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I know there are many thousands of websites, which use software to manage their 'Linking Programs'. Some of this software is 'automated' and allows links from anyone who is willing to fill in a form and post a link to their website first. This type of 'Linking Program' has turned many websites into 'Mini Directories', with pages of categorized links which have absolutely nothing to do with theme of website whatsoever.
What good is a high PR if it doesn't help your SE rankings, or even hurts them?
I know this will be disappointing for those who have spent money on these facilities (especially recently), as well as those who have had them installed for some time. I feel for those who have been doing what they have thought to be, or have been advised is right thing to do. But I'm sorry, it's very clear, judging by Google's own advice, that these programs have been in very least, achieving nothing for SE rankings by collecting so many irrelevant links and it's also possible that in so doing, they have been "tying a millstone around your necks" and your website may well have been penalized for it.
That's not to say that programs have somehow not done their job. I believe they are for purpose of improving 'link popularity', and this is exactly what they have done. However, link popularity ALONE is not a consideration in SE ranking algorithms when PR has been established with unrelated links. Remember - "Links from a non-related site will still pass PR, but will have little or no effect on SERPs".
Every day, I still get emails requesting a reciprocal link from an unrelated website, in which sender informs me that "reciprocal linking is a very effective way to increase your website's PR and SE rankings”. I hope now that we can all realize and agree that when it comes to linking for purpose of improving SE rankings, it only works if it's done properly. This means, as with everything else, there is no quick way and no 'automated' answer. You have to check each website that you are considering linking to, in order to ascertain if it's relevant and consequently, of value to your users (and your site to it's users) and Search Engines.
I wonder if there’s a software program that can quickly and effortlessly remove incoming links from unrelated sites? I seriously doubt it, considering it would involve removing content from websites belonging to others. I feel that for most, this will be most difficult problem to deal with as once they are there, they are there to stay. How do you undo so much hard work?
Stephen Brennan runs the 'Home Based Business and Affiliate Center' - http://www.online-plus.biz, is publisher of 'Home Based Biz' newsletter and is the author of 'The Affiliate Guide Book' - The Definitive guide to becoming a successful Internet Affiliate (at little or no cost) - available at http://www.ebooks.online-plus.biz