Linking for Fun and Profit
Well actually, linking isn't fun at all. In fact, it's quite tedious. Seeking, responding to requests and adding links takes time and effort. But, if you're not actively building links the RIGHT way you are going to be left behind. In other words, your site will be "Lost in Cyberspace". The plain fact is Google, and to a lesser extent, other important search engines, reward sites with links from relevant and important pages.
If you want your site to deliver lots of targeted search engine traffic (and who doesn't?) there are two equally important factors:
1) lots of keyword-rich, search engine friendly content
For real success you need to cover BOTH of these strategies. Don't concentrate on one and not the other.
So, how do you go about building your links? It's not rocket science, but as I said, it does take time and effort. From my own experiences, here's what you should do:
1) Download and install the Google Toolbar:
This will show you the PageRank of the page you are viewing. PageRank is a measure, rated from 1 to 10, of the "importance" that Google gives to that page. There has been a lot written about PageRank. You don't need to become obsessed with it but it IS an important consideration when determining WHO to link to. A link from a PR-5 page is worth FAR more than a PR-0 page.
2) Establish a resource or links directory for your site. This lets potential link partners see that you are willing to exchange links. You should make it clear on your links pages what your linking policy is i.e. under what conditions you will agree to exchange links.
3) Your aim should be to build a resource directory that is relevent to your business. Don't try to build a mini Yahoo with umpteen different categories. Keep your directory focussed on your site theme. When you first start out you will be inclined to link to anybody in exchange for a link FROM anybody. This is a mistake. Be patient and choose your link partners carefully.
4) Before requesting a link from another site, add that site to your directory. Contact the webmaster and tell them you added their link because you believe their site would be of interest to your visitors (and so it should). Give the url where your link is located and ask for a return link, along with instructions on how you would like your link worded. NEVER demand by saying things like "if you do not link to us we will remove your link".
5) If you have not received a reply after 2 - 3 weeks send a polite follow up. Again, don't demand. No one is under any obligation to link to you. If you do not receive a reply to your second request it means that the webmaster does not want to link to you, or they are simply too busy to respond. In that case, leave it and move on. I receive dozens of link requests a day. Sometimes it takes me many weeks to get around to responding. You'll go mad worrying about links that have not been reciprocated. Your time is better spent.
6) When you receive a link request visit the site and check that it meets with your requirements as set down on your link pages. Is it a quality site with good content or just a "link farm"? If it doesn't meet your requirements don't link to it.
The webmaster SHOULD have already linked to your site but be prepared to overlook that breech of linking protocol if it's from a good quality, high PR site.
7) Beware of webmasters who add your site to their "directory" which turns out to nothing but a link farm i.e. has no useful content, just a bunch of links, and asks you to link to an entirely different site, one that HAS good content. These webmasters are playing you for a sucker. The benefit is all theirs.
8) As I said in point #1, links from high PR pages are worth more than links from low or no PR pages. Seek out high PR linking partners but keep in mind it is the PR of the actual page your link is on that matters, NOT the PR of the home page. In other words if the home page PR is 5, but the page your link is on is several layers deep in the directory, it will probably have a PR of 0 and be of little benefit to you. Check the PR of the actual page your link is on, or is going to be on, before agreeing to exchange links.
Each page on your links directory should be no more than one click away from your home page, and your linking partner's site should be the same. If your link is placed on a page which looks something like this - directory/category/subcategory/subcategory with your link - you will derive NO value from that link.
9) Be prepared to negotiate your links. Savvy webmasters understand the value of links from high PR pages. If you add a link to a PR-0 page on your site don't expect your link partner to put your link on a PR-6 page, and your link partner shouldn't expect the same from you. Exchange value for like value.
When you first start out your site may not have any PR due to a lack of incoming links. This reduces your bargaining power. However, you can overcome this by getting your site listed in as many large business directories as possible. Some of these you will have to pay, such as Yahoo and Microsoft's Business Directory, but many others are free. You'll find a good list here:
10) Be specific about how you want your link partner to link to you. It is MOST important that the link to you contain your targeted keywords in the anchor (linked) text. When I ask for a link to my site I don't want the link title to be:
Steve Pronger Web Business Solutions
Instead, I ask for:
Create Website | Small Business Website Designer
or whichever keywords I am targeting at the time. A search for those keywords at Google will illustrate my point!
