Jump to content

Cre8asiteforums Internet Marketing
and Conversion Web Design


Photo

Linking Software - Good or Bad


  • Please log in to reply
21 replies to this topic

#1 Wendy@LFLT

Wendy@LFLT

    Unlurked Energy

  • Members
  • 4 posts

Posted 21 May 2003 - 12:12 PM

I have started a new website and have been diligently working on creating some link exchanges with similar websites. I have been very careful not to exchange with sites not related to my content to prevent getting "black listed".

Today, I received an email from indexu.com stating my submission has been approved. I went to the site and it looks to be software that manages links.

I just wanted to make sure I had not accidentally been submitted to FFA site or link farm. Is anyone familiar with this website and/or software?

Thanks,
Wen

#2 Black_Knight

Black_Knight

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 9339 posts

Posted 21 May 2003 - 02:00 PM

Hmmm, perhaps its just the general Google weirdness of this dance, but I'm seeing PageRank zero for your site right now, so it could be a little late to worry now. Let's hope not, but here's the advice anyway.

Forget link exchanges. Link exchanges are a term tied into the exact 'bad neighborhood' stuff that Google penalizes by taking away pagerank.

Link exchange = poor choice of term, more commonly associated with spam than not.

Think instead of business partnerships. You should find companies that you can relate to well, and integrate links between the sites right into your site structure and content.

None of the 'links page' rubbish, because those are ten a penny and most often end up, like your own, as huge pages, bigger than any of your actual content pages, that do nothing much to enhance your position in your customer's minds.

Where you do go down the path of providing links as their own content (links page or directory) you should build it for the customer, and with pride. Never include a listing that you are not proud to associate your business with, and never fail to list a great resource because it won't link back. That's real value and content for the user and doesn't tend to get in any trouble.

My guess is that several of the sites you have linked to have been labelled as parts of a bad neighborhood. I guess they were not to clever or fussy in their linking. In linking to them, you've made yourself part of the same bad neighborhood, and suffered the same fate (no PageRank value).

Find all those bad links (links to sites with a all-white PageRank guage on the toolbar) and remove them. Immediately. You've got to hope to remove the problem before you get permanently lumped into those bad neighborhoods, and your PageRank may return next update if so.

To build up inbound links, do it the genuine way - make your site more popular to link to. Offer detailed features that people will link to not because you'll link back, but because they really want to tell everyone about it. Not only will this get you more links, but for every link that's placed on a page, you can estimate that at least 20 emails were sent by visitors, pasting the URL to friends and family. Viral marketing.

Go for genuine business partnerships with compatible sites. Links that you can place within the context of your actual content, not hidden guiltily away on 'links page two'.

#3 Wendy@LFLT

Wendy@LFLT

    Unlurked Energy

  • Members
  • 4 posts

Posted 21 May 2003 - 02:49 PM

Thank you for your reply.
My site has only been open for a month and has only been through two dances.
The last dance it skipped us completely and it still has our old index that
we had before we were officially open. We had a coming soon page up for
about 4 months before we were taking orders.

I have been very careful about link exchanges. I ask each site personally. And I have done a great deal of research in the sites that I have asked. They are all relevant to my site i.e. babies.
My links page 2 is text links and my banner links are the 1st page. I know I need to redo the links page since they are so long. I really have been following other sites in my category to get ideas on setting things up. That may not be a good idea
I am new with all of this and I just downl oaded the google tool bar the
other day and I did go to each site and only two are not ranked. I just
thought that they were also new. The rest of the sites are ranked 4/10 and higher.

Is the indexu.com a bad thing? I got an email saying "Your submission has been approved" But I didn't submit to indexu but I did add my url to a babysite that I think may use idexu. This site ranked 5/10. I just didn't know what this indexu.com is. .

Thank you for your suggestions, Like I said I am new to all this and am learning....

Wendy

#4 Grumpus

Grumpus

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 6277 posts

Posted 21 May 2003 - 03:05 PM

Hiya Wendy, and welcome! :wave:

I haven't heard of indexu, so I can't be of help there.

One thing on your links page that can be helpful is to keep the onpage text to link ratio up there. By that, I mean, if the page is just all outbound link text, but there isn't just plain text on the page to balance it out, it can be sort of detrimental to the page. (And there's something in the wind saying that that might even be more true in the coming month or two).

What I do on my links page is put a sentence or two about the site you're linking to under the link text. I usually make it sort of casual and personal sounding. So, for example, if I was going to link to these forums, I'd do this:

Cre8asite Webmaster Forums
This is a really great site that has one of the only usability forums on the web. The moderators, except for that Grumpus guy, are all really helpful and know what they are talking about. Great place to learn what you need to know!


