I’ve received several e-mails from owners of web sites asking me to link to their site in order to boost their Pagerank on Google. The sites were unrelated to mine.
I politely but firmly informed each of them that I have reported them to Google because of their request. I do this in the hope that Google will lower their Pagerank, or at least flag the site as one to watch for future problems. If you receive a similar request, I urge you to do the same.
To those who have requested links, if you want to get more traffic and visitors, don’t cheat. Improve your site and the natural consequence will be that more people will visit. If you want to get a quick boost, sign up for Google Adwords and get traffic that way, but don’t try to cheat the system. If you do, you may gain something in the short term, but in the long term you will lose, and I will continue my efforts to make sure of that.
Bloggers are well-liked by Google because we provide useful links and information on a vast array of subjects, but we need to assess the value of the links we provide. It’s not worth making a few bucks on the side to link to a site that has no relevance to your own site. It will probably turn off regular readers, hurting your own site. Plus, Google’s webmaster guidelines warn, “don’t participate in link schemes designed to increase your site’s ranking or PageRank. In particular, avoid links to web spammers or “bad neighborhoods” on the web as your own ranking may be affected adversely by those links.”
In other words, linking to a site that’s not related to yours and becomes associated with link spamming may come back to hurt your own blog’s Pagerank.
I equate the requests I’ve received to comment spam. There are hundreds of thousands of comment spam links that have to be deleted every day. Please don’t add more to the mix.