11) And finally, here is an excellent resource to help you find quality link partners. It's called Value Exchange, and will put you in contact with like-minded webmasters:
Steve Pronger is a website designer and affiliate marketer helping small businesses achieve success on the Web. Visit his Web Business Solutions site at http://www.stevepronger.com
Google PageRank Explained
PageRank - an exclusive technology developed by Google which can have a major impact on the success of your website. This article will attempt to explain the concept of PageRank and how your ranking can be improved without spending any money at all.How is PageRank beneficial?Google refers to the technology as a way of evaluating the usefulness, importance, and quality of a website. The PR of a webpage can mean different things for different people.For a webmaster, a high PR is a sign of accomplishment. It shows that your website is moving in the right direction and has the potential to become successful. PageRank also directly effects your Google search engine listings. Acquiring a higher PR than your competition could mean more traffic for you, and less traffic for your competitors.Visitors to your website probably won't care about the page's rank (most surfers have no idea what PageRank is). However, visitors who understand PageRank may use your PR as a sign of how credible your content is. Would you rather use the information from a website with 0 PR or a website with 5 PR and hundreds of other websites linking to it?How is PageRank determined?PageRank is basically determined by backlinks. A backlink is when another page links to your page. For every page that links to you, that page is "voting" for you. The more votes you get, the better your PageRank will be. However, it gets more complicated than that because some votes weigh more heavily than others. The weight of the vote is determined by the PageRank of the page linking to you. This means that a couple links from pages with high PR could be more beneficial than hundreds of links from pages with low PR. But it gets even more complicated - each page can only transfer so much PageRank. The set amount of PR that the page can transfer must be split up between each "vote" that the page gives out. This means that a PR 7 page could actually give out as much weight per vote as a PR 3 page if it had too many outgoing links.How can I improve my PageRank?There are many different methods to obtain quality backlinks to your website. You will find that some methods work better than others depending on the subject and popularity of your site.DirectoriesSubmitting your website to directories is one of the best ways to increase your PageRank and even get some traffic at the same time. But submitting your site to just a few directories won't be good enough. You need to sit down and spend the necessary time to submit your site to a large amount of directories. This may seem like a painstakingly long process, but you'll be glad you did it when you notice results. I have taken the time to make a large list of free directories with high PageRank which you visit here. Although directories with low PR may seem like a waste of time, you should submit your site to them too because it still helps and they could eventually become a high PR site which charges money to submit to.Link ExchangesA very common practice to improve your PageRank is a link exchange. This is simply where two people link to the other person's website. It's best that you only link exchange with someone who has at least as much PR as you and the subject of the two websites are similar. If you receive a link from a website with a subject which has nothing to do with yours, you'll find that very little if any PR will actually be transferred to you.Forum SignaturesIf you are an active user on a forum or message board, it would be wise to put a link to your website in your signature. This could help improve your PageRank if the forum has a high PR, it could help improve your traffic from the forum members seeing your signature, and your site could get spidered more often because it is linking to a forum (forums generally have a lot of new content every day and search engines love new content).Buy AdvertisingAlthough it isn't the best of choices, many webmasters will buy text link ads on websites with high PR. Although this can be effective, it can be very expensive and only a temporary thing. If you purchase text links for just a couple months, after the months are over you won't have the backlinks which were giving you the "votes" you needed to keep your PageRank. So you have now spent a large amount of money on text links, but in the end you're right back where you started.ArticlesThis is a method which not many people know about. Basically, you write articles about the subjects you know a lot about. You then let other people use these articles as long as they provide a link back to your site. If you wrote a quality article, you'll find many websites will want to use it, thus giving you plenty of backlinks. This method can work well with anything which you develope and give away for free such as scripts, web design, etc.Stay On Google's Good SideThe most important thing to remember when trying to increase your PageRank is to not cheat and to always follow the rules. The people which run Google aren't fools and they have many ways of catching cheaters. Don't even think about using any of the "link farms" or trying to hide keywords on your pages. If caught, you may not get unbanned for many months.Make A Quality WebsiteIf you have a quality website which your visitors enjoy going to, then you will receive backlinks without having to do anything. Websites will link to you with the intention of informing people of a helpful resource, or showing off a cool new website they found, or any other reason other than trying to increase your PageRank. If you build it, backlinks will come...
