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Wahoo's Computer & Internet Tips Newsletter - December 2004

In The News This Month...
So are you ready for Christmas? You know, it's going to come whether you're ready or not! There's nothing we can do about it. My grandmother had a saying: "Time and tide wait for no man." How true is that? I'm sure there are thousands, even millions, of people that don't realize how close it is, so for those of you who read this newsletter: IT'S 9 DAYS AWAY! HURRY UP AND START YOUR SHOPPING NOW! There. That should help.

Well, I'm going to keep this short because I know everyone is busy right now baking, shopping, drinking (did I actually type that?), and stuff so MERRY HO HO AND HAPPY NEW BEER!

This month's feature article again comes from Maya Pinion. It's about link exchanges for all you new web designers out there. You can check out Maya's website here.

That's that. Thanks for reading!
Wanda Clark
Wahoo Enterprises
820 - 1st Ave., PO Box 946
McBride, BC Canada V0J 2E0
Contact me using the Online Contact Form on the left at the bottom.

Facts About Christmas

Christmas crackers were invented by Thomas Smith. He had imported some French novelties to sell as Christmas gifts, but these were not popular until he wrapped them up and added a snapper. December 25th was not celebrated as the birthday of Christ until the year AD 440. It wasn't until about 200 years after Christ's death that Christians even thought about celebrating his birth. An old wives' tale says that bread baked on Christmas Eve will never go mouldy. The first instrument on which the carol "Silent Night" was played was a guitar.

Link Cheating On The Rise

Website owners and webmasters who are trying to improve their search engine ranking by trading links with other sites should beware of being cheated. Beware of link cheating.

What is link cheating?

Link cheating is when the other party in a link exchange does not live up to the bargain and does not add your link to his site. Link cheating can happen when you add someone else's link on your site first, then submit your link info, and assume that they will reciprocate and add your link to their site. What often happens is they don't add your link. And you end up with a one-way link, giving a link and getting none in return, improving someone else's search engine ranking and not yours. Link cheating. Even worse, you end up wasting a lot of your valuable webmaster time and energy for nothing. And, often, you won't even know it. You may not know you are the victim of link cheating or may not find out your link was never added to the other site until weeks or months later! Because link cheaters don't email you telling you your link has been added to their site and they don't email you telling you they have decided not to add your link (for whatever reason). They will just take advantage of the one-way benefit of you linking to them. Link cheating.

How can you protect yourself from link cheating?

As a webmaster, protecting yourself from link cheating is very time consuming and frustrating. Of course, you can check every site you linked to and see if your link has been added to that site. This is very time consuming, even with a "link checker" tool, and you may not find your link even if it is there! Or, if you don't find your link you can follow up with a polite email. And, if you don't get a response within a week or two, you can remove their link from your website. Unfortunately, by then you've been promoting the other site(s) for a month or more and getting zero in return. Link cheating.

Link cheating costs trusting webmasters, trying to build their website ranking, a lot of time and a lot of irritation. A lot of time adding links, submitting links, checking links and, ultimately, a lot of irritation removing links which don't reciprocate. One website owner became so fed up with link cheating (20 times in 2 weeks) that he changed his reciprocal link policy. DestinyFinders.com no longer will add a link to their site unless their link is added first, and confirmed to them by email. They promise to then add your link provided it is deemed suitable and acceptable. And they will no longer be a victim of link cheating, by avoiding sites who force you to use those automated you-go-first-but-we-don't-have-to-reciprocate link management programs. Many of these are good programs but they are being abused by bad webmasters.

As for the link cheaters, in the interest of internet honesty and fair play, webmasters who offer a reciprocal link exchange should abide by the agreement. If someone links to you, you should honor the link exchange and reciprocate. That means adding the other party's link to your site. Or, if you have decided not to reciprocate at least have the professional courtesy to email the other party stating that their link has not been accepted.

Link cheating is reaching epidemic proportions and appears to be on the rise. And there apperas to be no easy cure. But here's some good advice for website owners and webmasters who wish to trade links ... beware ... beaware ... and don't cheat.

About the author
Maya Pinion is a freelance writer and contributing editor for News4Net. DestinyFinders.com is credited with coining the term "link cheating."

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