homepage Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 54.161.192.61
register, free tools, login, search, pro membership, help, library, announcements, recent posts, open posts,
Become a Pro Member
Home / Forums Index / Search Engines / Directories
Forum Library, Charter, Moderators: Webwork & skibum

Directories Forum

    
Removed reciprocals: good or bad move?
Reciprocal linking with open directories
Argentdreamer

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3678724 posted 3:16 pm on Jun 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

First, I'd like to mention that I started an e-commerce site a couple months ago with a friend. This friend is the one that knows more about the internet, in my case, I knew nothing about e-commerce when we started, but now, after reading this and other SEO related forums, I have a better understanding of this world.

My friend said that in order to get ranks, we had to build links, and have other pages link to us. As a start-up, he mentioned that we had to begin with directories. In a 2 week span, we submitted nearly 160 links to directories, who asked for reciprocals, so we had a 4-page list of directory links in our store, in a page named "links".

As I gathered more information about SEO, I read that directories were bad news, so I talked with my associate to remove almost all the links we had, 99% or them were pointing to directories that asked for "reciprocals".

I said "almost all" because I read somewhere that not all directories are bad; those that are "human edited", which are updated constantly are good or at least that's what I remember, so I left some. The latter brings another question to my attention.

There is a debate whether it's good or bad to have reciprocals, and then, if it's good or bad to have those reciprocals with directories. Maybe one of the directories I am reciprocal with has links to porn sites, and I read that if I link to them, that is very bad for me. The problem with directories is that they are huge, they have thousands of links, and there is no way I can go through all those links to verify they are "clean" (unless there is an internet utility that scans directories for red-flagged listed websites?).

I understand some of the basics on link building. I want strong ranked pages to link to me, "one way". Lets say that's the best scenario possible from what I understand. However, at this early stage in my e-commerce page, that is not possible. My store is new, I receive 1 visit per day (which most likely comes from PPC) and my page rank is 0.

My questions are:

1. Was it a good or bad move to remove all those links all at once? (some directories approved our website and listed us, however, we still removed them from our "links" page. Should we list them back?)
2. I read that having a "links" page is bad. Is this true? (this question may not be on topic with the directories forum but I hope it can be answered here anyway)

 

Webwork

WebmasterWorld Administrator webwork us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3678724 posted 1:01 pm on Jun 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

There's a few ways to look at this.

In the case of a directory that asks you to give a link for getting a link the reciprocal link giving (you, to the directory) can be viewed as a form of payment-in-kind. I view these link exchanges as "not for ranking, but for traffic". The directory, in theory, may drive some traffic to you. Your website, in turn, may drive some traffic to the directory. IF I was designing a search ranking algo I'd mostly discount such links.

Is it possible that recips to or from a directory might help one or the other "for ranking purposes"? Surely. We're all aware of some proof, just like we're aware of how many "general directories" rank for nothing.

So, a link exchange with a directory as payment in kind? I'd consider it IF the directory was otherwise a quality directory - which suggests that the directory exercised a helpful (to the visitor) degree of editorial control.

I wouldn't exchange links with a directory that looked like it was a take-all-comers version of a directory or other suspect directories. You have to know them when you see them and they're not hard to spot.

If you want to believe the source [mattcutts.com] (a/k/a Matt Cutts) reciprocal links aren't an "all bad thing". Recips are more in the nature of "the art and the artist".

In other words, some reciprocal links are more natural - and helpful to those who might click them - than other recips.

For example, my travel site links to your travel backpack site. Is that a recip "of some value"? I'd say it is and I wouldn't give a #$#$#$$!~@ what Google thought - because IF Google couldn't see the value in such recips Google would have to be broken in my book.

I don't build for Google. I build for people. I don't try to outsmart Google. I try to be smarter than Google and hope Google catches up. If it doesn't then some competitor will beat G at its own game - or better said - the game it once owned, so to speak. ;-P

So, to answer directly: Cheesey recips? Out. Cheesey recips = bulk recips, recips without editorial thought, recips where it's hard to see the relevance, etc.

Your post suggests that your recips may have been doused with extra cheese wiz. Where I come from that's okay if you're ordering a Philly cheesesteak, but it's not okay if you're ordering a steak. ;)

[edited by: Webwork at 1:16 pm (utc) on June 20, 2008]

Argentdreamer

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3678724 posted 4:29 pm on Jun 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

Here is a link to the post I made in this forum, in the e-commerce section.

[webmasterworld.com...]

Maybe it can help anyone who reads this thread understand my situation.

There is a lot I learned in the past weeks about linking, and it didn't take me much time to realize the real nature of these directories. From my point of view, they are basically trying to cheat the system, at least Google's.

I learned about "natural links", and in the example you mentioned about travel packs, I fully agree that would be a valid reciprocal link. There is a lot of relevance between the 2 sites. However, these directories or link farms as many people call them, are just that. This is why I decided to remove those links from our website.

You also said that directories won't add PR to my site but traffic. Are there people out there that actually "google" a directory and look in there instead of just typing keywords for whatever widget they are looking for? I took my time to navigate through some of the directories I initially submitted to, and man, they are huge. In my category, there were probably 2000 links in one directory.

