What is Link Exchange
In case you are not familiar with SEO, let me elaborate what “link exchange” is. Usually as a website owner, I would like to have more other websites (of good quality) link to my website so as to increase the exposure and page-rank of my website. If I think the websites linking to mine is good, I would put links to them in my website as a reward, so that both of us will be benefited. This is so call “link exchange” and it is a win-win game, as I always believe.
So let’s start talking about the story: Yesterday when our project website received an invitation about advertising on us and propose link exchange. The sender is a medium-size, international job hunting website. The advertising campaign sounds quite good but unfortunately it’s technically not feasible for our website (I’m not going to cover that in this post.). What we wanna tell today is their link exchange proposal. They propose that we add a link to their website while they do the same for us as well. They provided us an URL to a page (Let’s call it “Secret Page”, and the website FoolingYouWebsite.com. You will know why soon.) showing how the links would look like in their website. The “Secret Page” has a quite simple and direct URL structure: www.FoolingYouWebsite.com/SecretPage.html.
We were almost agree to the proposal, right before we do further investigation: We just can’t find a way to go to the “Secret Page” from the website’s entrance, unless we type in its URL directly. This means that, the “Secret Page” actually is isolated from the website’s main pages. Since it’s isolated, the search engine may be able to find and index the “Secret Page”. If search engine cannot find and index the page, anything on the page is meaningless. This is one doubt.
Secondly we checks the robots.txt of the website (www.FoolingYouWebsite.com/robots.txt). Surprisingly we find that the “Secret Page” is “Disallowed” from ALL robots! What does it mean? It means that ALL search engines will NEVER read that page even when they found that page. What a big cheating!
Not mentioning we refused the proposal, we are writing here to let people learn about this. We suggest every website owner have to do a research on the website as well as the robots.txt for every link exchange request.