Troubleshooters.Com presents:

The Troubleshooters.Com® Link Exchange Policy

Webmasters: If you want a reciprocal link from Troubleshooters.Com, read this entire page and follow its instructions exactly.

From Troubleshooters.Com's birth in June 1996 until the late 2000's, my policy was to trade links with basically any family friendly website, no questions asked. It was a time of webmasters helping each other, and somehow that never lasts, because opportunists move in to make their quick little killing, poisoning the water for all. By 2008, well over 95% of all link exchange requests received by Troubleshooters.Com were pure span. Dealing with these worthless links would have consumed too much time. So now, Troubleshooters.Com's default action on a link exchange request is to ignore it. But...

I might, at my sole discression, respond to a link trade email if I think it's written by a real person, and if it conforms to the rules stated on this page. As a starting point, start the letter with "Hi Steve" or "Dear Steve" or just "Steve". Anyone, even on a dialup line, could spend three minutes and learn that the guy who runs Troubleshooters.Com is named Steve. What do you call a request for help from one unwilling to spend three minutes of research? Spam! No time for spammers. Our default action on link exchange requests is /dev/null, the bit bucket, the garbage can. If you want your request to be one of the few that are perhaps considered for inclusion on our links page, here are some factors that make it more likely that your request will get our attention:

  1. Address me by name. "Hi Steve", or "Hello Steve", or "Dear Steve", or "Steve", or anything similar. This is the single most differentiator between spam and a personal request by a human.
  2. Link to Troubleshooters.Com first. We have no time to police reciprocal compliance.
  3. Put the link to us where it's easy to find for someone seeking what the Troubleshooters.Com page has to offer, not on one of many link pages bearing no relationship to the T.C page to which they're linking.
  4. Wait for the link to be visible. That means upload and then wait a day or two.
  5. Email me, starting with "Dear Steve" or "Hi Steve" or something else to distinquish you from a form letter. The email should tell me:
    1. The page containing the link, and the text of the link so I can find it quickly on that page.
    2. Exactly how to navigate from your main page to your T.C link. List in order all links clicked.
    3. The Troubleshooters.Com page to which the link points.
    4. Your preference as to which of your pages Troubleshooters.Com should link back to, if we decide to link back.
    5. Your promise that your site:
      1. Does not contain content, or link to sites with content advocating hate, violence, weapons of mass destruction, disrespect toward groups of people, fraudulant material, illegal activities including but not limited to unauthorized copying of copyrighted material, or sites displaying pornography.
      2. Does not serve out malware, privacy invasions, or communications purporting to be someone else, including "pfishing"
      3. Does not involve excessive popup ads, huge load times, or other problems so obnoxious as to be disturbing to Troubleshooters.Com visitors.
      4. Does not mount Troubleshooters.Com in a "sticky frame".
      5. Does not mount Troubleshooters.Com in a new window or tab and then fail to switch focus to that new window or tab.
      6. Does not require our accepting any sort of legal agreement, explicitly or implicitly.
      7. Does not request specific wording for the link text. It should be too obvious to state, but I'll state it -- I will not take the time necessary to verify whether your site's products are "low priced, "lowest priced", "high quality", or any similar claim.
  6. Respect my time.
  7. Do not ask me to accept any sort of legal agreement, explicitly or implicitly. Unless you're paying me $10,000.00, it's not worth my hiring a lawyer, and I certainly wouldn't agree to your legalese without one. So don't ask!
  8. Refer to Troubleshooters.Com as "Troubleshooters.Com". I've spent a lot of time and money obtaining trademarks for Troubleshooters.Com, and want that name respected.

If you've made your request personal, easy to respond to, relevent, and family friendly, I just might trade links with you.

Is it worth all this bother?

I've given you a lot of hoops to jump through, just for the chance of being considered for a Troubleshooters.Com link trade. Is it worth it?

Not unless you need visitors like those visiting Troubleshooters.Com. Troubleshooters.Com visitors are successful and highly educated (don't take my word for it, look us up on Alexa.)

If you'd like an incoming link from this type of high quality site, and are willing to spend five minutes applying this page's rules to your request, then it's worth it. Otherwise, it's not.

What we mean by "worthless links"(link-spam)

Tens or even hundreds of emails per month come in from people or computer programs claiming they have placed or will place a link to a Troubleshooters.Com page on a page of their website. Sounds great, right?

The trouble is, the page containing their link to you has nothing but links, and they're all unrelated. For instance, somebody places a link to a Troubleshooters.Com Linux oriented page on their page titled "Toyota Radiators", right alongside a religous link, a car link, and a construction link. NOBODY will find the link to the Troubleshooters.Com Linux page, and if they did, they would not be looking for Linux content.

You might wonder why anyone would bother to put together a website consisting of little but disorganized links. Simple: stupid SEO tricks it's to fool Google into thinking they're very popular and being linked to by numerous other websites.

Then there are those "taker" webmasters wanting traffic from incoming links, but unwilling to relinquish the reader. They use sticky frames that put the linked to site inside a frame of their own site, so the visitor gets only a partial view of the linked site. Or they display the linked site in another window or tab, but keep focus on their own window so all but the most observant visitor never visits the linked site. Such webmasters are selfish on a kindergarten level, and their useless links will not be reciprocated.

Today, most link requests are spam form letters asking me to use specific phrasing, agree to legal language, and all sorts of other things against Troubleshooters.Com policies. Time wasters. They're instantly deleted.

I built Troubleshooters.Com over a period of years, by including valuable local content, publicizing it, and drawing links. It appears some modern webmasters (or more likely those companies guaranteeing a great search engine placement for a price) want to do it quick and cheap. If so, they will not have the assistance of Troubleshooters.Com.