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the endless link exchange programs
deus777




msg:213207
 1:26 am on Aug 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

when is google going to do something about the endless link exchange programs?
it seem unless we decide to exchange links with a miryad site we are not interested in being associated with that our competitors have no qualms about being linked they will continue to gain advantage over our serps.

its about time google put an end to link exchange which is really nothing but linkage spam.

 

Marcia




msg:213208
 2:25 am on Aug 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

Putting it another way, it doesn't matter if a site is fine quality with user-friendly, pleasant design and meaningful, well-written content and is legitimately well optimized in accordance with and within the limits set out by the guidelines - unless countless hours are spent going out hunting for links it will not rank well.

Either a business owner has to take valuable time off from running his or her business to go out and chase links, hire inhouse help to do it, or engage contract help. As socially correct and idealistically moral as it might sound to think otherwise, links do not come for excellent sites if no one can find them. So if site owners want their sites to be found, a-hunting they must go or pay to have it done.

There's something intrinsically immoral about it that rankles me. One of the other moderators or admins may edit this out, and I'll perfectly well understand and won't mind, but I really need to finally come out and say this: I don't really want to spend the rest of my life being a link-wh0re.

rfgdxm1




msg:213209
 2:42 am on Aug 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

You might not like being a link-wh0re, but you gotta do what it takes to get ahead in Google, or be buried in obscurity. And it depends on who you know. Certainly getting links is a lot more efficient if you happen to have friends and relatives with PR7 personal sites that will link to you.

GrinninGordon




msg:213210
 2:53 am on Aug 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

Google has already done something about link exchange pages, they have dampened them. If you look at link exchange pages declared PR in the boogiebar (I know, I know, the boogiebar is out of whack, but if you look at enough sites you will still find a pattern); they have been devalued, so the links from them are worth less (well, that is not quite as true as it might be, as PR is not counting for too much right now). However, certain types of link exchange pages / sites are doing better (sorry in advance, I will not be drawn on that comment - do your own research).

I used to scream and B about link exchange reliant sites, on the basis "link farms" was once a dirty word (and still is) with G. But link exchange is not the same as link farming, so.... If you can't beat them (because they are doing nothing wrong according to the book of St. Serp), join 'em. You say "Spam", but that aint what G says.

If done well, it can actually benefit your site users as well, which is the key in more than one way ;-)

anallawalla




msg:213211
 2:57 am on Aug 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

Marcia,

But are we not seeing signs that PR (therefore, links) is getting deprecated (or broken), therefore link accumulation may not be as important as it once was?

I wonder if on-page factors will become more important than ever, even though some think that off-page is important.

Ash

nancyb




msg:213212
 3:40 am on Aug 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

I spent the entire day doing research for some relatively common information. Most of the SERPs were in the 20-50K range and the majority of the sites were not e-com,although some had a section delegated to sales.

I was amazed! at the number of really excellent sites with extensive, detailed information and good navigation where everything worked and matched my search tems that did not show up until page 4 - or much later - while the first pages were awash with sites with no on page text that met the search term, came up as 404's, showed empty (blank) pages, and/or pages with broken images and/or links.

I finally went to alltheweb and MSN to look. Although they weren't that much better, I didn't have to go to page 4 and above to find sites with extensive data.

Since I don't do research that often, I am hoping this is a temporary glitch, somthing to do with the.. uhmm, update? and it will be better when I get back to more research later this week.

schleefdaddy




msg:213213
 3:53 am on Aug 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

something irks me about the voice in which began this thread. the ones who cry typically are below the ones who don't. with that being said, an algorithm is an algorithm so until it's tweaked, deal with it and do what you can to increase your placement in the SERPS. link farms, link exchanges, whatever, the former is out, the latter is in. go with it.

austtr




msg:213214
 3:58 am on Aug 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

Spot on Marcia.... all I have to do is figure out if I'm a gigolo (providing the service myself) or a p*** (procure someone else to provide the service). Given my advancing years, I'd best stay clear of the gigolo role for fear of having to provide refunds. (Imagine winking smiley here!)

I am also thoroughly sick and tired of the hours involved in playing this artificial linking game. It is bloody nonsense that genuine on-site content and search relevance is seen as a secondary consideration to off-site manipulation.

Did someone say "reciprocal linking"?. Wait on a moment until I get my hysterical cackling under control. While PR's show as zero and bars have no green... there are no link requests and your requests will almost certainly be declined or ignored. It annoys me when I see platitudes being dished out about building content and links will flow.... how many of YOUR white bar PR zero sites have received a request to participate in a link exchange?

I recently prepared a quote for a potential client and after he'd read it he called to berate me for submitting a price far in excess of others. I simply told him that I had priced in the cost of setting up a links programme for Google. He burst out laughing, said "Even I know Google is free" and slammed down the phone.

Six months from now another disppointed website owner will be wondering while Google doesn't deliver for him yet an affiliate based in an outer suburb of Tomsk will be dominating his searches.

Welcome to the Google reality.

buckworks




msg:213215
 4:24 am on Aug 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

Link development is worthwhile for the old-fashioned reason that good links bring visitors. Every new link makes you a smidgen less dependent on the search engines ... the more the merrier.

