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Outbound vs. Inbound Links
webertain




msg:421648
 3:09 pm on Aug 22, 2001 (gmt 0)

Hi All,

I have been reading this forum for months off and on, and sparsely posting questions here and there.

It is getting to the point where my site is getting close to launch (4-6 weeks tops).

I would like to know what weight outbound links are given by search engines, as compared to inbound links?

What I would like is inbound links to my index page, but give their reciprocal links on a more target specific page of my site which is password protected. I know I would benefit by having all the inbound links, and I think depending on my traffic their site will benefit by having their link only on pages that are area specific.

I know that the search engines will basically not see my links to their sites. But they should see all the inbound links.

I have also been flirting with making a link directory available linked to the index page, on a page that is not password protected, so it will be spidered by the search engine.

Just to let you know my site will deal with American TV.

Thanks for any input?

Jason

 

agerhart




msg:421649
 3:15 pm on Aug 22, 2001 (gmt 0)

Webertain,

I know that I woudl want my link on your website to be spiderable by the search engines, or it defeats the purpose of the reciprocal linking.

I have also been flirting with making a link directory available linked to the index page, on a page that is not password protected, so it will be spidered by the search engine.

This sounds like a better idea.

I am pretty sure that inbound links have more weight than outbound links......but, don't count them out of the equation

rogerd




msg:421650
 3:20 pm on Aug 22, 2001 (gmt 0)

Hi, Webertain. Inbound links are more valuable than outbound links, though a mix of both is probably optimal for most search engines.

I think having a spiderable links page is a good idea (don't call it a "links" page, and avoid a high percentage of link text by including descriptions or other text). Having spiderable (and preferably findable by humans) links is particularly important if you are promising your inbound links a reciprocal - a lot of good it will do them if spiders and non-password-bearing users can't reach their link!

webertain




msg:421651
 4:11 pm on Aug 22, 2001 (gmt 0)

Ok,

Thanks for the quick response. I thought the link directory would be the better idea from a linking standpoint. I was and I guess still am not sure it will be related to my content outside the password protected area, whereas inside it would be ideal.

I know this puts me in a quandry for search engines, but I expect most of my traffic to be repeat, and most of those will have a unique URL to put them inside the password protected part of the site (where most of my true content is).

Let me ask this then, and I know this is a little out of the scope of this forum. If I was able to attain a significant amount of traffic, and a good percentage of that is repeat, could I charge to have links show up in target specific areas in the password protected portion of the site. I would only charge maybe at most around $2 a month, not sure how I would handle priority though?

rogerd




msg:421652
 4:30 pm on Aug 22, 2001 (gmt 0)

>>If I was able to attain a significant amount of traffic, and a good percentage of that is repeat, could I charge to have links show up in target specific areas in the password protected portion of the site. I would only charge maybe at most around $2 a month, not sure how I would handle priority though?<<

Sure, selling ads (in essence what your proposed paid links are) is common practice. If you are charging, you might do a banner or other graphic link to justify a higher price. You might look in the Webmaster Business Issues forum to determine price ranges. Usually, ads are sold at a CPM (cost per thousand exposures) rate, although sometimes other approaches are used. CPC (cost per click) is one such approach. You can use ad rotator scripts and click counters to keep track of exposures, clicks, etc.

The most obnoxious approach I've seen lately was at a site I was going to approach for a reciprocal link. They had a fee-based link program that cost $499 per year for a link. Even worse, they would do a "reciprocal link" for $299. (Only the link is reciprocal, not the money!) If that wasn't bad enough, they had the gall to demand that their link be on your site's home page, not buried, while the link they were providing was several levels deep in their site. Nice business if you can get it. They didn't seem to have too many links, though.

JamesR




msg:421653
 11:11 pm on Aug 22, 2001 (gmt 0)

Many webmasters still don't know the value of inbound links for ranking, they are just looking for clicks. If you can provide them good clicks, many won't care, especially if their rankings are already good.

toolman




msg:421654
 11:14 pm on Aug 22, 2001 (gmt 0)

>>>They had a fee-based link program that cost $499 per year for a link. Even worse, they would do a "reciprocal link" for $299.