Google Adsense Optimization Tips
There are plenty of tips to help you enhance your adsense revenue in the net, and I'm always seeking for new points. Today, I come back to the Help section of my google adsense account and find treasure there...
The Google Sandbox ? A Frustrating Inevitability or a Golden Opportunity?
Google Bring Deskbar Search To Windows Desktop. Now Any Website Can Take Advantage Of This
Google's premier of desktop search proves that the desktop is an extremely valuable marketing real estate. Google, which holds about 75% of the Internet search market, just introduced "Deskbar" ? a small desktop application that allows users to search Google directly from their desktops. Google currently rules the Internet, but positioning themselves on the desktop gives them the power to rule not only the Internet, but also the entire personal computer.
Put the Full Power of Google to Work with 11 Google Power Search Tips
Google has many ways to help you find want you want easily. Here are 11 Power Search Tips to make your Google Experience easier and more fun. These Search Tips were found on the Following Google web page http://www.google.com/help/operators.html
Search Engine Position Report
Since search engines are the first stop for people on the Internet looking for goods or services, the position your website appears in search results is an important factor. If your URL shows up far down the results list, the chances of the consumer never finding you increase incrementally.
Search Engine Optimization With Sitemaps
Reciprocal Linking Scams, What to Look for and How to Avoid Them
Reciprocal linking scams have increased immensely during the past year. Initially we thought that this problem only related to gambling and casino related websites but an audit of our commercial link partners suggests that it is a serious problem within the broader online community.Over the past eighteen months, we noticed that our page rank was slowly declining despite the fact that we were continually adding new link partners to our link directory. We had slipped from a five down to a two before we finally identified the exact cause of the problem.Out of the first 100 links on our anchor site, only seven were still being reciprocated. We recrawled the sites where no link was found with a second spider and got exactly the same result. Then we started manually checking the sites where no link back was found and started discovering patterns of deliberate link fraud. The scams in order of popularity amongst the scammers ?1. The link on the home page to the link directory remained but clicking on it or specific directory links produced a template style page with a few casino banners or simply a page with no directory content ? This scam was most popular with the owners of multiple domains with the .co.za and .co.uk suffixes2. The link on the home page to the link directory remained but clicking on gambling or casino related links returned a list of links to sites owned solely by the same person or company. The worst offenders in this group preferred domain extensions of .biz, .us and .md3. The link directory index page remained but the link directory had been severely pruned and most remaining links were to the site owners other sites or to casinos. This one is common across all suffixes.4. Links not clickable ? links to the directory and various pages within the directory remained intact. At the time of their link exchange campaign, their links were clickable but at some stage after that the code that makes the link clickable was removed and the site name was placed in bold text so at a glance it appeared to be a legitimate clickable link. This scam is most favored by sites that place a miniature screen shot of the index page of your site beside your back link.5. A variation of the previous scam. When you run your mouse pointer over the page, the 'links' change color but no URL displays in the search bar at the bottom of your browser window. Right click has been disabled on the page so that most people looking at the page cannot see the code. If you use Dreamweaver MX or later, highlight the part of the page you want to look at and then using Control C copy it to the clip board and then use Control V to paste it into the design side of a basic Dreamweaver page. When you click on code you can see what they were attempting to stop you seeing. It may work in the later versions of similar authoring programs. Worst offenders are a poker room and a media company operating out of India.6. One way link exchanges ? usually you are contacted by a search engine optimization company or the SEO person for a large group of websites offering you multiple one way link exchanges with half of their sites if you will link back to the other half of their sites. After a few weeks or months the links to your sites are deleted. The worst offender in this group is a prominent search engine optimization company located in India.7. Your link starts out on a page with fair page rank usually attached to a domain with high page rank. But after a few weeks is moved to a boon docks page with no page rank that will never be indexed. ? common amongst higher PR sites.8. The link directory is on another domain with no page rank. When you click on the link to the directory on the home page, always watch the bar in the bottom of your browser window and see that the link you clicked is in fact on the domain with which you are exchanging links ? watch especially for domain names that are very similar e.g. one letter different in the spelling or a .net instead of a .com and link pages that are hosted on the domain of a link management company. Also watch for redirects. If suspicious go back and click the link again. Often the redirected URL flashes up for only an instant or it just takes an inordinate time for the page to load compared to other pages on the site. If in doubt search for a site map - very popular with some owners of multiple bingo sites. 