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Link Development Forum

This 32 message thread spans 2 pages: 32 ( [1] 2 > >     
Bury my "Links Page" directory to save page rank?
Or keep it @ root level & promote it for hits as links page?

 5:46 pm on Jun 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

On the plus side: If I keep it at root level, with the full weight of my pagerank of 7, I can optimize that page for the keyword term of "Your_industry_here Links" and then absorb hits from those people and have the opportunity to convert them to browse my site.

Negative side: I will be leaking out pagerank 7 to my reciprical linkers.

To counter that, I can bury the Links Page directory inside another directory, then put it inside of another directory, and thus (I believe) conserve the amount pagerank leaking out, but perhaps not ranking high for "Your_industry_here Links" and missing out on more potential hits.

Any thoughts on which strategy to follow or of an alternate strategy?




 6:24 pm on Jun 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

Place the page where it most suites your design and add to the header

<META NAME="ROBOTS" CONTENT="noindex,nofollow">

You can also disallow bots to the page in your robot.txt

In the great scheme of things a links page is only good for visitors "in" your web site. There isn't much value for anyone finding a "re-direct" page in Google... is there?


 7:32 pm on Jun 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

If you can optimize the page to bring relevant traffic to your site, I'd say go for that and let the PR chips fall where they may. Don't worry about passing on a bit of PR to your partners. Reciprocal linking is a partnership, and what helps your partner will ultimately help you too.

The Contractor

 8:12 pm on Jun 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

I feel the same as buckworks on this subject. I think down the road themed linkage is actually going to be the only links that are "not" going to hurt, but actually help a site. I would rather link "in the open" as long as it's themed, than to try to bury it.


 9:22 pm on Jun 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

I tend to agree with buckworks and The_Contractor. However, in saying that theming on a links page - the theme is "links".

Better to place links in the body of specific pages (and in the text) and ask for links that way as well, if theming is where you want to go.

A "links" page is really just another way of limiting PR leakage to an obscure page on your site.

The Contractor

 9:33 pm on Jun 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

<< However, in saying that theming on a links page - the theme is "links".>>

When I speak of "themed" links I mean links from a automotive sales site to a automotive parts site or a flower shop to a greetings card shop etc. My own opinion is I will not just create a links page. It would do little good to link the automotive parts site to the flower shop. What's the chance of a user needing a muffler for their car and a bouquet of flowers ;)
I do not believe in trying to raise PR by just linking to anyone - this is my opinion.


 10:33 pm on Jun 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

agree! :)


 1:30 am on Jun 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

Themed linking, yes, that's cool.

Seems that the wind in this forum is blowing in this direction:
Theme links out in the open,
Optimize for relevant traffic
Limit PR leakage while letting some out.

Anyone else have further thoughts, I'm all ears.

BTW, I know it sounds immodest, but my theme related links page is gorgeous and I think that the relevant traffic it would attract MAY be enticed into wandering around the rest of the site.


 1:50 am on Jun 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

As someone once said, "It ain't braggin' if it's true!"

Some effective copywriting above the fold would practically guarantee that they'll check out the rest of your site. Let us know how it goes!


 2:49 am on Jun 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the input! It's great to able to hash things out with you.


 3:52 am on Jun 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hi martinibuster,

I know that links page look great but... links are really more to help visitors find what they are looking for. You really don't want "all" your visitors going to your links page "because it really look great" and checking out the links first... before checking out your site!


 3:58 am on Jun 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

If Martinibuster does things right, the page will draw well-targeted traffic from the seach engines, but not distract visitors who have arrived at the site from other directions.


 5:10 am on Jun 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

First, I dropped this page inside of another directory, so that it should have an estimated PR of 4.

I heavily optimized the Widget Links page for "Widget_links." My logo is prominent on the page.

The second sentence of the first paragraph on this links page states who I am, what I do, and invites you to "click here" to visit the rest of my site.

In addition, I have a nice graphic link for my index page to the left of the first paragraph, and a text link at the bottom of this links page back to my index page.

THEN, I put a text link to the "Widget Links Page" at the bottom of my first "Widget web design" page, but excluded it from the widget web design pages that follow it.

