10 Methods Black Hat Thieves Use To Steal Traded Links

ThiefMost effective SEO and internet marketing companies still engage in link trading for its SEO benefit. Even though reciprocal (traded) links don’t have as much value as they used to, trading links is a solid way of getting links with your keyword in the anchor text. For the link traders out there, watch out for these 10 methods black hat SEOs will use to steal your links:

  1. No Index – They will place your link on a page that uses the ‘noindex’ command. If the page the link to your site is on isn’t indexed, you won’t get credit for it. They, on the other hand will get credit for a one-way link. Gosh I hate freaking spammers.
  2. No Follow – Even if your link is placed on an indexed page, you won’t get credit for the link if they use the ‘nofollow’ attribute on the link. This is a really common practice for link thieves – watch for it closely.
  3. Javascript – Many link thieves will use javascript to make their link to you so that it looks like a link, but isn’t a hard link. Make sure that links to your site are made using <a href…> html tag, not javascript.
  4. Island Pages – Sometimes savvy link thieves will create a real link on a real page, but won’t link to it from any of their other pages. This makes it so that the page isn’t ever found by Google and other search engines, so you won’t get credit for the links.
  5. Advance Island Pages – These are very much like Island Pages, except the thief will link to them using ‘nofollow’. That way, the page won’t get indexed but will appear to be linked to by other pages. This method will fool many experienced link traders.
  6. Using Another Site’s Links – Thieves will propose a three way link trade where they find a site that is already linking to you, saying that they own the site when they really don’t. That way they get you to link to their site without linking to yours.
  7. Removing Links – Most of the time when a thief tries to steal links, they agree to a trade and then simply delete your link after a few weeks. Most of the time people don’t go back to check so they just get taken by this method.
  8. Robots.txt – They can keep a page from getting indexed using robots.txt. Again, if they place your link on a page that isn’t indexed, you won’t get any benefit.
  9. Redirecting Links – Instead of linking directly to your site, they will link to a page in their own site that redirects to your site using javascript or a meta refresh. That way, they don’t really give you a link at all.
  10. Back-Dated Lie – They contact you acting like they traded with you in the past. They will tell you that your link on their site is still up while asking why you deleted their link. This way they get you to link to them, the problem is that the original trade never happened.

Death To Black Hat Link Thieves

Comments 18

  1. The use of iframes or frames is another method used to cheat on links. The page your link “looks” like it is on is not really the page that your link is on. Also, I have seen sites put up link directories, trade hard for 3 or 4 months and then delete the whole directory. If you’re not following up on your links you’re toast.

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  2. Wow I had no idea there were so many ways for links to be stolen. I am guessing you have had experience with all of these since you are writing about them.
    I did have an unrelated question. Do you know generally how long it takes for articles to be accepted by the sites that articlemarketer distributes to? It shows the article has not been distributed to any sites and it has been almost two weeks. I emailed them a week ago about it and they have not emailed me back.

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      Yeah black hatters are pretty creative!

      Article Marketer is upgrading their distribution software, so nothing is getting distributed. Should be back online within a few days, at least that’s what they told me!

      1. Well that’s good I just figured that maybe the article I submitted was horrible or something. They actual just emailed me and said what you had said. So hopefully it starts working again soon. Thanks for your help Court!

  3. I get emails to sites like this.
    I love it when they ask for a link on my front page and they give links buried somewhere with one link to the directory of links. Then they email again and wonder why I will not link!
    Great list.

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  4. Hi Court,

    Are you only talking about directories, or also about other bloggers that ask to trade links with bloggers, and then use the tactics above (on their blog) when “giving out” links?

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      Hi JoLynn!

      I’m talking more about when bloggers and other webmasters trade links! Yeah, they use these tactics when they give links out. Pretty messed up eh?

  5. i am quite new to bloggin and realised that i had used my robots.txt to no index my links page, which i have now removed. i read somewhere which pages i should add to my robots file so i added virtually all pages on my site except for the articles. but i have slimmed down my robots.txt now

    court i must say that for a new blogger like myself i find your site to be excellent and is one of the few sites i return to regularly. you are clearly an expert in your field and i hope to emulate the things you do.

    thanks for the information

  6. There are always going to be loads of people who are takers and not givers, and try to cheat you out of all you’ve got. And the sad thing is, the friendly innocent people are the ones who have to suffer.

    This was a great, helpful article Court. It’s going to be in my next roundup because I want others to not be cheated out of their links. Thanks for the post. 🙂

  7. Pingback: What you have to watch for when you exchange links | Free Cash Quest

  8. great article. full of helpful info especially for newbie. most of the things you talked about i experience my self. from that experience i know what to look for and what not. most newbie never got this knowledge from all over the place. if they got lucky the will come across it. if not they might learn it from a secret they bought from some ebooks. so thanks for sharing that especially on behalf of newbie.

  9. This blog Is very informative , I am really pleased to post my comment on this blog . It helped me with ocean of knowledge so I really belive you will do much better in the future . Good job web master .

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