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  1. #1
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    Website Template with Hidden Links Page

    For the first time I had to evaluate a property management website. The website is using a property management template that is specifically made for property managers. I noticed a page that is not in the navigation so end users can't find the page but the bots can find the page.

    Here is an example of the page: Boise Property Management [WLINKS] PM Website by HEROPM

    The page lists a lot of property management businesses and links to their websites. The template makes sure to link property management businesses that are out of your existing state so you are not linking to your competitors.

    The page is part of the template's SEO package. I was shocked to find the page but even more shocked to learn it was built in on purpose. This page is harmful to SEO efforts and I was wondering if Anyone had any thoughts on the matter? I wanted to share because I have never seen this before as part of the template to help boost SEO.

    Here is a statement from the company about the page:
    • "What is a wlinks page and how does it benefit me?

      A wlinks page is installed into each PM Website as part of its SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Wlinks causes your page's Google rank to increase significantly. The theory is that if a bunch of industry specific websites link to yours, your website must have a high degree of value within that industry. Since all PM Websites outside of your state link to yours, you are considered highly cited in the industry. This is by far the highest value you can achieve in linking for SEO, and the specific construct of wlinks provides the most efficacy in maximizing that value. Because wlinks exclude other property managers in your state, you neither risk increasing the rank of your local colleagues nor sending traffic to them. Also, because wlinks is visible to search engines but not to your website visitors, you do not risk losing visitors to other websites."


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  3. #2
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    Re: Website Template with Hidden Links Page

    That's pretty crazy, although I guess I shouldn't be surprised to see that. It looks like the site has been around a while, so that tactic probably worked since they started. But Google is not stupid--they can see that there are 80 similar sites all linking to one another. But the site does have about 3x the amount of citations than any of their competitors and a huge amount of backlinks, in addition to several reviews. So I'm sure everything combined is the reason they are ranking so well.
    David @ Touch Point Digital | New Orleans Local SEO & Web Design
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  4. #3
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    Re: Website Template with Hidden Links Page

    Thanks David,

    Sorry Marie, I started researching this earlier and discovered something weird that through me off the scent.

    Minutes after you posted I search for part of the text you quoted to see what I could find.
    Thought I'd see a bunch of sites with that same content.

    But no. What I did find was your post HERE. Right after you posted was already showing in Google, which is awesome.

    BUT in Google it says it was posted 4 DAYS AGO? PLUS it's double posted. 2 of the exact same results? How could that be and what could be wrong?

    Google: https://www.google.com/search?hl=&q=...+PM+Website%22

    So I got diverted to ask my admin David about it in case the time setting in vbulletin is wrong or something?

    So anyway didn't find anything out. The link page is odd.
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

    Don't Miss Important News & Tips! Subscribe to Daily Email Digest Here

    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon".

  5. #4
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    Re: Website Template with Hidden Links Page

    Quote Originally Posted by Linda Buquet View Post
    BUT in Google it says it was posted 4 DAYS AGO? PLUS it's double posted. 2 of the exact same results? How could that be and what could be wrong?

    Google: https://www.google.com/search?hl=&q=...+PM+Website%22

    So I got diverted to ask my admin David about it in case the time setting in vbulletin is wrong or something?

    So anyway didn't find anything out. The link page is odd.
    vBulletin reads its time from the server settings and then just adjusts for the time zone of logged in members. If the server time were off, it would be evident in posts here.

    Given that, I assume it's (another) Google glitch.

  6. #5
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    Re: Website Template with Hidden Links Page

    Another Google glitch??? The biggest company in the world has glitches? Really? How can that be?

    Thanks David, glad it's not us.
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

    Don't Miss Important News & Tips! Subscribe to Daily Email Digest Here

    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon".

  7. #6
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    Re: Website Template with Hidden Links Page

    Quote Originally Posted by Marie Ysais View Post
    For the first time I had to evaluate a property management website. The website is using a property management template that is specifically made for property managers. I noticed a page that is not in the navigation so end users can't find the page but the bots can find the page.

    Here is an example of the page: Boise Property Management [WLINKS] PM Website by HEROPM

    The page lists a lot of property management businesses and links to their websites. The template makes sure to link property management businesses that are out of your existing state so you are not linking to your competitors.

    The page is part of the template's SEO package. I was shocked to find the page but even more shocked to learn it was built in on purpose. This page is harmful to SEO efforts and I was wondering if Anyone had any thoughts on the matter? I wanted to share because I have never seen this before as part of the template to help boost SEO.

    Here is a statement from the company about the page:
    • "What is a wlinks page and how does it benefit me?

      A wlinks page is installed into each PM Website as part of its SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Wlinks causes your page's Google rank to increase significantly. The theory is that if a bunch of industry specific websites link to yours, your website must have a high degree of value within that industry. Since all PM Websites outside of your state link to yours, you are considered highly cited in the industry. This is by far the highest value you can achieve in linking for SEO, and the specific construct of wlinks provides the most efficacy in maximizing that value. Because wlinks exclude other property managers in your state, you neither risk increasing the rank of your local colleagues nor sending traffic to them. Also, because wlinks is visible to search engines but not to your website visitors, you do not risk losing visitors to other websites."
    Run a ranking report for all of their keywords and then remove the page. See if there is a dip in the rankings.

    I doubt there will be because it sounds like they set it up as standard for other websites in the same industry and really, all that page is doing is fulfilling their end of the bargain to their other companies. Were you to delete it, in theory (if it even works), it would not hurt you, just the other companies considering you're not linking to them anymore.

    I would still run the report on the off-chance it is helping. There have been individuals to theorize that linking to like minded businesses or authority sites can actually tell Google that you're a legitimate website. To say I am skeptical of this is a huge understatement but I never underestimate what slips through Google's cracks. Run the report, remove the page and then keep track of the ranking.

    You should be good.

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