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.