This also makes your links page more attractive to potential link partners. No one likes to be stuck on a page that's just a list of site names with no other information. Sure, it may give a little nudge to the PR, but that link could be so much more valuable than that. Visitors who see your links page and read your comment are much more likely to explore the sites you link to - and if you update often, they are likely to bookmark your site and check your site out before going to see what other cool site's you're recomending.

The fact that your links page might actually bring a few hits is very attractive to webmasters who are paying attention to the big picture rather than just being focused on PR.

G.

#5 Wendy@LFLT

Wendy@LFLT

    Unlurked Energy

  • Members
  • 4 posts

Posted 21 May 2003 - 03:35 PM

Hi,
Yes I can see how that would be helpful. When I started exchanging links I started with banners then found out that text links were better and have added more of them. Most of the sites I have linked to prefer text links.

I will add text to the banner but what do I do about the text links that I have. Most sites tell you what they want their text links to say. Would it help to add a line at the top saying that we hope that the links below will be helpful to you and your new baby?? Something like that?

Also is there a number of links on a page that is too many. I read somewhere that 30 on a page is too many. Does it matter?

Also maybe make the 2nd links page accessible from the home page so it doesn't look like I am hiding it??

Thank you for your reply

#6 Advisor

Advisor

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 1142 posts

Posted 21 May 2003 - 05:34 PM

Where you do go down the path of providing links as their own content (links page or directory) you should build it for the customer, and with pride.  Never include a listing that you are not proud to associate your business with, and never fail to list a great resource because it won't link back.  That's real value and content for the user and doesn't tend to get in any trouble.


And that, my friends, should be made into a plaque and hung in the Internet Hall of Fame (wherever that is)!

Couldn't have said it better myself.

:smilecolros:

Jill

#7 bragadocchio

bragadocchio

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 15634 posts

Posted 21 May 2003 - 06:18 PM

Hi Wen,

Welcome to the forums. :wave:

Is the indexu.com a bad thing? I got an email saying "Your submission has been approved" But I didn't submit to indexu but I did add my url to a babysite that I think may use idexu. This site ranked 5/10. I just didn't know what this indexu.com is. .


I'm not saying that indexu is good or bad. I will say that I get a lot of unsolicited emails from sites that claim I signed up for something, even though I haven't. I tend to take any such claim with more than a little skepticism.

As for linking software, it appears that you have something much better -- common sense and an eye for businesses that share similar markets, but aren't competitors. Keep Ammon's and Grumpus' advice in mind, and look over the links that you have now. Do they fit that criteria? Are they helpful to your visitors? Can you explain in a sentence or two what you like about each one, and why they might be helpful to the people you're targeting with your site?

If you can, and you go ahead with those sentences, then it's possible that people will see your links page, and feel like they've located a treasure map. They'll bookmark it, or link to it. It will see traffic from people who follow those links to it, and return visits.

Also is there a number of links on a page that is too many. I read somewhere that 30 on a page is too many. Does it matter?


Google has stated on their pages that 100 is too many. I've seen recommendations of not more than 20. In my mind, between 10 and 20 is a lot for one page. If you're going to write brief descriptions of the sites you link to, and you can put them on a different pages based upon themes -- and labeled that way, that's not a bad way to go. Better than "links page 1" and "links page 2."

Here's a favorite page I've come across recently that might give you some ideas about how to write something for those links:

Blurbs: Writing Previews of Web Pages
http://www.uwec.edu/.../web/blurbs.htm

Now, that's definitely something that linking software can't do for you :)

#8 eron19

eron19

    Light Speed Member

  • Members
  • 582 posts

Posted 21 May 2003 - 08:45 PM

what is......'blacklisted?'

#9 bragadocchio

bragadocchio

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 15634 posts

Posted 21 May 2003 - 09:29 PM

Google will penalize sites' rankings in Google if they discover or believe that the site's owners have been engaging in some activity that Google doesn't approve. To get a general idea of what types of things these are, see Google's page here:

http://www.google.co...guidelines.html

One of the things on that page focuses upon linking:

Don't participate in link schemes designed to increase your site's ranking or PageRank. In particular, avoid links to web spammers or "bad neighborhoods" on the web as your own ranking may be affected adversely by those links.


Wendy's statement about trying to avoid being blacklisted, is about her effort to keep on the good side of Google by linking to sites that are relevant to her business -- and not solely for purposes of exchanging links just to raise her site's page rank.

The analogy of a "bad neighborhood" might be compared to a 50s McCarthy-era blacklist. It is possible to link to sites because you like them, and not realize that they have been penalized by Google (not everyone has a Google Toolbar), and gain a pagerank of 0 because of those links.

