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The Infamous Link Popularity Campaign
who are the best to link to when staying within a theme?
agerhart




msg:413730
 5:25 pm on Jun 12, 2001 (gmt 0)

I need help if possible. I am trying to work on my linking campaign for a very important site of ours that is in production and will be coming out soon (I hope). I think it is pretty decently themed, and I would like to link within the themes, but I am a bit confused on who to link with.

I was thinking that some of the best people to link with, inside the theme, would be within my category, but these sites would be my competitors and I can't see them wanting to link with me. Am I wrong?

My category is a pretty tough one, internet services and solutions, and it has sub-categories such as web design, database design, security, online marketing, SEO, etc.


 

littleman




msg:413731
 5:33 pm on Jun 12, 2001 (gmt 0)

Tough one. Perhaps you could convince some of your competition that mutual linking would be a benefit to both. The SEO guys should know this. If all else fails you could craft your own link popularity -- but do it wisely.

rogerd




msg:413732
 5:58 pm on Jun 12, 2001 (gmt 0)

That is often the catch with a business link-pop campaign - the best links are competitors, and most probably won't link to you. Even if they would, you almost certainly don't want to place a prominent link to them on your site.

I'd do some searching on your keywords and see if you can find some potential link partners. Perhaps there are some sites that are not in competition because of geographic location or market orientation. Or, perhaps web design resource sites would be relevant but not competitive. If you can find some classes of sites that seem to fit, you can then try crafting searches to find more. You could even turn a tool like Zeus loose, although I suspect it would be hard to tune Zeus to skip over competitive sites. There is another thread about Zeus going here, or you can also check out the Zeus Review [aim-pro.com] at AIM-pro.

Another idea: the computer and internet category at LinkTopics.com is the biggest one and might be one quick fix, although (as many have pointed out) linktopics might be risky if any SEs start targeting reciprocal link programs. I think LT does the best job of anyone - there is plenty of descriptive text, all links are appropriate to their category, there is a search function, etc. They are really trying to make it more than a reciprocal link farm. (I have actually had some hits off my listings on other sites.) You also have good control of header, footer, and CSS settings, so you can integrate it in the site. Of course, some of the people there will be your competitors. You have to link to the pages, but the link doesn't have to be on your home page.

agerhart




msg:413733
 6:04 pm on Jun 12, 2001 (gmt 0)

>>>>>>Even if they would, you almost certainly don't want to place a prominent link to them on your site.>>>>>

Definitely not........

>>>>>Or, perhaps web design resource sites would be relevant but not competitive>>>

I think that the resource sites, like [asp101.com...] are more relunctant to link to a business site that they are hearing about for the first time.......would have to spend time building a relationship.

paynt




msg:413734
 7:47 pm on Jun 12, 2001 (gmt 0)

Another great question Andrew,

I approach this situation in a couple of different ways. First, I look at the top five competitors for my topic and see who is linking to them. Weeding out the links that are not appropriate I select the best from this list and work on getting those. Next I research the vertical portal/vortals/hubs that relate to my theme and submit to those. When you are going for these, see if there are extra benefits to linking back to them. Not all require a link back and some will highlight your site, move you up on their list, or put a star by your link if you do link back. You might even consider providing them with an article in exchange for a good link. I actually have received good traffic from these.

Another tip is to sign guestbooks. May not pertain to you specifically Andrew, because most of your market doesnít use them, but to other themes it may. I get traffic and link recognition from these.

I would consider linking to a competitor if they were ranked higher than me, to pull me up but not lower than me, so I pull them up.

I believe a link page (by whatever name we call it) should not be really obvious. If people are headed too often to that page than something is definitely off with the site and should be fixed. When they do visit the first and most obvious link should be back to where you want them to be on your site. This helps if the page gets picked up and people enter through it. Donít make them want to leave.

Iím eager to see other ideas.

agerhart




msg:413735
 8:02 pm on Jun 12, 2001 (gmt 0)

Thanks Paynt and to everyone who responded,

I would like to get some more suggestions, if they are out there.......

Brett_Tabke




msg:413736
 8:12 pm on Jun 12, 2001 (gmt 0)

Hi rogerd (nice to see you - not seen your nick around in awhile)

Agerhart, I've went to the extreme over this during the last year. Here is what I do,

- build a directory 2 deep from root. domain.com/dir1/dir2/pages.htm
- put 8-10 pages of simple content in it about your topic. No sales, no affiliate stuff - just small info page (faq's are great for this). Very low key - low impact nonspammy pages.

Then in: domain.com/dir1/index.htm

Put a list of the 10 pages you built in <li> search engine sorta style (a clean doorway/index/map to the other content pages you created).

Use those ten pages as "link fodder" for the competition. When you exchange recips, give them the url of one of those 10 pages. Near the bottom of those 10 pages, put something like "related:" and then list your recip links for that page.

