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Fill your boots – the government and Microsoft are running a reciprocal link scheme

June 28, 2011 No Comment

In the old days, people used to have reciprocal link pages. They thought they could trick Google by getting people to link to them - and linking back in exchange.

Welcome to Get Safe Online, an online security campaign backed by the government and Microsoft (here's Microsoft saying it created it ...)

Under the heading "Link to us" (on a page with an expired security certificate), the government and Microsoft are running a reciprocal link page.

The process is simple:

Would you like us to link to your site and list you as a supporter? ... Put a link to Get Safe Online on your site. Please do this before applying for a reciprocal link. We check your site to make sure you have linked to us. (If we don't find the link, your application will be rejected.) ... Give us a few days to process the application and, if everything's okay, we'll publish a link to your site on this page.

The result: 655 websites with a link. The page looks like this:

Lots of reciprocal links

I canhaz links?

And then a load more ...

Google doesn't like link schemes. It says:

Some webmasters engage in link exchange schemes and build partner pages exclusively for the sake of cross-linking, disregarding the quality of the links, the sources, and the long-term impact it will have on their sites. This is in violation of Google's Webmaster Guidelines and can negatively impact your site's ranking in search results.

At least they don't link to any Viagra sites, I suppose ...

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