#10 Black_Knight

Black_Knight

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 9339 posts

Posted 21 May 2003 - 09:41 PM

It is possible to link to sites because you like them, and not realize that they have been penalized by Google (not everyone has a Google Toolbar), and gain a pagerank of 0 because of those links.


It is very rare in practice however (I've never yet seen it happen innocently, ever), and is usually the result of link exchanging, where it is commonplace.

There's often an idea that simple practicalities will be enough to protect you. Wen's post earlier being a good example:

I have been very careful about link exchanges.  I ask each site personally. And I have done a great deal of research in the sites that I have asked. They are all relevant to my site


The reality is even more simple. It doesn't matter how careful you are about it, it matters how careful the sites you exchange links with are about it. All you know for sure is that they were eager and happy to exchange links. What makes you sure they are careful enough to not link to a bad neighborhood, thus becoming part of it, and meaning that you're linked into it because of their actions?

I turn down all link exchange requests. Anyone that eager to exchange links is probably too eager to be trusted. On the other hand, I'm happy to link to sites with good content that merit the link for my visitors' benefit.

Outbound links are not a bad thing. Often, when I'm researching a topic, rather than bookmark all of the interesting sites I find, I'll bookmark just the one or two that have the best links to others. On that basis, links are content, they are a product/service, and you should take as much care over them as you would with your other products and content.

#11 bragadocchio

bragadocchio

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 15634 posts

Posted 21 May 2003 - 10:03 PM

It is very rare in practice however (I've never yet seen it happen innocently, ever), and is usually the result of link exchanging, where it is commonplace.


I'm not sure that I've seen this happen innocently either. But, there is a possibilty, and it doesn't hurt to follow practices like the ones that Wendy does. To a degree, she's doing a little more than linking. She's moved a bit towards creating business relationships with people in complimentary businesses.

And, yes, it is great to find a site that has a number of excellent links on a subject. I was researching a local artist/illustrator yesterday, and came across a few thousand sites in Google. As I was going through them, the one I got most excited about was about 50th down in Google, but had links to all of the best sites above it, and a few more. It was the only one I ended up bookmarking.

#12 Wendy@LFLT

Wendy@LFLT

    Unlurked Energy

  • Members
  • 4 posts

Posted 22 May 2003 - 12:31 PM

Wow! Thank you everyone for all the advice! I have and am learning a lot. I have changed my links a little bit and will change more. I am going to call it parenting resources. It is still Links on the menu as of now. I have added a paragraph explaining why I have listed all the sites. And I took the last page out of hiding so it can be seen right away.
Parenting Resources

I really like the idea of adding text to the banners and that is something I will work on a little at a time.

There are some sites that have not linked to me but I kept them there...they will be wanting to link to me one day :D I had one site write me back and say no way!! But my site is young and I explain that when I write to someone asking to exchange. They are willing to help me get started. Most of the sites I have listed are Moms like me wanting to stay home. I know that I am taking a risk but if I am not linked to anyone then google won't think much of me. Isn't that right??

The last google dance I was only linked to a few sites. So we will see what happens this time.

I am going to have let you guys critique my whole site next! :wink:

Thanks again,
Wendy

#13 Black_Knight

Black_Knight

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 9339 posts

Posted 22 May 2003 - 04:29 PM

There's another discussion about linking strategies in another thread that could be worth a look too.

Getting links is important, indeed, which is one of the main reasons that I argue against cutting corners or 'cheating' the system in getting them.

I think you're headed in the right direction Wen, but there are still risks to reciprocal linking. Additionally, from a marketing standpoint its weak and wide open to others, with no barrier to competition that helps you do something the competition can't or won't quickly match or surpass...

#14 farees

farees

    Whirl Wind Member

  • Members
  • 54 posts

Posted 03 July 2003 - 01:47 PM

Well for all we know, google's page rank is still a mystery. But having good outbounds links definitely helps. I mean links to quality content. I also understand that trading links with good sites can be a big problem, specially if you have just starter your site and have a page rank of zero.

One way around this, other than patience of course is to submit to directories like dmoz and yahoo(paid if you are a commercial entity and want a answer in 2 weeks). One way google has been able to stay in business is by providing quality and relevant content for a search. So the only way they can know a quality site is by going to these human edited directories.

One more common mistake new website operators do is invest in ranking software like web position and the likes. The thing is these practices are frowned upon by google, because every time these software packages do a submit , it take up valuable resources at google servers. Plus you usually end up buying upgrades of the software. Guess who are the first people to buy these new software packages, yeah you are right google engineers.
So the only way to attain a good ranking is to provide good content having in-bound links from quality sites(check thier link backs) and provide good out-bound links even if they do not provide you a link in exchange as I had mentioned before google loves new (relevant) content. And to have a seach engine friendly site

Ofcourse their are other really good ways and work arounds like BLOGS, but that is a totally different topic, is'nt it ;)

Farees

#15 Black_Knight

Black_Knight

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 9339 posts

Posted 03 July 2003 - 04:06 PM

Hi Farees, and welcome to Cre8asite :wave:

google's page rank is still a mystery. But having good outbounds links definitely helps.


