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Link Development
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fathom




msg:421335
 6:50 am on Mar 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

Link Development

I have seen numerous threads of late that attempt to play links and content against each other as if one is more important than to other. With that in mind, and lots of time in the woods to think I offer this.

Nature links, organic links, inbound links (or incoming), outbound links (or outgoing), reciprocal links, crosslinks, interlinks, quality links, authority links, hidden links, JavaScript links, breadcrumb or breadcrumb trails, -- in our attempt to be sophisticated we often lose sight of what a "link" really is... the nature of the World Wide Web (WWW).

World Wide Web - A system of Internet servers that aggregates documents (webpages and other various file formats). The documents are formatted in a language called HTML (HyperText Mark-up Language and similar types) that support links to other documents, as well as graphics, audio, and video files. One can jump from one document to another simply by clicking on hyperlinks... and

Hyperlink - An image or portion of text on a Web page that is linked to another Web page, either on the same site or in another Web site. Clicking on the link will take the user to another webpage, or to another place on the same page.

Content and links working mutually together.

Link development is extremely important but also a game of tradeoffs (again) when considering "ranking". This topic isn't about PageRank (PR) or Link Popularity as both tend to cloud the issue of the "why" linking is important?

Link Development

There are two primary considerations here which we will cover separately.

Internal Links - Website Link Constructs

Internal links tend to be the binding of a website (if looked at from a perspective of a book). When viewing this from a ranking vantagepoint the single most important point to remember "left to right, top to bottom". Your most important website link should be as close to the upper left corner of your webpage as possible and the least important towards the bottom right.

Not an easy task/challenge in eMarketing since the website is often developed without your expertise and the link structure isn't always flexible enough to redevelop (cost effectively).

The logic of this progressive importance is quite sound (admittedly however sometimes not practical). An easy way to determine the most important links is by prioritizing the website according to which page(s) have the most to the least internal links to them. Pages that have "more internal links" receive more weight and relevancy from within the website itself - and stand a better chance at ranking ability than pages with few links to them.

Conversely - a websites top level pages tend to be broader topical pages needing much more to rank - and not normally those that actually produce "sales" (if sales is the objective of the website). Just the same - sales pages (also called money-makers) tend to be far more focused on narrower topics - and as such do not need a ton of links to support their ranking ability.

Often the mainpage (homepage) has the most links thus in practice should be available in the upper left corner... many times the remaining pages can be positioned inappropriately and as such potential consideration when optimizing.

It is also worth noting that "a link" gains weight from what is positioned around it... thus strategically if a "home button" is the single most important link to say "computers" the next adjacent button would gain weight and relevancy by being in close proximity, and progressively adjacent buttons (links) receive similar weight and relevancy consistent with their topic breadth. If (as an example) these are "Contact Us" and "About Us" the website may not be getting the necessary boost from internal resources (dependent on the actual page content of the "link to" page).

Nav Bars and Breadcrumbs

Beyond the value offered to visitors for ease of navigation breadcrumbs tend to "weight" your website pages appropriately and one reason why directories and forums tend to be relatively successful in search engines for a wide range of topics. For the sake of argument WebmasterWorld forum 12 "Link Development [google.com]" ranks #1 & #2 in Google against major competition and not because there is vast assortment of external links pointing to these physical pages but because of the website's internal breadcrumbs.

JavaScript

JavaScript links can play an important role in optimization as search engines do not parse the information within the script.

If for example a page has been developed to it's maximum potential (ranked #1) while other adjacent pages have not, there is likely extra weight and relevancy being lost on a page that is potentially far superior (ranking wise) than the competition.

JavaScripting some internal links to this page will allow you to repurpose internal resources elsewhere.

Link Anchors - Text / Images

The link anchor is by far the single most important benefit in developing ranked results for a very simply reason -- it is the bridge of "content" from one page to another page. I term this "content" since the link itself on the "linked from" page is simply extending some form of topical discussion.

External Links [webmasterworld.com]

 

raja4




msg:421336
 9:26 pm on Mar 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

Great post. Thank you for such valuable information.

If for example a page has been developed to it's maximum potential (ranked #1) while other adjacent pages have not, there is likely extra weight and relevancy being lost on a page that is potentially far superior (ranking wise) than the competition.

JavaScripting some internal links to this page will allow you to repurpose internal resources elsewhere.

Is this really that important? I usually don't pay attention to this aspect of link development. What do you guys think.

troels nybo nielsen




msg:421337
 10:25 pm on Mar 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

If a page gets "too strong" because of the internal linking structure I sometimes try to use its unused strength in this way:

1. Edit the text so that more weight is put on a secondary keyword.

2. Link to a page that is optimised for that keyword. If such a page does not already exist I create it.

This has worked fine so far, but it needs to be done carefully. It is so easy to disturb the balance of a page.