I see this popping up all over.. It won't last.

IanTurner




msg:421655
 10:36 am on Aug 23, 2001 (gmt 0)

I find that good outbound links to relevant sites are a very easy place to start optimisation and do seem to give you a real benefit - especially in niche markets.

I always look for a .gov and .ac or .edu link which is strong on my topic.

All the best
Ian

NetGrease




msg:421656
 12:31 pm on Aug 23, 2001 (gmt 0)

Taking things a step further, would it make sense on your Links Directory page to list the actual (relevant!) URLs that have your site link on them - a list of reciprocals if you will - as opposed to just linking to their site (and effectively their root page, rather than the page where your link is found)?

Apologies if this is a stupid question! Write something like *SLAP* in your response if it is...;)

rogerd




msg:421657
 1:36 pm on Aug 23, 2001 (gmt 0)

NetGrease, no "slapping" here, except for my forehead... You bring up a great point I omitted in my earlier post. Getting your inbound links spidered is important, too, and one way to do this is by including a link to the site (or, even better, the actual page) where you are listed. This avoids ethical issues involved in submitting pages from sites you don't own, and is probably more effective, too.

paynt




msg:421658
 1:39 pm on Aug 23, 2001 (gmt 0)

Hi Netgrease,

I usually link to the themed page on their site that balances with the placement on my site. In other words, if I'm working on my dog allergies page I'm going to link to the page on their site that addresses dog allergies. If they don't mind though, I do see the benefit of linking to the page that they have the link back to me, if only to nudge the spiders a bit.

rogerd




msg:421659
 1:59 pm on Aug 23, 2001 (gmt 0)

Good point, paynt. One approach that some people use is to create a special page of linked pages (a hallway of links, if you will...) and submit that page. These days, it would probably be a good idea to not orphan this hallway page but to put an inconspicuous or invisible link to it on the home page or other prominent page.

Bentler




msg:421660
 2:02 pm on Aug 23, 2001 (gmt 0)

Brett gives an excellent overview of the importance of outbound links here [webmasterworld.com].

You should read every technical paper because these form the backbone for how the best search engines actually work.

In a nutshell, inbound links boost the importance score of your pages while outbound links boost relevance to keywords used in searches. Both affect your ranking on SERPs.

To boost relevance to keywords,it would be better to link to pages with similar content, not necessarily the home page of another site that just contains general info or a list of links. It's also important to design your website in themed chunks, to condense the relevance of sections of your site to targeted keywords.

For what it's worth.

Woz




msg:421661
 2:24 pm on Aug 23, 2001 (gmt 0)

>Links Directory page to list the actual (relevant!) URLs

Netgrease, (great nic) this is exactly what I am doing at the moment.

I recently had a small success with one of my sites being mentioned in an influential announcement list. This then fed into a few other lists which precipitated a rash of inbound links. Luckily the majority of link pages are on topic so I am simply listing them in a series of "as seen in" pages, limiting to 50 per page. I have found that a few of the link pages have been spidered already without my assistance so the idea is for the bots to pick up the others via these pages without submitting.

As Bentler says, making the inbound link pages more accessable to the spiders will increase Authority status, and, as the site is a topical directory already, having more outbound links on topic will increase Hub status, especially if you work on the wording of the outlink titles.

At least that's the theaory, we'll see what happens.

Onya
Woz

NetGrease




msg:421662
 3:02 pm on Aug 24, 2001 (gmt 0)

I really like the idea of being an authority/hub Woz. I think that sums it up nicely - becoming the definitive focal point for your specific subject matter online.

Sounds like keeping up to date with your reciprocals is also a great strategy. It's not only good for the engines, but useful for finding out what your subject-related community thinks of you too...

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