure it will have a PR higher in the near future.

You can be find your site at: [removed] Under title: [removed]

Exchanging links will benefit with both of us. And a way link is very important with increase traffic and search engine ranking. If you are interested in link exchange, Please feel free to insert our site to your site with the details as following:

Title: Mekong delta tours, tours to Mekong Delta, tours in Mekong delta, cruises in Mekong delta, Mekong Delta Tour, Mekong Delta Travel, Tour Mekong Delta Vietnam
URL: [removed]
Description: Mekong delta tours, tours to Mekong Delta, tours in Mekong delta, cruises in Mekong delta, Mekong Delta Tour, Mekong Delta Travel, Tour Mekong Delta Vietnam, Travel Mekong Delta Vietnam, Mekong River Cruise, Cruise Mekong River, Boat Cruise Mekong River, Mekong Delta Floating Market Tour, Mekong River Indochina Cruise, Mekong River Border Crossing, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia Cruises, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia Border Crossing Tours, Mekong River Upstream Cruise, Chau Doc-Cambodia Border Crossing Cruise, Indochina Cruise, Mekong River Cruise Tour, Laos Tours, Vietnam Tours, Cambodia Tour, Siem Reap Angkor Watt Tour, Tonle Sap Cruise, Xieng Khouang Tours, Laos Kayaking Tours, Laos Trekking Tours, Cambodia Adventure Tours, Laos Adventure

Or you can to use the code by copy then paste into your site:
<a href =' [removed] 'target ='_blank'> Mekong delta tours, tours to Mekong Delta, tours in Mekong delta </a><br> Mekong delta tours, tours to Mekong Delta, tours in Mekong delta, cruises in Mekong delta, Mekong Delta Tour, Mekong Delta Travel, Tour Mekong Delta Vietnam, Travel Mekong Delta Vietnam

Your site will act in the 5 day. If our site is not lived at your site, We will remore your site.

I will be wiating your reply.

Thanks and regards,

[removed]

I can't get over how many things are wrong here. Even ignoring the wealth of hilarious writing, obvious template email, and linkdirectory "swap" request, you've got the following:

  • A linkfarm of 35 pages containing 696 links
  • at the time the page was uncached (I notice now that all 35 pages are cached, good job guys!) meaning that Google wouldn't even know it was there. Though in retrospect that might be a positive thing given that this isnt exactly what you want to associate your website with.
  • misformed HTML code for their link
  • harsh ending tone
  • and the title, my god... "Mekong delta tours, tours to Mekong Delta, tours in Mekong delta, cruises in Mekong delta, Mekong Delta Tour, Mekong Delta Travel, Tour Mekong Delta Vietnam", followed by a 'description' five times as long. Talk about red flags.

This lead me to look at their page. We all know the mantra of 'keywords in title' right? Apparently so do they:

<title>Mekong delta tours, tours to Mekong Delta, tours in Mekong delta, Mekong cruises, cruises in Mekong delta, Mekong Delta Tour, Mekong Delta Travel, Tour Mekong Delta Vietnam, Travel Mekong Delta Vietnam, Mekong River Cruise, Mekong Delta Biking Tour, Cruise Mekong River, Boat Cruise Mekong River, Mekong Delta Floating Market Tour, Mekong River Indochina Cruise, Mekong River Border Crossing, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia Cruises, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia Border Crossing Tours, Mekong River Upstream Cruise, Chau Doc-Cambodia Border Crossing Cruise, Indochina Cruise, Mekong River Cruise Tour, Laos Tours, Vietnam Tours, Cambodia Tour, Siem Reap Angkor Watt Tour, Tonle Sap Cruise, Xieng Khouang Tours, Laos Kayaking Tours, Laos Trekking Tours, Cambodia Adventure Tours, Laos Adventure, Indochina Expeditions, Indochina Adventure Tours</title>
In fact, their entire header is hilarious:
<META NAME="description" CONTENT="Mekong delta tours, tours to Mekong Delta, tours in Mekong delta, cruises in Mekong delta, Mekong Delta Tour, Mekong Delta Travel, Tour Mekong Delta Vietnam, Travel Mekong Delta Vietnam, Mekong River Cruise, Cruise Mekong River, Boat Cruise Mekong River, Mekong Delta Floating Market Tour, Mekong River Indochina Cruise, Mekong River Border Crossing, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia Cruises, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia Border Crossing Tours, Mekong River Upstream Cruise, Chau Doc-Cambodia Border Crossing Cruise, Indochina Cruise, Mekong River Cruise Tour, Laos Tours, Vietnam Tours, Cambodia Tour, Siem Reap Angkor Watt Tour, Tonle Sap Cruise, Xieng Khouang Tours, Laos Kayaking Tours, Laos Trekking Tours, Cambodia Adventure Tours, Laos Adventure, Indochina Expeditions, Indochina Adventure Tours">
<META NAME="keywords" CONTENT= "Mekong delta tours, tours to Mekong Delta, tours in Mekong delta, cruises in Mekong delta, Mekong Delta Vietnam Travel and Tour, Mekong Delta Home Stay, Mekong Delta Biking Tour, Mekong River Cruise Tours to Laos Cambodia, Border Crossing Tours, Tours to Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia, Indochina Cruises, Indochina Tours, Mekong Delta Tour, Mekong Delta Travel, Tour Mekong Delta Vietnam, Travel Mekong Delta Vietnam, Mekong River Cruise, Cruise Mekong River, Boat Cruise Mekong River, Mekong Delta Floating Market Tour, Mekong River Indochina Cruise, Mekong River Border Crossing, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia Cruises, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia Border Crossing Tours, Mekong River Upstream Cruise, Chau Doc-Cambodia Border Crossing Cruise, Indochina Cruise, Mekong River Cruise Tour, Laos Tours, Vietnam Tours, Cambodia Tour, Siem Reap Angkor Watt Tour, Tonle Sap Cruise, Xieng Khouang Tours, Laos Kayaking Tours, Laos Trekking Tours, Cambodia Adventure Tours, Laos Adventure, Indochina Expeditions, Indochina Adventure Tours">
<META NAME="PAGE-TOPIC" content="Mekong Delta Vietnam Travel and Tour, Mekong Delta Home Stay, Mekong Delta Biking Tour, Mekong River Cruise Tours to Laos Cambodia, Border Crossing Tours, Tours to Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia, Indochina Cruises, Indochina Tours, Mekong Delta Tour, Mekong Delta Travel, Tour Mekong Delta Vietnam, Travel Mekong Delta Vietnam, Mekong River Cruise, Cruise Mekong River, Boat Cruise Mekong River, Mekong Delta Floating Market Tour, Tours to Siem Reap, Xieng Khouang, Tonle Sap, Vang Vieng, Luang Prabang Tour">
<META name="revisit-after" content="2 days">
<META NAME="Search Engines" CONTENT="www.google.com, www.google.co.uk, www.google.it, www.google.es, www.google.com.au, www.altaVista.com, www.aol.com, www.infoseek.com, www.excite.com, www.hotbot.com, www.lycos.com, www.magellan.com, www.cnet.com, www.voila.com, www.google.fr, www.yahoo.fr, www.yahoo.com, www.alltheweb.com, www.msn.com, www.netscape.com, www.nomade.com">

Of course they don't rank well at all for most of those terms, despite having several thousand links in an uncompetitive market. The initial reasons are obvious, but also they just seem to lack any quality links, and as anyone in the SEO world will tell you: quality over quantity.

You just can't rely on a bad link.

Comments (Comment Moderation is enabled. Your comment will not appear until approved.)
"Tonigt we're gonna party like it is the 1999!"

I still get the odd bad link exchange spam but this one was funny on so many levels...
# Posted By Linda Bustos | 4/1/09 7:09 AM
they are so bad that they deserve a notfollowed link with an anchor like 'how not to do linkbuilding' :)
BTW, I've never seen that <META NAME="Search Engines" CONTENT="www.google.com....
# Posted By Ani Lopez | 4/8/09 11:08 AM
Me neither, I figured it was a hold over from oldschool altavista style SEO.
# Posted By KentC | 4/8/09 12:56 PM
yeah! i'll second Ani that neither i have found such content in meta tag ever.
# Posted By SEO Company | 10/10/09 12:07 PM
same problem
# Posted By Resa | 2/22/10 8:19 AM
Ridiculous, but apparently it does work. That's how I found this page.
# Posted By Rahmi from Holiday In Angkor Wat | 3/1/10 1:31 PM
If it worked wouldn't you have found that site, instead of the post making fun of it?
# Posted By kentc | 3/1/10 1:41 PM
Me neither, I figured it was a hold over from oldschool altavista style SEO.
# Posted By pat jessica | 7/9/10 9:37 PM
.