Outbound links have absolutely no positive effect on the PageRank of that page. PageRank is a measure purely of the total value of inbound links, the links on other pages that point to your own page.

Of course, linking your pages to other pages passes value to those pages, and the more links you have to pages outside of your site, the smaller the share of PageRank that is passed back through your own internal navigation links.

Linking many of your pages to lots of external sites will lessen the overall feedback effect of PageRank within your site, and so can lower the total amount of PageRank on each and every page of your site.

#16 peter_d

peter_d

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 1914 posts

Posted 03 July 2003 - 05:10 PM

Ofcourse their are other really good ways and work arounds like BLOGS, but that is a totally different topic, is'nt it


Is it?

#17 farees

farees

    Whirl Wind Member

  • Members
  • 54 posts

Posted 08 July 2003 - 07:03 PM

Outbound links have absolutely no positive effect on the PageRank of that page. PageRank is a measure purely of the total value of inbound links, the links on other pages that point to your own page.


Hey there John thanks for the feedback. I think debating for outbound links work or not will never end, but I can tell that from experience and result. Just check this site out www.web-conferencing-central.com (another site I had optimized) its ranked 5 for "web conferencing" which has about 82000 searches. And the same site ranks 3 for "web conferencing articles) (actually 2 since the first 2 sites are the same) for Web Conferencing Articles page. And all I had to do was add out-bound links when I created the page and it got indexed in 15 days. Which reminds me that to get new pages indexed its always better to do it from 1 to 7 of every month (In-Sync) with google periods if I may put it that way :)

Or maybe perhaps you are right I just got lucky - perhaps 2 times in a row.

Thanks for your advice, I look forward to more.

Farees

#18 farees

farees

    Whirl Wind Member

  • Members
  • 54 posts

Posted 08 July 2003 - 07:06 PM

Sure! . The lingua franca for search engines is RSS - XML feeds, and blogs does a wonderful job at this. Hey I checked your site pretty impressive, would sure appreciate some feedback on this new site Im working on http://www.gojuvo.com. Perhaps you can spend some valuable time of yours on my previous postings and replies, I sure dont want to clobber this forum.

#19 peter_d

peter_d

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 1914 posts

Posted 08 July 2003 - 07:09 PM

Or maybe perhaps you are right I just got lucky - perhaps 2 times in a row.


The problem is isolating cause and effect.

Do it ten times in a row. Then you might have something. Then again, you might not :)

#20 farees

farees

    Whirl Wind Member

  • Members
  • 54 posts

Posted 08 July 2003 - 07:12 PM

Hey thanks that was quick. Got any feedback on my the new site im working on http://www.gojuvo.com. Other than - what the other members have suggested.

#21 Black_Knight

Black_Knight

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 9339 posts

Posted 09 July 2003 - 07:28 AM

all I had to do was add out-bound links when I created the page and it got indexed in 15 days


Yet there are no outbound links on the page that is ranked so highly, are there? :lol:

The reason you rank well isn't outbound links - its the inbound links that you bought by adding a reciprocal links directory. However, the linking pages themselves have a PageRank of only PR3, and could further suffer as Google continues to further refine its filters to prevent the 'trickery' of reciprocal links.

There is absolutely no doubt of Google's attitude to using link exchanges as a method of inflating pagerank. The PR0 penalty was pretty much invented and designed for punishing sites that Google finds to be 'artificially inflating pagerank'.

Right now, the fact you have many inbound links is helping you a lot. If Google were to apply a simple filter to discount the links from sites that you link to, you'd suddenly have a far lower PageRank, and far less links with keywords in the link text too. At that time, your ranking in the SERPs would plummet.

It would be easy to apply such a filter, because you've made it very clear that these are reciprocal links, and you've kept those reciprocal link pages out of your main navigation menu - showing them to be a bolt-on for rank manipulation.

What does that say about the long-term stability of your strategy?

Bear in mind also, that the page at #6 and #7 is a "This page has moved" listing, so you're only beating a page that isn't even there anymore by one ranking place.

#22 farees

farees

    Whirl Wind Member

  • Members
  • 54 posts

Posted 10 July 2003 - 07:30 PM

Well you are right there. But lets hope that does not happen soon. Had a quick question - does google page rank also vary on the hits the site gets ?



RSS Feed

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users