I think you have to see the issue from the point of view of people running these search engines. Link popularity is a great measurement for rankings - it has worked very well for Google so far. In fact every single engine uses link pop to some degree. I totally understand your point - but unfortunately SE's can't see it like that or their algo's would stop functioning.
They already have countermeasure for artificial link pop - hence all the penalties, PR0's, etc. I think the way Google is doing it now is great - by webmaps and percentages. Or at least this is how I understand it. So you could help yourself with a few artificial links but you HAVE to have other inbound links as well.
I think the key when it comes to this issue is based on perspective - if they want to play that game, your choice is to beat them at it, or not. I choose to play their game and beat them at it ;)
I'd have thought reciprocals might well fall within the "artificial" link pop category, if such a thing exists.
First let me point out that among other things, I do run a small Search Engine, so I do see things from the perspective of an SE.
I guess I did not get my point across as well as I wanted. I should not have went off about relevancy and Link pop - kinda side-tracked the issue I was going after.
What I am asking is what is everyone’s definition of an “Artificial Link”? And why do they call them that?
Side Note - I always play to win :)
You have tweaked my interest - why do you think reciprocal links would fall into this category of “Artificial Links”?
Doh. Sorry about that Lots0. I stand corrected. I thought your question was rhetorical.
I think you hit the nail on the head:
1. Creating new domains and cross linking them
2. Paid Links
3. Link exchange programs/sites
The way I see this, is that one person is using different means to endorse their own site. The purpose of link pop is so that other people endorse someone else's content. Even if you submit your site and request link exchanges, in the end someone approves and lists them, so that's not artificial.
I know it's a pretty grey area, but I think the gist of it is - links that are created for the benefit of rankings and not for the benefit of users.
Hi LotsO, as 2_much says, " links that are created for the benefit of rankings"; most reciprocals could fit that bill, IMO.
Now we are getting somewhere -
|links that are created for the benefit of rankings and not for the benefit of users. |
The only links I can think of that would fall into that category are invisible links.
I think reciprocal links can be a benefit to the user, of course they can also be used strictly for ranking purposes, but that is judgement call IMO.
There's nothing intrinsically wrong with a judgement call, is there?
|There's nothing intrinsically wrong with a judgement call, is there? |
LOL...Not that I can see.
When I use reciprocal links I try to do both - be a benefit to my users and to improve my link pop.
I just don’t see reciprocal links as “artificial”, the links are real, the link pop is real.
In my own mind I am coming to the conclusion that, Artificial links = Invisible links.
Well if we agree judgement calls are acceptable, can we also agree that what constitutes an "artificial" link seems to be in the eye of the beholder?
|I think reciprocal links can be a benefit to the user |
Sure they can be if the user is interested in the information provided at the reciprocal link.
Artificial link pop (IMHO) is created by links of any kind from sites that have absolutely nothing to do with the subject the surfer was looking for in the first place.
Case in point: a car dealership in Venezuela with a PR7 linking to a flower shop in England with a PR of 7.
Chances are pretty good (99.9%) that this link is strictly artificial (going both ways) and was done to boost PR rather than for the purpose of supplying quality info to either site's visitor.
|Well if we agree judgement calls are acceptable, can we also agree that what constitutes an "artificial" link seems to be in the eye of the beholder? |
If that’s the case then an “artificial link” will be the same thing as “Spam” or “Terrorist”, it means what ever the user of the phrase wants it to mean, therefore it means nothing, without an explanation in context from the person that used the phrase.
|Case in point: a car dealership in Venezuela with a PR7 linking to a flower shop in England with a PR of 7. |
Counter Point - I may want to purchase a car for my mistress in Venezuela and at the same time feel bad(guility) enough to send my wife in the UK a bunch of roses. ;)
As we know, these links are based on differential morphological characters not necessarily indicative of natural relationships, so who can tell?
Just kidding :-) but it's back to the judgement call as far as I can see.
Back to Lots0's first statement -
Artificial link popularity is what Google (or insert another large search engine) says it is.
We are after all seeking traffic from a service that this company provides and thereby are required to play by its rules.
We can debate what we think artifical link popularity is all we want. But at the end of the day if our opinion differs from the authority of that rule, then it is irrelevant.
Personally I would agree with the statements above - its gaining a link based soley on improving our ranking and not for the benefit of our user.
In the same respect though, would adding content that is not relevant for the user, but helps us rank well be considered to be "artificial content"?
If so, isnt adding keywords to the body of our text for the purpose of ranking well on those keywords then "artificial content".
Perhaps even creating a logo and theme to your site could be deemed to be an "artifical image"? This has been at the core of good marketing for years (as has adding certain keywords to your content for that matter - "buy now", "limited availablity", etc).
Modern SEO / Internet Marketing has many similarities to conventional marketing, linking included.
The main difference now is that the industry is not regulated by legislation, governments, official bodies, etc - its is governed by those who provide us with our business.
And to be quite frank, they have us by the short and hairies! ;)
At least before, we could lobby for change. Now we have to accept it and move on!