<added>
I just checked Google for one of my keywords. A keyword that I actually do not target but regard as some kind of general measurement for the strength of one particular page. I see that this page has taken one more step forward since a few hours ago. One of these days I will try to export some of that growing strength to some pages that could use it.
</added>

fathom




msg:421338
 2:09 am on Mar 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

Sorry didn't get back right away.

Is this really that important?

Kind-of a loaded question. I mean "no" if you're not interested in developing more #1 ranks then you currently have. Unfortuately clients tend to be more "that's great - but what can you do for me here"?

If you have followed a websites progression - you tend to have an understanding what pages are out-performing the competition and which ones don't - this ones that are "way ahead" can assist ones that are "way behind".

You could just keep developing "more links" and the same effect will occur but the latter tends to be "the harder road to go"... but if you have stacks of time to play with -- the latter is probably be a better way to go.

racer_x




msg:421339
 11:25 am on Mar 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

JavaScript links can play an important role in optimization as search engines do not parse the information within the script.

Are you sure about that? In a thread Google Guy hints that Google follows Javascript links.
[webmasterworld.com...]

From my experience Google does seem to follow some Javascript links. From what I have seen it does not execute the code, but just does a simple scan through it to see if it can find anything that looks like a URL and then treats it like a link.

ememi




msg:421340
 12:17 pm on Mar 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hey

Attempting to understand search engines (or much of anything else related to computahs) just makes my head spin.

I recently changed the title of one of my pages from "Editing Websites" to "Editing and Copyediting Websites"--a bit forced, I admit. My rank for that phrase went from around 70 to 1.

I don't think links have played much of a role.

snip

But, as I said, I really don't have the first clue about this stuff.

Regrettably, I expect my record of not having anyone ever contact me through my site will remain unblemished.

[edited by: DaveAtIFG at 4:31 pm (utc) on Mar. 16, 2004]
[edit reason] Removed specifics [/edit]

Searg




msg:421341
 2:02 pm on Mar 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have a question on internal anchor link text. Let's say our keyword is "red widgets" and "red widgets online". We don't want to trip the OOP penalty on google so would it be safe to change up the internal anchor text to lets' say "popular red widgets" and "great red widgets online". Is this anchor link text changed up enough to avoid the OOP?

And, would it help to link to the home page using H1 text in the upper left with this varied text? Not aesthetically pleasing I know...but would this be GOOD?

TallTroll




msg:421342
 2:18 pm on Mar 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

Google (and I assume other engines) will attempt to request ANY URI of the form "http://www.example.com" found in any document they crawl.

Stripping the retrieved documents for links and attempting to "understand" the retrieved documents are totally separate operations in the search engines processing sequence. For those who want to waste an hour on a fascinating examination of search theory, go to G, and perform this search [google.com]

Google have over 300k .js files "indexed". They just don't UNDERSTAND any of them. Try swapping out other filetypes. You'll be amazed what you turn up. If you watch REALLY carefully, you'll find an unintentional translation to Googles internal usage operator, ext:{insert file extension here}

martinibuster




msg:421343
 4:49 pm on Mar 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

Thanks fathom. You got me thinking.

...we often lose sight of what a "link" really is... the nature of the World Wide Web (WWW).

That's what got me thinking. Thinking about what links have become: internet currency. The moment a value was assigned to links (PageRank) was the moment links became money.

Dmoz is a bank handing out free money. Yahoo! is lending it out with a $299 interest fee. There are websites that specialize in selling links and websites that broker link sales between different parties.

Links have a monetary value. Link is a currency.

Definitions
  • Currency:
    "the money in circulation in any country.
  • Monetary
    The coinage or currency of a country

The above definitions can be ammended to add the newest form of money, links.

Time to open Quickbooks. I have links to manage.
;) Y

Robert123




msg:421344
 9:27 pm on Mar 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

serg
i think it smarter to use google guy guys words(paraphrased)
better to think in terms of what was once important in ranking/given a higher value,and is not not now--- than to think filter.

fathom




msg:421345
 3:11 am on Mar 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

Are you sure about that? In a thread Google Guy hints that Google follows Javascript links.

You need to read his post carefully.

Google "READS" everything - TallTroll is quite correct -- "what the h*** is this?"... is Googlebots response! Plus some JavaScripts are better than others e.g. Googlebot cannot action a "mouseclick" it can only follow what is available and without that "action" nothing is available! ;)

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