Consulente Web Marketing e Consulenza Motori di Ricerca

Web Marketing & Search Engine Consultant

Link Leeching: Unethical and Inexperienced Webmasters

link leeching: image of a leech similar to those stealing link love from unaware web owners … Ugly creatures aren’t they – I’m talking about leeches. Just as ugly as the story I’m about to tell you about a web design firm and how they used their Clients … When you are on the 1st page of Google for any keyword rest assured someone’s going to check you out – it actually amazes me how people can underestimate their own visibility, especially if you are in pole position, i.e. #1 ! The first thing anyone would do is run a back link check – so did I and was intrigued by my findings. It wasn’t so much the number of links, but the quality. "Great stuff !" I thought to myself as I opened the pages. There were pages with PR 5 and a 6, one hell of a job: the next step was a visual inspection … but no links were visible. The links were hidden in this script: <div style="Z-INDEX: 1; LEFT: 620px; VISIBILITY: hidden; WIDTH: 300px; POSITION: absolute; TOP: -132px; HEIGHT: 115px"> <ul> <li><a href=http://www.[OMISSIS] title="spammy keyword text">keyword text</a></li> <li><a href=http://www.[OMISSIS] title="spammy keyword text">keyword text</a></li> <li><a href=http://www.[OMISSIS] title="spammy keyword text">keyword text</a></li> <li><a href=http://www.[OMISSIS] title="spammy keyword text">keyword text</a></li> … <li><a href=http://www.[OMISSIS] title="spammy keyword text">keyword text</a></li> </ul> </div> I was pretty sure about what I was witnessing, but wanted to be 100% certain. So this morning I called the prestigious institute hosting the PR 5 and 6 hidden links and asked to speak with who is in charge of their website. I was put on to someone from the administration. A nice lady from the sound of her voice. I introduced myself and the topic on my phone call – at first it was hard for her to understand what I was talking about, until she saw the page code and could see the links and website destinations she did not recognize. "What are these links doing here ??" she asked in a very alarmed tone of voice. "Well that’s why I called you" I answered trying to reassure her "I wanted to advise you that you are carrying links that are hidden from the end user and this could cause you problems and have you banned from the search engines. Not to mention the embarrassment your institute would be exposed to if someone should notice". She was totally shocked. The web design company has leeched links in this fashion from a considerable number of firms they did a redesign for. I counted about 20 but the list is probably very long … Great short cut to a cornucopia of links. SEO is really easy isn’t it …