Just my 2 c tho!
good I was starting to think you didn't like me.;)
Well if we can all agree that Artificial Links are created for the SOLE intent of inflating Link Pop or PR -
Then do reciprocal links fall into the category of Artificial links? I don't believe so as they can be used for both reasons.
I still think the only true Artificial Link = Invisible Link. And I don't care what the SE's want to call them.
If you play by other peoples rules you will never win.
|If you play by sombody elses rules you will never win. |
Well, that's a rather subjective view point... but ok. I however, choose to play by Google's rules. I'm not willing to risk what I have going for me by building link pop on anything other than good, solid information I "know" my customer's would be interested in.
Just my humble opinion.
Some forms of artificial linking from my perspective...
1. Hidden Links
2. Guestbook Entries
3. Link Directories
Those are just a few. There are others. We all know that hidden links are taboo when found. Guestbook entries are passe, although there may be valid reason to sign a guestbook, it all depends. For the most part, they are junk.
Link directories. I still cannot logically see why all these link directories are populating the landscape. Most of us know there is typically one reason why a link directory is there, for artificially increasing link popularity. You would not have submitted to that directory if you never knew about the theories of PageRank™, would ya? Nor would that directory have been developed.
Heavy crosslinking between similar sites has been known to cause problems. What defines heavy or light is still to be determined.
I look at this way, does that link serve any purpose in my overall strategy. Does it present the user with something useful? Is it logical to even have the link?
Exchanging links with unrelated properties may also be an issue. I got a kick out of this statement...
|Counter Point - I may want to purchase a car for my mistress in Venezuela and at the same time feel bad(guility) enough to send my wife in the UK a bunch of roses. |
This could only be a justification from someone who is searching for any and all links available therefore attempting to artificially increase link popularity! ;)
I suspect I know where you're trying to go with this LotsO, but the wife is calling me........
If it works, do it.
Thanks Hunter, but have you met the wife?
My point with the car and flowers statement was to show that relevant links are judged by the user and there are a billion users out there with a billion different sets of relevance. Just because you or I can not see the relevance does not mean its not there for someone.
And POR I completely agree with your statement
|I look at this way, does that link serve any purpose in my overall strategy. Does it present the user with something useful? Is it logical to even have the link |
> I may want to purchase a car for my mistress in Venezuela and at the same time feel bad(guility) enough to send my wife in the UK a bunch of roses.
Hmm, I suppose the argument could be advanced on the car/rose and rose/car links that the businesses were simply engaged in a highly targeted marketing campaign :)
|brotherhood of LAN|
IMHO any link that is requested from the webmaster or requested because of that webmaster is artificial.
Any other link pointing to the site "naturally" happened because someone wanted to link to it.
Without getting those first few "artificial" links for a new site, there'd be no hope of appearing in the top ranks, so thats why we go out and 'artificially' get links ;) The site might not deserve them, either way we ask for them.
When you get PR from these links, then IMO, theres a much better chance of more "natural" links getting listed.
As for getting a link in the ODP etc, and if thats "artificial" or not, im not sure. After all, they are a directory and submitted links is what they are all about.
I guess id agree with it being a google rule, maybe a flawed one since its based on the "artificial" actions of us webmasters
They can always counteract it with math though, making the whole shebang pointless ;)
So I suppose in the end an artificial link for me is the margin of error us webmasters are when it comes to a "perfect" algorithm ;)
|As for getting a link in the ODP etc, and if thats "artificial" or not, im not sure. After all, they are a directory and submitted links is what they are all about. |
That's just it, they are a directory. And, there are many others similar in nature. I was referring mainly to those that we all know were set up for one thing, influencing link popularity. We've all seen them, some are penalized, some are not. Some look great, others deserve to be where they are. They weren't there two years ago. ;)
Guess I should have thought about that linking stuff before I started (about 2 years ago) one of the Directories I run, it unfortunately runs a hyperseek data base and uses links that can not be followed by current spiders, so no one gets a PR benefit from being in my Directory, all they get is human traffic. :(
Back to the subject - Artificial Links what are they?
Would human traffic (eyeballs) move through an artificial link? Or would it only be spiders and bots that navigate using artificial links?
See I am not trying to ask what is the intent of the link (drive human traffic or increase PR or both), because the intent will be different with every link and open to many different interpretations. Questions like - why did that Webmaster put up that link or submit this site to that directory are IMO a bit ridiculous and cloud the issue.
I would like hard definitions, something like -
Artificial Link = Link used for the sole purpose of increasing link pop.
Artificial Link = Invisible Link.
Artificial Link = Link used ONLY by bots and spiders to navigate .
Not something like -
Artificial Link = Anything we(the search Engine) don’t like.
That last one kinda bothers me.
|brotherhood of LAN|
Artificial Link = Hyperlink + SEO?
Hehehe, good one BOL, let's add this...
Artificial Link Intelligence = Hyperlink + SEO + WebmasterWorld?
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