Have I forgotten anything?


 7:08 am on Jun 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

When I exhange links, I routinely look to see if the exhange partner is trying to cheat by hiding links with Javascript, exclusions in the robot.txt file, metatag exclusions, or by burying their links page ... these are all schemes used by the novice cheater and easily spotted.

Futhermore, I only exhange links with relevant sites, then go back every couple of months to see if my exchange partner dropped my link or decided to hide it.

So if you want to exhange links, my advice is not to cheat or you'll probably soon loose that hard-earned exchange.


 4:04 pm on Jun 13, 2002 (gmt 0)


I would go towards burying the links page. PageRank is highly valuable. Why give it away so easily? You have a PR7 home page. Minimize your home page links, and direct that potent PR to pages of your site that most need the PR to gain a high rankings for competitive terms.

PR is like liquid gold. It can be channeled and directed to where its needed. Links pages shouldn't be off of the home page for this reason. I used to have a links page off of my home page, but that was when a had much less content to offer visitors. So links were one of my content offerings when my site was thin on content.

On the other hand, I disagree with excluding it from the engines. To the webmasters who understand the value of links, this is deceptive. If you "bury" the links page by putting it multiple text links away from the home page, the PR of the links page will drop to 4 or 3 or 2 (which is the goal of burying it). The exact location of the links page by subdirectory is irrelevant - the number of text links away from the incoming PR is what matters.


 5:00 pm on Jun 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

PR is like liquid gold. >>>> Egomaniac: It appears to be a comodity that cannot be saved or hoarded. Thus the appropriate term "liquid" In other words, it is not a commodity but rather a flow, or flux of that commodity that cannot be dammed up and accumulated. It in3evitably leaves your site at the same rate that it arrives on a continuous basis. Resistace is futile.
Mayor; so I agree, but there are people out there who want to cheat on link exchange


 5:00 pm on Jun 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

Google used to like links directories quite a bit, and favored them with good traffic when the keywords were relevant. It made sense to keep them prominent, and of course have good hooks into your site so that visitors to the links page might stop and visit your site, too. This was really a win-win situation, as the linked sites got traffic from clicks and the host site got extra exposure.

Now, it seems that links directories don't do as well in the Google algo, and may even represent a risk factor (either from the tool used to generate them, e.g., zeus, or from linkage to sites that Google decides are spam sites). I am leaning toward keeping Googlebot out of any links pages, though I haven't implemented this on all sites. If you DO let GB surf your links, I'd suggest a regular program of checking them to be sure none have been taken over by spammers or porn operators.

Reciprocal linking will end up going back to its original purpose - people clicking on relevant links - and PR won't be a consideration.


 5:14 pm on Jun 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

Well, I went and did it, and hopefully next month I'll have some results and can let all of you know if the extra traffic is helping or not. I did bury it a couple links in, but it still has a pr of 4.

One reason I wouldn't cheat my partners out PR altogether is, as I understand it, Google likes to see outward links and considers this in its ranking of how important you are. So, this can only help me while I'm helping my partners.

But I'm not going to give away a page rank of 8 from my homepage (that cheapens the look of the design, anyway) or a 7 from the next page down. I believe 4 is a reasonable amount.


 5:26 pm on Jun 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

I believe 4 is a reasonable amount. >>>>>>>>>
If you want to echange with same theme sites who are PR3 root and have PR2 links pages, you are giving away more, and they will flock to you. The converse would apply, too, I suppose. Here's an idea: Try having different layers of link pages on that one theme. There would be a Page 1 with PR5, a page 2 with PR4, and a page 3 with PR3. All continuations off the previous page. With the log base 8 formula for PR, if you put 8 to 10 outbound text links on each layer, you get that kind of PR step reduction. Gives you wide-ranging flexibility on who you can partner with.


 6:54 pm on Jun 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

>It appears to be a comodity that cannot be saved or hoarded.

