5.6 No one's gonna cheat you: verify your links
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Let's start from an example.
Here's the message I got a couple of months ago:
I'm new to SEO and I've got a real problem with some of my backlinks and I'm just desperate to figure it out myself.
I own a business in the trucking industry, and have a site, and I've exchanged links with some related sites, about 2 months ago. But when I'm checking it with any software, many of these links to me are not found. Neither Google, nor Yahoo! seem to see these links. My questions: Why is that so? And how much time I have to wait till Google indexes my links?
I checked it on their sites and I see the links are there, so I don't understand why Search Engines don't see them.
Could you please advise how to speed this up?
I asked Derek to send me his site URL and addresses of those pages from which the links weren't found and the answer came in just 2 minutes: one of his partners' sites was using frames, and the rest put nofollow tags in links pointing to Derek's site.
These words about frames and stuff seem no more familiar than ancient Greek? That's why I'm inviting you to proceed to Step 9 and discuss all these cheating techniques and how to uncover them.
Step 9. Check if the link to you is still there
There's about a dozen ways a link could be wrong, or your partners may be cheating you intendedly — and LinkAssistant lets you discover that within seconds! Don't overlook this step — there's no point building links that don't really work.
So select which partners you want to check and hit the Verify button.
Check the Verification Passed column and let's see what results may show up.
Link verification results in LinkAssistant
Means that the link is found on the page where it should be, it has the right anchor text and leads to the right page of your site, it will be seen by Search Engines and is really useful for your site's optimization.
Just a quick note: although some links bring you no SEO value, it's still possible that they send you good traffic. If you see that it's true for some link, take a minute to think — maybe you should keep that link. But that's not such a common case though.
Reads: some of the expected link's anchor settings are wrong. There are two options.
1) Wrong anchor text
The link exists, but the partner didn't use the anchor text that you asked them to use. This may be important, because if you optimize your site for cats food you'd prefer the cats food anchor to a simple recommended site anchor, right?
Just think — if I were a coffee place owner and I'd order the signboard saying "Mr. Richmond's Coffee Bar". Then the contractor installs the sign, I go outside holding a coffee cup, imagining how I'll enjoy the view and give a good tip to the worker...and Ouch!.. What gives??? The sign outside my coffee place says "Mr. Richmond's Health Centre"!!!
I wouldn't be happy about this, would you?
You decide how important it is to you to have exactly the same anchor text as you asked. Maybe you'll want to write to your link partner and demand to change the text.
2) Wrong anchor URL
The partner links back to your site, but he's not pointing to the right page you asked him to point to.
For example, you asked him to make a link to your super–convincing landing page www.water-mattresses.com, and they link to www.water-mattresses.com/related-goods.html instead. Well this looks like a mistake rather than a cheating trick — and you'd better just write to your partner and ask to change your backlink's anchor URL.
To check what exactly is wrong, select the problem partner and click Edit. Switch to Backlink To You and compare Found Backlink Info with Assigned Backlink Info. The problem areas are highlighted with red.
Checking which anchor settings are wrong
For example, on this screen you can see that both the anchor text and the anchor URL are wrong.
|Restricted by robots.txt|
Do you remember how we discussed Robots.txt in part 2.3.4: Make a robots.txt file? A Robots.txt file restricts Google's access to some webpages, so that Search Engines never pay attention to what's written on them, what links they contain and so on.
Let's say Annie has a webpage A , Ben has a webpage B and Connie has page C, and they all have a link partner Dennis, who's got the link directory D. Denny made a robots.txt file and restricted Search Engines' access to page D, then Google will never "keep in mind" that Denny is linking to your pages A, B and C.
Means that the link exists, but the link's tag includes the rel="nofollow" attribute. In brief, this attribute tells Search Engines that the link shouldn't add to the rankings of the page it's linking to.
And though the link itself looks normal on the webpage, the tag looks like in the example below.
This Is The Example Of A Nofollow Link
<a href="http://example.com/example" rel="nofollow"> This Is The Example Of A Nofollow Link </a>
Therefore, if you've got 5 links with nofollow tags, Search Engines may see such links, but they won't count them when deciding how to rank your page. So these links are totally useless for your site's SEO, and it looks like your link partners are trying to cheat you — they have a good link and you practically don't.
DO IT NOW! Verify that your link partners really link back to you, and that all links are useful indeed.
Now you should do one of the two things: either remove links to these sly guys from your site, or make another attempt — write to them saying that the link is wrong and that if they don't correct it, you won't be linking to them.
For the first option, Edit each unfair partner and unmark the checkbox saying "Include this link partner into your link directory".
Excluding a partner from the link directory
After that, click the Generate button and re–upload your link directory to the site. Ready! You're not doing link charity any more.
For the second option, select these partners and click the "Email" button.
Choose the right email template called "Our Link Not Found" Notification and email them. Again, all emails will be personalized, as if you've sent them one by one.
After you went through all the steps, don't forget to test your rankings with Rank Tracker (my instructions were in Part 1.3.2: Let Rank Tracker do its job) to know how good the results of your linking campaign are!
DO IT NOW! Check your webpage's rankings in Search Engines regularly and keep record of results.
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