Over the last few days, there has been a lot of debate over viral chain linking. The type of linking I’m talking about can be seen on these three posts:

Basically a whole bunch of people jump on board and pass around lists of links that sometime turn out to be massive. The debate that has been going on challenges the value of these types of link chains. Obviously it’s a two-sided issue.

In my opinion these link chains are both effective and ineffective. They are effective because they really help you to raise your Technorati ranking. There is no way I would have been able to get into the top 5000 blogs in Technorati as quickly as I did without the success of Viralink and ViralTags. The risk is that one day Technorati will discount all of the links, and it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if that happened. If you use these methods, you need to prepare yourself for the possibility that your Technorati ranking could be adjusted to discount these types of links.

The Misconception
Many people out there are joining these trains because they think that it will help them to get ranked better in Google and other search engines. In my opinion they aren’t going to help anyone get ranked better in Google. Google is the wise, old, 45 pound lake trout that is almost impossible to catch – they have systems in place to discount these types of schemes. Even the ViralTags chain, which allows us to choose our anchor text will likely not help anyone’s ranking in Google. In my opinion you shouldn’t count on any type of PageRank boost – this type of link is just too easy.

Why Do I Sometimes Indulge Then?
I participate because it helps with my Technorati ranking. It also probably helps my rankings in other search engines, including Yahoo and MSN. I think you have to use them for what they can help you with, and realize that they won’t help you with Google.

Does anyone out there think that these links will actually pass PageRank? Does anyone think Google will ban us for using them? Will Technorati catch on?