In the world of online marketing many website owners ‘exchange links’. This simply means placing a link on one website in exchange for a link from another website.
Links from other websites are thought of by search engines as ‘votes’ and can help in moving a website higher up the order of natural search engine results.
It is quite common if you are the owner of a popular website to receive a large number of ‘link exchange’ requests by email on a daily basis.
In order to decide if a website is worth linking with it is quite common to click on a link in an email to visit the site and make sure it’s suitable.
I recently received an email from Sanjeev (firstname.lastname@example.org):
Sub:Link Exchange Request
I found your great website while searching for relevant link partners. We are very picky of whom we choose for a link exchange. We value your high quality website useful for our users and would like to ask you if you would be interested in exchanging links with our high quality theme relevant site.
For your reference, I am sending the site details:
Title : Credit Cards
URL : http://uk.virginmoney.com/credit-card-v3/
Description : For everyday use we offer a very rewarding Virgin Credit Card, and for people who love to travel there’s our Virgin Atlantic American Express Credit Card from MBNA. Take your pick.
Your link will be added at : http://www.lindsaylohanmusic.info/
Hoping an early and positive response from you on this would be highly appreciated.
For the purpose of placing this email on my site I have disabled the links.
The reason I have done this is because website links are not always what they seem. The ‘URL’ you can see is not always where the link points and you can find by clicking a link you end up somewhere completely different.
Both of the links contained in the email redirected to the correct place but they were redirected via another web address that attempted to download malicious code and ‘diallers’.
Malicious code is more often known as a virus and ‘diallers’ put themselves in the way of your internet connection and make your computer connect via a premium rate number.
Thankfully my antivirus software is up to dat but needless to say I will not be exchanging links!
What I can’t tell is if Virgin Money have actually asked Sanjeev to conduct a link building exercise or if this has no link to Virgin whatsoever and Sanjeev and his team are just going around trying to attack the competition….
Always hover over a link and use your ‘status bar’ (bottom left of an active window) to see where the link points before clicking.