This is my first posting to the forum, and borne out of something akin to desperation. In early December my most important keyword dropped from between 9 and 12 on Google to somewhere in the 80's, and, although I am now back up in the fifties, business has slumped to the point where I am not earning a living. I would like to make a couple of points, and then raise a question.
1. Because I sell the product that makes up my keywords my site is 100% relevant to those keywords. I accept that this applies equally to a number of my competitors, and therefore there will be a degree of jostling for position among the first ten to fifteen or so sites who specialize in this product. Below this, however, it is plain to see that the product is not the speciality of the sites and in some cases is quite peripheral. For a number of sites above mine in the rankings the relationship to the product is quite tenuous.
My domain name includes the keywords as does the text and internal links on my home page. I have tried to follow all the suggestions for optimisation with one exception - I don't yet have any external links. I have to conclude that this is the cause of my problem. This raises a second point ...
2. For commercial sites usually the most relevant sites to link to are going to be competitors!
3. Now here is my question, based on analysing a competitor's site which is ranked 3. It's physical structure and keyword usage does not seem to be much different to mine, BUT it does have a links page, mostly containing links to the major search engines, and with the links all looking like this:
Is this apparently simple technique effective?
(Excuse my ignorance - but what does the "?www.competitorswebsite.com" signify? Is there some arrangement between the web site and the search engine?)
Thanks in advance for your comments.