In the second post in my series of Free Link Exchange Programs That Don’t Work I’m looking at Linkalizer. I’d like to start by pointing out that it’s been a few years since I actively used Linkalizer as I realized a while ago that it was crap! I checked my records and I signed up in 2007. It may have changed in the last few years but by looking at the website I’d say it hasn’t! One quick glance through the Link Exchange Directory on the site (where all sites that join Linkalizer are listed) shows us that there is very little care or attention put in to this system. Looking at the Arts section of the directory shows us that Linkalizer is full or spam and misfiled sites. There’s a Nigerian Job Centre site, Google Classified Ads site, NTFS data recovery, college party tips, Warcraft sites, a technology new blog, corsets site, the obligatory Vietnam travel site and “Medical tourism in India” all on the first page of the Arts directory. This tells us the sites aren’t being reviewed and anyone can join. I tested a handful of links from various pages in the directory on Yahoo! Site Explorer and none of them showed a backlink from Linkalizer’s directory so it’s not even worth joining for a free followed link from their directory as it will never be counted!
Linkalizer is a simple link exchange system, you link to someone else’s site and they will link back to you. Free members can send a limited number of link requests per day and respond to incoming requests. Members can search the directory and request links from any site in any category. Unfortunately this means you will be inundated with link requests from poor quality sites, unrelated sites and makes finding the good sites even harder. The directory lists the PageRank for each site (because that’s such a reliable metric…) and a link to the Alexa data for the site so if you want to find any good sites you’re going to have to do some serious digging with 3rd party tools. You can’t search the directory, only browse the listings which makes finding link prospects even more time consuming.
As I said before it’s been a few years since I used Linkalizer and maybe if you were determined enough and did enough analysis of your link exchange prospects you could get some strong backlinks from this system but you would spend most of your time in the dashboard rejecting link requests from spammy sites. If you are looking for sites to exchange links with then avoid this system and stick to looking for link exchanges manually.
Don;t forget to check out part one of this series, our review of Voltrank.
For the past several months, since May to be precise, I have been experimenting with a link exchange system called Voltrank. Voltrank promise “quality one-way links” on a system that’s been “built by SEOs for SEOs” and best of all it’s completely free. The set up procedure is simple, you sign up for Voltrank, install a widget on your WordPress blog or a piece of code on any site capable of running PHP scripts, check your installation is working and then set up the links to the pages you want to promote. Voltrank then puts your link on other sites and gets different sites to link to your site. The widget displays up to 6 one-way text links from the Voltrank network and each link is different on each page of your site and each link is permanent so there’s very little link churn. The links only change if the link’s site leaves the network or changes the advert text. Your site earns “Volts” per page on your site. The more Volts you have, the more sites on the network your ads will appear on. Naturally this system benefits larger sites and sites that add a lot of new content like blogs. It all seems like the perfect link exchange system, one-way links, automated, nice and simple to use but… it doesn’t make any difference to search engine rankings.
As I said in the opening paragraph, I’ve been using Voltrank for 5 months now on an affiliate blog and had 2 ads running, one for a “bra measuring guide” and another for “lingerie guide“. Voltrank’s dashboard features some very comprehensive reports including a breakdown of every page your link appears on. The first link appeared on 71 sites and the second on 37. However out of the 71 sites that Voltrank reported my first link to be active on, 22 of the sites had no link on them. For the second link, 9 out of 37 sites had no active link and 2 were infected with malware. The rest of the linking sites low quality sites, foreign sites (even though you specify your language during the set up phase), 404 blog pages and all were of absolutely no relevance at all to my site’s niche (fashion / lingerie). Many of the sites were advertising illegal downloads of TV shows or were so blatently spam domains and made for adsense sites that you wonder how they ever get through Voltrank’s review process in the first place. After 5 months the “bra measuring guide” page has a whopping 3 inbound links from Voltrank sites according to Yahoo! Site Explorer and 4 according to Google Webmaster tools and the “lingerie guide” page has none, zero, zilch. The first page doesn’t even show up in Google searches for it’s target term according to Google Webmaster Tools and is not in the top 200 results whereas the second shows up in Google Webmaster Tools but not in the top 200 results. Both pages are indexed and cached in Google.
I will admit that my test pages were not optimized beyond adding a heading tag and a title tag but this was an experiment to see if Voltrank could power my pages to the top on link juice alone. Unfortunately it seems that in this case Voltrank’s batteries are flat.
I did try to add another WordPress blog to the Voltrank system to double check my findings but even though the blog was on the same server with the same set up and same plug-ins the Voltrank script would not validate the set up.