Hi T_Rex, I disagree with your above comment. Since PR "flows" through links from page to page, it can be saved or hoarded to the extent that you redirect it back into your own site. This can easily be done by having links back into your site on the same page that contains the a link to the links page. Then on the links page again have link(s) back into your site. Every link on a page further divides the amount of PR flowing through to all of the other links on a given page. The more of those that go back into the site, the less PR that flows out, and the higher your own pages rank.

martinibuster, it sounds like you did it right. Outgoing links are a good thing for Google. Give some PR with them, but not too much. Please do report back after the July update.


 1:36 pm on Aug 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

If someone else puts this tag into their pages:

<META NAME="robots" CONTENT="noindex,follow">

... doesn't that keep that page from being included in with the engine's database thus keeping all reciprocal linking partners from getting any benefit?

Put another way...
Putting in the noindex will prevent destination sites from gaining link popularity, will not provide destination sites with any pagerank credit.

So basically:

  • site A links to site B with “robots noindex and follow”
  • site B links to site A with a regular page that allows spiders to index
Site A benefits with link popularity and pagerank while site B gets no pagerank and no link pop benefit because the site linking to it has a noindex robot control in place. Is that correct? That's how I see it.

I have a site wanting to do reciprocal linking but they are putting in noindex,follow on their links pages and my pages allow all indexing. If I were to do reciprocals, it would seem to be a one way benefit as far as engines go with the other site not giving pagerank/link pop back to my site. If I want to gain link pop/pagerank, their noindex will keep my site from getting that pagerank/link pop right?

(OK, now that I've said that 100 different ways... answers please, thanks :))


 2:23 pm on Aug 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

Yes. Sure. Right. Exactly. ;-)


 2:56 pm on Aug 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

That's what I thought! Thanks.

I really don't like it when people want to trade links but don't want to actually give a link with value but expect to benefit on their end by gaining link pop/pagerank from my links. That gets me a bit steamed.

It's like saying, lets trade links but I intend on cheating you by not giving you back pagerank/link pop. That's underhanded and I can't trust such people that use methods to cheat their link partners.


 5:37 pm on Aug 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

That´s why I didn´t understand fathom´s post [webmasterworld.com] at all.


 8:30 pm on Aug 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

Negative side: I will be leaking out pagerank 7

There's a common misunderstanding here - a page doesn't lose PR by linking to another page. Yes, your page's PR is used to "weight" your vote for the page you link to. But the linking page's PR is not demoted or diminished by voting for other pages. There's nowhere in the algorithm that deducts a little bit of PR for every link that's on a page.

If you think of the idea of a "random walk" of the web, then PR is a measure of how likely it is that any given page will be found in a random walk. You can see that linking out from a page does not make it any less likely that page will be found by a random surfer. The effect of linking gets measured AFTER the page is already found.

I think the misunderstanding comes because the total weight of a page's vote is chopped up among all the outgoing links. So, a links page is passing less PR to all the other pages with every link it adds - and that includes the navigation links that stay within the site. So, a links page is usually less help to the rest of your site than other pages are. It definitely still helps your other pages, but that help is diminshed.

If you use a noindex, nofollow - then your links page is passing on no PR at all -- not even to your own pages. You just shot yourself in the foot (well, the toe) by trying to hoard PR.

I'll say it again - "passing PR" does not downgrade the linking page's PR one iota.


 9:49 pm on Aug 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

I believe my thought process at the time was...

PR is less of a concern and managing visitors is more.

You have a site, you want visitors to visit your site, I find it under productive to have a links page (with nothing but links) indexed in Google where a person can find and click through to you... but then immediately click on a link and go to a new site without actually visiting your site.

It really has nothing to do with "PR hoarding" but more to the point site and content management.

With reciprocal links that I have requested or been ask to provide I add (if appropriate) to the precise page that amplifies my information and asked the same from them.

Generally this means that all web pages of my sites are opened for external links and the sites receiving these links get more PR since there is only 1 or maybe 2 links per page as opposed to shared PR with 50 other sites.

All pages that act only as link pages (without any other quality content beyond the LINKS) are noindex, nofollow. In general, these are links to sites that do not or can not provide a backlink but are considered authorities on the subject. (NASA, JPL, USGS, NOAA, etc.)

