Today I stumbled across a comment made by someone I thought was well educated in the SEO industry. After reading this comment, I might need to re-think my opinion on this guy due to his biased suggestions. It appears that LinkWorth is “unknown” and “untrustworthy”. Hmmm. . .I wonder why we have so many customers and why no one complains of our untrusting business. I do want to thank him for the good chuckle I got after reading it.

It all boils down to the “I’ll scratch your back, you scratch my back” system. He says this because they all know each other. So it gave me the idea of educating people in how to differentiate between a biased and an unbiased referral. If you really want to know how to trust suggestions made by anyone in any industry, here are a few tips and tricks to use:

  • First check for an affiliate link. If you put your mouse over a link where a webmaster is suggesting another service, look in the status bar in the lower left corner of your browser. Some webmasters get tricky and even make the status say something different, so I usually put my mouse over the link and click my mouse button and hold it down. That usually shows you exactly where you are going. If the link is a simple static link without all kinds of tricky variables (Ex: /?afid=2342&page=34&product=2523422) on the end, then it’s a good link. If it has variables, then it’s an affiliate link and they are suggesting it because they’ll make some cash if you buy or signup.
  • Once you visit the referenced site, do a little research and see if you can find a link on the site that points back to the site that referred you. A simple little site search will tell you all you want to know. Just search for the site name or url that referred you. If you find any reference, then it’s a biased suggestion. The comments I spoke of above fall into this bullet point. The guy that said we’re unknown is chum’s with the places he suggested. There is always the possibility of a genuine reference, but when it’s this over the top, highly unlikely.
  • Always check for similarities on both sites. There is always the possibility that both sites are owned by the same person. It’s a common practice these days where people create many websites that rate or rank services in their market and put their own on the top as the best ranked to drive business their way. It’s a pretty effective method, but it’s unfair to the customer. Usually you can find similar content on both sites and very familiar grammar.

These are 3 techniques I use on a daily basis. It’s surprising how few true unbiased referrals there really are. These days people don’t like to link unless there is something in it for them. Oddly enough, if you look at our links in our blogroll to the right, the first link is simply to our homepage and the “Need A Good Laugh” link is to a fun blog I’m involved in. The rest of the links are to sites we have zero relationship with. You will find no advertisements on their sites for LinkWorth, nor will you find any reciprocated links. These are examples of good referral links. The “Need a Good Laugh” you will find a reciprocated link, which makes this a biased referral link.

Just be sure to not believe everything you read. Especially if someone says we are unknown and/or untrustworthy!! HA 😀