|Using awards to generate links|
A linking suggestion posted by seth_wilde (borrowed from the Alta Vista forum):
>>Create some kind of an award (ex - best insurance sites)and send out an email to sites with a line of code that includes the award graphic along with a link back to your site.
First - from what I gather, keywords used in text links are best to use, but links coupled with site awards almost always use the award graphic image for the link. Is this effective, and would the nature of the linking site contribute to theming for the site being linked to?
Second, where, on the site giving the award, is the best place to put it (the award graphic and info), and have people link back to?
I have a rather active award program on my site - which believe it or not is for top ten search engine ranking. However, I do not send out e-mails to people with similar sites - although that does sound like a great idea.
I also never submit my pages that include the award winners, because most of those sites have themes that are disimlar to mine. And I never submit web pages that display my award unless the text on the page in some way resembles the theme of my site.
However, I was able to get the award rated by Award Sites as a Level 4.0 Award on my first submission.
Some people think of awards as a bit corny. However, the traffic that I have received simply from having the award has been wonderful.
Aside from search engine optimization, if you are able to get an award highly rated, it will result in additional traffic for your web site. There are folks who live and die for these things, and at least in my case, I have found that maintaining the award program only requires a few minutes per day.
Hope that helps. And if you would like to take a look, here is the link:
Marcia, if your award program is geared to sites related to your theme your link pop benefits will probably be improved, although you may be restricting yourself to a smaller universe of potential "winners". While most awards are graphics, you could do a couple of things: Incorpororate a small text line as part of the link (hey, it's your award, why not?), or at least incorporate ALT text in the code winners must post on their site. Some will just copy the graphic, but if you give them the code most will probably just paste it in.
As far as the link destination on your site, linking to your home page would be better than some awards page that you don't want traffic directed to. On the remote sites, it would be nice if they put the award on their home page, although some more sophisticated sites might want to us a sepaarate awards page instead of cluttering their home page with multiple awards.
I have a major competitor that built his site almost entirely around a cheesy awards program, Marcia. His link popularity still serves him extremely well.
When researching award icons, don't forget this site [thecorporation.com] (originally posted by Oilman, I believe).
My favorite [thecorporation.com], now applies to WebmasterWorld.
Brett, I'd agree that the proliferation of awards and the increasing professionalism of many sites has reduced their effectiveness. On the other hand, smaller sites are probably still good candidates. Reciprocal link work I've done with Zeus has found tons of sites in a few industries I work with; many of these sites are not super-professional, and would be happy to post an appropriate award, in my opinion. (I didn't try.)
> smaller sites are probably still good candidates
This is particularly true in some business categories that have been slow to come to the web. (Small, independent marinas come to mind) Many of these site owners are really, really green when it comes to the web and the old techniques still impress them.
As a new twist, try not to think about the traditional award graphics.
An 88x31 button has a much larger chance of making it to the index page as opposed to the standard award graphics you may be familiar with.
You can see an example of what I did for this here:
(I think I can trust the folks here not to take it if they have not applied.)
>not to take it if they have not applied
ok, now can you tell me JK, as a "ferinstance" - to lay the groundwork for how this works - say if I apply -- I link to you with the award, and you don't link back to me, right? It isn't reciprocal, so what benefit does each of us derive?
I'm exloring this topic for several reasons, for several different sites - one of which is one I will need to get very serious about, and another a little subdirectory with free background graphics.
In my idle moments I create these, and put them up just "for fun." Well, I never pay a bit of attention, and this little section sits at #1 at AV. Slips down, then back up. For some reason some very talented fellows vie for that inconsequential spot, so my little bit of a section must drive them crazy. It generates a very healthy bit of traffic, including for a couple of search words never mentioned on the whole site. I do absolutely zero with it. I've never been serious about it, but it seems like a total waste of visits - so I am looking to generate some creative ideas on what to do with this.
I know people take the backgrounds without giving a link, because I have caught them. Say if a top ten award is on the main index page, as well as that graphics index page..what relevance can there be for graphics with the award? I can see relevance from the main page if I add a section or page to the site on the suject.
Plus, if I give an award out from the graphics section, chances are the sites will not be relevant - not an insignificant factor. Not significant there, but it will be when the principles are grasped on how to work this thing and I apply it on a site where it will make a difference.
So I will have to decide whether to link out, according to your reasoning on why you don't link out to any. Make sense?
Actually, I do link out to all the other sites that win my award. However, I don't submit those pages to the search engines because the links are not to sites that are similar to mine - and I don't want to distort my sites 'theme.'
I do get a lot of traffic just for having the award, however. Because my award was rated a Level 4.0 from Award Sites (which will hopefully soon be upgraded), I get a lot of page views for people who are simply trying to win a Level 4.0 Award.
5.0 is the highest rating.
Award Sites is a rather ugly site. However, when it comes to rating of Awards they are probably the largest organization on the net. So, if you are lucky enough to get a high rating for your award there - this in and of itself will generate increased traffic for you.
As per recriprocal linking, I do it on a case by case basis. For instance, Ralph (aka Fantomaster) won the award for the search term 'cloaking.' He has a page for it displayed on his site, and because his content is similar to mine I make sure I have a page submitted to the engines which links to his web site.
Alternatily and for example, I gave the award to a new fellow yesterday who has a site about Harley Engine Rebuilding. Since that site and mine have no similar content, I am not concerned whether or not we are linking to one another. However, simply by having the award on his site I am likely to get some additional traffic.
In other words, my suggestion is to:
- Have an award that is consistent with your site's theme.
- Make sure you get the award ranked by Award Sites
- Be consistent and specific with your rules
- When a web site links to you that has content similar to yours, make sure the web site page displaying the award is indexed by the engines that count link popularity.
- Do not submit pages to the search engines which contain your outgoing links - unless those pages contain links to sites which also share your theme.
>>However, I don't submit those pages to the search engines because the links are not to sites that are similar to mine - and I don't want to distort my sites 'theme.'<<
Don't worry, JK, the award winners will take care of that detail for you!! :)