In addition, from an internal view, a page with 50 links on it... where no one clicks on (half) over 2 years, has no value, not to you, not to the receiving site, and obviously not to your visitors.


 2:13 am on Aug 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

I think my comment and fathom's comment probably don't relate to one another. I happen to find this thread via the engines when searching for the effects of noindex,nofollow robots tag. Upon finding it, I posted in this thread and probably should have opened another thread since my situation and fathom's situation are not quite the same.

It just gets me when one site wants to trade links with one of mine for the purpose of building PR/linkpop in the engines and then when I examine their page, they are trying to get away with not reciprocating PR while getting some PR from my site. After all their whole motive for trading links was for a mutual benefit in PR boost as they stated that in their email. But their intentions it seems are not very honorable when they don't give back anything other than a deliberate PR of zero link listing.

If I don't hear anything back from them after sending my last email which basically says, “You were caught with your pants down”, I think I may contact some of their link partners and let them know what they are up to.


 3:41 am on Aug 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

Sorry thiefware, welcome to WebmasterWorld, I missed it last time.

I think the best way to approach this when requesting or accepting a reciprocating link is to develop a few variations of your code for the link to be displayed on other site.

In many cases, a simple "cut and paste" onto the page adds value to the relationship itself.

Gaining PR should not be the motivation to reciprocation, enhancing a visitors experience (theirs and yours) must be the defining condition.

If the other sites owner doesn't see this, your link to them is as worthless as what they give to you.

If you don't have enhanced traffic that may click through to their site and don't ever increase in PR, what are they actually getting?


 4:46 am on Aug 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

I don't quite follow you on this comment:
If you don't have enhanced traffic that may click through to their site and don't ever increase in PR, what are they actually getting?

When I am marketing a site for better ranks, this goes out the window to a degree:
Gaining PR should not be the motivation to reciprocation, enhancing a visitors experience (theirs and yours) must be the defining condition.
It all depends on what a site's links page is designed to accomplish.

I designed this other site to help people find what they are looking for. However, I trade links to raise ranks, not to provide a resource page of links—that's not my aim with the links directory though it can serve as such to the visitor if they happen to find it via a search. I just expect a fair trade off between link partners (that was my point).

In fact, if linkpop was not a factor on my page rank for my other affiliate site, I wouldn't even trade links with other sites. There would be no reason to do such a thing. But lets face it, linkpop is a factor and thus when high ranks become important, one does what one has to in order to gain higher ranks under relevant search terms. That's just plain simple logic.

That other site really has no other reason to have links except for linkpop. The site by itself has all the information it needs without the links directory. I suppose I get a trickle of traffic from link partners but not enough to really matter much.


 6:20 am on Aug 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

A link management strategy based on Link Pop/PageRank only, is under productive. If we (removing all spam issues and questionable practrices for the moment) reciprocate links for the benefit of visitors and they find value in that, they come back.

If we link, for the sake of linking to only gain Link Pop/PR and forget the fundamental reason why -- to gain qualified visitors whether from SERP's or recip click throughs, there is less value to keep and maintain a relationship with a returning visitor not to mention making new visitors into returning ones.

Your previous comments suggested that you prefer other site owners to reward you with PR rather than limit this potential. The best course to receive this reward is approaching the matter from a content perspective.

I have a number of sites. All of which are PR7 (main page) and many deeplinked pages at PR7 as well. There are very few pages below PR4.

One site is a single landing page (the rest of this site is a secured password protected portal).

Site owners, in most cases link to me never asking for a link back. I care less whether they Javascript the link, noindex,nofollow in the robot tag, or have their robots.txt defined to not let bots crawl.

I exchange links to fulfill where my current content is weak and look for those sites that have weak areas where my content is strong and always, always get a favourable result.

I would say, PR/link pop has developed perfectly, since 5 months ago these site were PR2 - 3. Over the last 3 updates traffic doubled, doubled again and tripled with about 70% coming from SERP's, 15 - 20%from linked sites and the remainder direct or favicon.

IMO linking just to link is under-productive.

Deep Thoughts from Fathom :)

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