Do you think the "link page" would be then the second most important page after the home page?
It could actually be the same page. For instance, if you visit a blog like How Appealing
, which focuses upon appellate court decisions, you'll not only see a great blog about decisions in legal cases, but also a very long blog roll leading to other legal blogs.
It provides value to visitors in a couple of ways:
[list]- by being a source of the latest news, with explanations of the implications of legal decisions.
- by being a directory to other, similar resources.[list]
Chances are good that most of the blogs it lists points back to it. Visitors arrive not by going from one site, to a search engine, then to the other, but rather directly, without the search engine being an intermediary step.
But what about sites that aren't blogs? You answer part of that yourself:
How would you tell that a particular site was a good candidate to exchange links with?
As I do now: If the site is of quality and relevant to your business.
There are a number of local antique shops near me. Near the front door to all of them is a pamplet that shows where all the shops are, and a map to each. It tells what hours they are open, and if they have a particular specialty. These stores are competitors. But they are convinced that people who shop at one will shop at some of the others, and even make a day of it. I've seen online shops do the same thing. Links pages that are well annotated, and provide value to their customers can be an important part of a web site.
I've seen sites that provide services, and post links to other sites that offer related services on their acknowledgement of payment/receipt page. The links are there for a person to see when their initial task is complete, and when those other services become relevant. They are the right links at the right time.
Getting known is all about building relationships, building networks, and being seen in the right place at the right time. Stand apart. Differentiate.
That's the part of a marketing plan that works, and works well. Relying solely upon a search engine is a risky proposition, but building a network of business relationships is one of the key factors of good planning. You're no longer quite at the risk of search engines, and the rise and fall of search results.
So how does someone build those relationships? Local chambers of commerce? Trade associations? Satisfied customers spreading the word? Repeated communications with people who offer complementary goods and services? Visits to trade shows and conferences? Blog comments, and forum posts?
So if the search engines disappeared without a trace, I think other mechanisms would quickly arise to meet the needs of Internauts.
I'm beginning to think that those are out there now.
I added 40 pages with RSS feeds to my bloglines
subscription last night. It brings me to about 150 total sites. I have other ones listed on Kinja
. Now, instead of popping a question into my search engine on a subject, I might start up bloglines first, and look to see what's news, and what people are writing about and linking to.
The number of email newsletters I'm subscribing to has grown from a couple to about 20. It's not a large amount, but some of them are daily. A lot of them link to interesting pages, and news stories. It's a great way to keep informed.
Sites like Slash Dot
, and many others are places to go to find the interesting and often the unusual. Forums can also be helpful in finding information.
Those are just a few models for sharing and finding information on the web. I know there are many others. If anyone is relying solely upon search engines as a way to be found, they are missing opportunities.
...Search engines will I think evolves in this direction: more "natural language" abilities, local directories
Interesting, isn't it, to think that search engines are changing and evolving, too? The search engines of four or five years ago weren't that different than they are today. But in some ways they are.
Just what does a local search in Yahoo or Google mean to the average web master? What are the implications of "natural language" searches and semantic analysis indexing, where the context of keywords on a page may just play a more important role than in the past?
What are some other strategies for getting web pages in front of the right people without relying on search engines?