Finally, you are right. Our recips not only were cheesy, but had wine accompanying them. I really hope I made the right choice.

Webwork

WebmasterWorld Administrator webwork us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3678724 posted 6:21 pm on Jun 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

You also said that directories won't add PR to my site but traffic

Not quite a quote but close. Some may. I'd look for editorial control and a few other signals of quality. Also, I'd look for vertical (your industry) directories - including industry websites that have a directory (section) but don't hold themselves out "as a directory - as a place to look for link opportunities.

Lastly, AFAIC (as far as I'm concerned) the day that I decide that Google is the be-all and end-all of traffic for my enterprise is the day my enterprise starts to unwind. I'm not saying "screw Google, I don't need them." What I'm saying is that I choose to view link building as building a source of sustainable traffic - instead of building links to rank in Google - and if Google take a ranking-liking to my enterprise as a result of "my" link strategy . . well . . that's just ducky.

No unnatural or kinky linking up or dependencies? Okay? :-P

[edited by: Webwork at 2:27 pm (utc) on June 26, 2008]

Argentdreamer

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3678724 posted 4:45 pm on Jun 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

Lastly, AFAIC (as far as I'm concerned) the day that I decide that Google is the be-all and end-all of traffic for my enterprise is the day my enterprise starts to unwind. I'm not saying "screw Google, I don't need them." What I'm saying is that I choose to view link building as building a source of sustainable traffic - instead of building links to rank in Google - and if Google take a ranking-liking to my enterprise as a result of "my" link strategy . . well . . that's just ducky.

Oh, I'm definitely not going to put all the eggs in one basket. However, as a newbie in SEO, my starting point has to be simple, and once I acquire more experience and knowledge, I'll make the jump into the bigger picture.

[edited by: Webwork at 2:29 pm (utc) on June 26, 2008]
[edit reason] Tidying up [/edit]

Rosalind

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3678724 posted 1:54 pm on Jun 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

Getting rid of long pages of unsuitable reciprocal links is a smart move, because by doing so you will encourage better quality links. Good websites will avoid linking out to sites that look spammy, so what you may gain by placing irrelevant reciprocals you will lose by putting off other potential linkers.

Look at it this way: who you link to influences how people, and search engines, perceive you. If you link to everyone indiscriminately you look like a link farm. Websites like SiteAdvisor will issue your website with the red checkmark of death if your links go out to spammy or malware-infested websites.

I don't want to dissuade you from all reciprocals, because they can be useful. But think in the region of 10 to 30 for an average site, so someone can realistically go through them all two or three times a year and check that the links are live, not hacked, and still relevant.

[edited by: Rosalind at 1:54 pm (utc) on June 26, 2008]

pageoneresults

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3678724 posted 1:58 pm on Jun 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

Related discussion?

Why Do You Link?
What are your goals? How will you accomplish?
[webmasterworld.com...]

ken_b

WebmasterWorld Senior Member ken_b us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3678724 posted 2:33 pm on Jun 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

Did you contact the webmasters at all the sites you no longer link to, telling them you took down your link to their site?

If not, you should. They need to know they should take down their link to your site.

And if you want to be as sure as possible that you are building a good set of outbound links from your site, you need to consider who the sites you link to link to.

Argentdreamer

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3678724 posted 6:46 pm on Jun 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

Rosalind:
The more I read about SEO, the more I begin to understand the complexity of this world. As a customer, or just someone who navigates on the Internet, I don't find appealing any "Links" pages where I'll find hundreds of links, and that's it. I read about better ways of linking to quality places, like writing small articles then putting a link, something like "in the ABC Widget world, we have A Widgets (an excellent resource is www.Awidgets.com) yada yada yada...." instead of just a link.

Related discussion?

Why Do You Link?
What are your goals? How will you accomplish?

P1R:
Since my site is e-commerce, what I want is traffic and from there, conversions. Getting page one results on my keywords will get me sustained traffic in the long term, although other approaches to generate a decent amount of traffic per day can be taken. I know about Pay-per-click (we are using that atm) but as I learn more about SEO, I'd like to leave PPC only for special campaigns. I'm new at SEO and E-commerce, so it will take time until I set things the way I want them to be.

Did you contact the webmasters at all the sites you no longer link to, telling them you took down your link to their site?

If not, you should. They need to know they should take down their link to your site.

And if you want to be as sure as possible that you are building a good set of outbound links from your site, you need to consider who the sites you link to link to.

Kenb:
I haven't contacted them because I didn't remove those that already accepted me as a link. However, if I decide to remove those few links that I kept, I was planning on e-mailing them letting them know of my decision.

Global Options:
 top home search open messages active posts  
 

Home / Forums Index / Search Engines / Directories
rss feed

All trademarks and copyrights held by respective owners. Member comments are owned by the poster.
Home ¦ Free Tools ¦ Terms of Service ¦ Privacy Policy ¦ Report Problem ¦ About ¦ Library ¦ Newsletter
WebmasterWorld is a Developer Shed Community owned by Jim Boykin.
© Webmaster World 1996-2014 all rights reserved