9. Sub domains of domains with no page rank. Sub domains are supposed to always rank lower than the parent domain. (Of late I have found a few sub domains with up to PR3 attached to a domain with no page rank) If the parent domain has a page rank of zero then link pages attached to that sub domain will almost always be zero so why trade a good link for a dud link?10. We have never fallen for any in this group but many novice webmasters do so regularly. Beware of high PR sites offering you a link exchange on one of their inconsequential internal pages with the same PR as your index page in return for you placing a graphic link to their index page on your index page. This is a deliberate attempt to steal your hard earned traffic. A variation of this one is they have a number of new sites listed on their index page each month and visitors are encouraged to vote for the site they consider to be the best and you are asked to ask your visitors to vote for your site at the high ranked domain. The purpose is still the same as in the first example in this group.11. We no longer trade links with sites using Linksmanager unless the link to our site is to be on a hard coded page. You can search in their search box for their link to your site and if they are still linking to you, your URL and site description will be returned but no information to show which page your link is on. Google usually indexes only a few pages in each category of dynamically generated link directories. If your link has not been added to an indexed page, it is unlikely to ever end up on one. When we had a large number of indexed back links, no link manager links were ever returned in a back link querry. 12. Be wary of link exchange requests from webmasters using anonymous e-mail addresses because when they delete your back link they also delete the anonymous e-mail address.13. Beware of webmasters with PR 5 or above sites offering you a link exchange with a high PR site and an inspection of their link directory suggests that your link will end up on a non indexed page i.e. a useless link that is unlikely to ever improve. If the link exchange was with a PR 2 or 3 site there is at least reasonable potential for the PR of the page to increase if the link directory has been fairly constructed.Reduce exposure to link scams To reduce your exposure to such scams it is essential to carefully vet all potential link partners in the first instance. Enter link back partner details in a database. As an absolute minimum, enter their URL, the location of the link back on their site, the page rank of the page on which your link is located, the date of the link exchange and a real e-mail address for the contact person.Use a good link checking program monthly and contact offenders as soon as you find your link is missing from their site. This is now essential to keep link partners honest. This problem is a direct consequence of the current page rank system and fierce competition for top rankings. It is easier to retain existing link partners than to continually find new ones. Points to look for when Assessing Potential Link Partners Before trading links, look carefully at the other site ?1. If there is no link to the link directory on the index page ?Reject. You will get no traffic from that site.2. Look at the structure of their link directory and count the number of clicks from their index page to where their link to you is likely to be located and then deduct that number from the PR of the site's index page. If that page is PR3 and there are three clicks to get to the page on which your link will be located, that page will have a PR0. That link will be worthless unless the site gets a minimum of a PR4.3. If you have not already done so, download Google's tool bar. If the page rank bar is grayed out, when you are looking at a site, never trade links with that site. The grey bar is said to indicate that the site is banned by Google. I do not know if that is true but I have only ever seen two sites produce grey bars. 4. A growing number of sites with dynamically generated link directories have no page rank on any link pages even though the directories are often constructed in such a way that you would expect the page to rank to be 2 points below the home page. I do not know how most are achieving this. The visible way is to have multiple folders and index pages leading to the links pages and the number of clicks from the home page destroys any potential page rank for the link page. A rare method is to add a no index command for the link directory in their robots.txt file. Just remember links to such sites are one way links from your site to their site. You give them a good link and they give you a worthless link. A link on a page with a PR0 is a non indexed link and carries no value regardless of the page rank of the index page of the site to which it is attached. When you do a back link check on your domain in Google, you will notice that very few