Do it 2 levels deep so that se's won't care all that much for it, and when the competition looks at the page, and walk back up the tree, they'll see you have actual info on the site and not just competing product.

agerhart




msg:413737
 8:21 pm on Jun 12, 2001 (gmt 0)

Brett,

thanks for the suggestions, and this seems like a good idea, but I have a question about this:

Don't you think that people are going to get tired of digging through the site to find the actual info. For instance, the site I am working on is going to be a services site, and if we have this (if I understand correctly):

Index->sub-index w/ links ->sub-index and content

....don't you think that the user will either click onto the other site linked, or press the back button a few times in frustration?

Am I understanding this wrong?

Please clarify if so because I think this sounds like a very good idea.

agerhart




msg:413738
 1:13 pm on Jun 13, 2001 (gmt 0)

wanted to bring this back up to the top in hopes of getting it notcied for a response

Mike_Mackin




msg:413739
 1:17 pm on Jun 13, 2001 (gmt 0)

>the user will either click......

imo
Who cares what the user will do.
We are FEEDING spiders here.

JamesR




msg:413740
 4:14 pm on Jun 13, 2001 (gmt 0)

I link to my competition and will even accept a link from a high page rank site on a subpage of theirs in exchange for me linking to them on my home page. You can limit the impact of people leaving your site via that link by putting it low on your home page.

nitecoder




msg:413741
 6:05 pm on Jun 14, 2001 (gmt 0)

I have decided to try to make my "links page" valuable for visitors and hope that leads to some benefit in the SEs rather than developing spider-specific content. I have come to believe that the latter is a game I don't have time to win. Maybe I'm naive and will change my mind, but for now that's the deal.

I have a "Webmaster Resources" page with just a few links on it now and I'm working to develop it into some quality recip links. The links open new windows, and I was wondering if anyone knows how much that helps to keep people from actually leaving your site.

Thanks.

DaveAtIFG




msg:413742
 6:50 pm on Jun 14, 2001 (gmt 0)

>make my "links page" valuable for visitors and hope that leads to some benefit in the SEs

I do this too and it has served me well. It's a sound long term strategy.

>The links open new windows...

I did a poll of my users a year or so back asking about preferences. The overwhelming majority preferred opening new windows. Keep in mind, my visitors are "average surfers," your's are likely to be much more advanced browser users.

Aaron




msg:413743
 9:35 pm on Jun 15, 2001 (gmt 0)

Hmm.. Opening new browsers..

I suppose you warn them before, that the link will open a new browser?

Great1




msg:413744
 9:03 am on Aug 22, 2001 (gmt 0)

Can anybody tell me if there's a way of checking who links to you?

Marcia




msg:413745
 9:38 am on Aug 22, 2001 (gmt 0)

For Google, link:http://www.whatever.com works.

stavs




msg:413746
 10:52 am on Aug 22, 2001 (gmt 0)

same for AV

webertain




msg:413747
 3:00 pm on Aug 22, 2001 (gmt 0)

agerhart,

I was interested in this post because you said your site is not out yet (at least in June) and you started your linking campaign.

I was under the impression that it was not wise to start finding links until your site is ready to launch, to show the other site that the content is beneficial to them as well.

I was wondering about how long before you think (thought) your site would launch you started contacting other sites about links.

I too am in the midst of building a site, that hopefully will launch in 4-6 weeks, if not sooner. I am really just researching right now about seo, links, and promotion, as my partner builds the site.

I would love some input on timing?

agerhart




msg:413748
 3:07 pm on Aug 22, 2001 (gmt 0)

Webertain,

I think that if you have a BETA version of your website online and within a week or two of completion you can do two things.

1) make a list of possible sites to link to and then put it into action as soon as the site goes live

2) contact the sites that you want to link to and have links on the site before you go live

Option 2 will get better results, especially for SE's like Google that like you to inbound links already established when you submit to them, or before they spider your site.

webertain




msg:413749
 3:51 pm on Aug 22, 2001 (gmt 0)

agerhart,

Thanks,

I think I will start my list today.

BelleLeDoux




msg:413750
 4:15 pm on Aug 22, 2001 (gmt 0)

Quite a tough category...
How about these possible areas:
1. publishers for web design and design related literature, and the other areas covered in your list of services
2. online training centers
3. hardware and software providers
4. associations related to the services you offer

Another thing you might consider doing is to have the links as part of your body text instead of a separate and more prominent entry. That way you can put them on your homepage or one of your important pages without making it too prominent.

I hope this helps.

Macguru




msg:413751
 4:47 pm on Aug 22, 2001 (gmt 0)

agerhart,

You probaly will find the idea simplist. I did some link prospection campaign for a couple of Web services agencies. I also believe the best links you can get is from the competition.

We could convince more oversea competitors to link to us. Most of such companies clients are local, so it will not hurt anyone to trade links.

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