Thief Most 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