links to your domain that are on Google indexed pages with a PR of less than four are returned in your list of back links. This is why I and others consider that Google now discounts the value of such links. For indexed pages, count the number of links on the page. The first factor in determining the value of the link is the page rank of the page on which it is located. The second factor is the number of links on the page. The value of the link to you is roughly the page PR divided by the number of links. Of course no one outside of a chosen few at Google knows the actual formula but that is a rough approximation and the reason most webmasters will not trade links with sites with more than 40 links to a page unless the page has a very high PR. A link on the bottom of a good content page is always better value than a link on a directory page as more people are likely to click on it. When on the receiving end of a link exchange request, do not hesitate to ask for your link to be placed on a specific page and do not hesitate to reject link requests from sites that do not adhere to basic acceptable linking practices.When considering link requests from new sites, look at any other sites that belong to or have been built by the webmaster proposing the link exchange. Most importantly, look to see if existing link pages have been indexed and the structure of the directory. This will be a good indicator of what to expect for the new site.When you create your own link directory, consider a hand edited directory with the links at the same level as the rest of the pages on your site. That way your link pages will be only one point below your index page and you will attract more link requests because of that. Many high PR sites will not trade links with you unless you can place their link back on a minimum of a PR4 page. That way you can start shooting for the top once your index page makes a 5 as opposed to a 7 with the way many link directories are set up.When you are shooting for the top, it helps you get those high pr links you need to make it to the top.
How To Weather Google Algorithm Changes
If you spend much time reading the various webmaster forums, you're no doubt well aware of the grief that many webmasters experience after seeing a Google algorithm change send their web pages sinking like a stone in the search results. But there are always other webmasters who do well with the changes, and many whose rankings are pretty much unaffected.
Search Engine Marketing: Are You Accidentally Hiding From Potential Customers?
You may be hiding if the search engines can't 'see' all of your site's relevant content.
The Life Blood of Internet-Based Home Businesses...Search Engines
Anyone involved in an Internet-based home business will soon cometo recognize the importance of search engines as a vehicle toattract potential customers.
Keywords: The First Step To Recognition
Open Wordtracker [ http://www.wordtracker.com/ ] and you'll see following proclamation by Brent Winters, President, FirstPlace Software, Inc., the makers of award-winning web promotion software, WebPosition Gold [ http://www.webposition.com/ ]:
Google Love - Five Top Tips To Make Google Love Your Site
1. Google love ...
10 Ways to Make Sure Your SEO Goes Out of Its Way for You
If they want to have success, companies should do everything they can to ensure that their SEO firm doesn't provide lousy service. Here are 10 tips to keep in mind:
World of Website Promotion
Website promotion is a big and ongoing process. Every person who has website should have little knowledge about various elements involved in website promotion even if he had hired a SEO. In this series of articles I had tried to give an overview of all the entities of search engine promotion.
Why Search Engine Optimization is Not Enough
OK. So you've created a nice website with lots of interesting products and information. Now all you need is visitors.
Has Google Lost the Plot?
With the help of MSN, recently I've been reminiscing about the Google of old. Remember those days? When you could take a good quality site, add a few keywords, get a few incoming links and bada-bing, bada-boom, it'd be #1 on Google? Remember the old days, pre-Florida, pre-sandbox? The days when we, as search engine optimization specialists, didn't feel like a private schoolgirl smoking in the bathroom? When we didn't feel like the iron fist would come crashing down at any moment? Yes, those were the good old days. And MSN has finally brought them back, though on a much smaller scale.
Webmaster-Friendly Google Operators
There are a lot of operators (commands you can enter in the Google search box to return specific results) you can plug into Google in order to find what you want. For webmasters and website owners, however, a few particular operators can be especially useful. Operators can be used to locate potential link partners, evaluate current inbound links, and determine what pages of your website still need to be added to the index. Here are the operators we think you should know:
Banned By Google And Back Again
The date: 29th July 2005. The time: early morning. I got out of bed and fired up my PC. Opened my browser to check my site. Had a look at the third-party Google toolbar plugin (http://toolbar.google.com/) on said browser (FireFox). It showed grey.
Is Reciprocal Linking Dead?
I just read an article at SitePro News that really rings my bell.
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