AthlonInside




msg:213216
 5:10 am on Aug 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

Only a very little portion of sites that do LiNk Exchange for SEO. Many Users will still SEE good and quality SERPs.

kpaul




msg:213217
 5:18 am on Aug 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

viral marketing - if the site is good and unique and etc. word of it is likely to spread. eventually, people will start linking to you without you having to beg for it.

granted, there's a few miles of SERPs in between those two places, but it's something to strive for with good content and a unique widget or widget related material. link farms do exist, but you have to think eventually they'll become even easier to spot and take out with an auto algo.

as far as searching, all the engines have their limitations and improve if you know how to phrase the things you're actually looking for. not to say people not finding what they want in Google aren't doing this, but it is an art form sometimes. ;)

*wanders off wondering of the day when we'll say out loud in our living rooms, "Google, what was the population of Chile in 1932 and what movie should I do see tonight?" and have the answer printed neatly on a sheet by the door...*

MonkeeSage




msg:213218
 5:31 am on Aug 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

Well, link exchanges are not all that matters...

I have a page with very low keyword density (I think page title is about the only place with keywords, no metas or link titles), one outbound to the same domain, and no inbounds, no ads at all, plus, AFAIK, I'm not listed in any directories--and of course, the biggest SEO taboo of them all, hidden text!--but (somehow) the page turn up as #11 on Google SERP for both quoted and unquoted keywords.

And this is not in some obscure category, either, it is decent sized category (10,900 results for unquoted keywords).

Links and ads obviously are not all that counts...but don't ask me what does, 'cause I have no clue.

Jordan

steveb




msg:213219
 6:52 am on Aug 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

"But are we not seeing signs that PR (therefore, links) is getting deprecated (or broken), therefore link accumulation may not be as important as it once was?"

This is totally wrong, mostly because it misunderstands what link value is. It is ALL ABOUT ANCHOR TEXT. Posts about not getting link exchanges from low PR sites are clueless about what is going on.

Suppose you have a PR5 site. 100 internal links from pages nobody but a bot ever sees are dozens of times more helpful than a PR5 link from Yahoo, or a PR4 link from a quality site on your topic.

As of now, link exchange programs have utterly zero to do with PR. Unfortunately the serp advantages of links now are only about anchor text, and getting that text from domians other than your own ones.

The link exchange sites are a plague, and Google should crawl those pages and not value any links from any of those sites that go to any other of those sites. 100% ignore.

The other solution of course is for Google to BRING BACK PAGERANK as a meaningful ingredient in the algorithm. The combo of a link from Yahoo, another from a University, and another from a professional organization should mean nearly infinitely more than 100 bits of linksmanager trash or self-generated bot-only pages, but as of now the anchor text from the 100 blows the authority of the three out of the water.

Maybe we should blame Search King, but its Google's problem and they absolutely must deal with this anchor text monster thye have created.

Perplexed




msg:213220
 7:00 am on Aug 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

This whole pagerank thing is really quite bizzare. As webmasters we know (?) what pagerank is really about but I asked around the office what people thought it meant. Most had never even heard of it. Mast of those who had read the bit about "Googles opinion on the importance of the page" and assumed it was related to the content of the page and how important that content was.

As I said, we know what it really is and that it has nothing to do with the relevance or otherwise of the content but I cannot help but think the innocents are right and it should reflect the importance of content not links.

Goanna1




msg:213221
 7:36 am on Aug 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

*wanders off wondering of the day when we'll say out loud in our living rooms, "Google, what was the population of Chile in 1932 and what movie should I do see tonight?" and have the answer printed neatly on a sheet by the door...*

I am really not sure how this comment is relevant to the discussion.

Perplexed




msg:213222
 8:34 am on Aug 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

*wanders off wondering of the day when we'll say out loud in our living rooms, "Google, what was the population of Chile in 1932 and what movie should I do see tonight?" and have the answer printed neatly on a sheet by the door...*

"I am really not sure how this comment is relevant to the discussion."

All conversations are heightened by humorous or insiteful assides.

The trick is not to let the asside become the conversation

Marcia




msg:213223
 8:41 am on Aug 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>I am really not sure how this comment is relevant to the discussion.

Goanna1, that's what all of our forums have moderators for; that's part of what we do. ;)

It's subtle, but actually quite relevant. The point is that there's a growing reliance on Google with regard to people "running their lives" including, but not limited to, what they should or shouldn't be doing with their websites.

That is not Google's fault at all, whatsoever, not even one little teensy tiny bit. There's simply been a metamorphasis in some people's thinking that's rooted in a reliance on Google for their business and financial survival that's beyond what can and should be rationally reasonable and appropriate.

nancyb:
I was amazed! at the number of really excellent sites with extensive, detailed information and good navigation where everything worked and matched my search tems that did not show up until page 4 - or much later - while the first pages were awash with sites with no on page text that met the search term, came up as 404's, showed empty (blank) pages, and/or pages with broken images and/or links.

Nancy, that's a major point, an important one, and it is SO true. If we're really out there looking for good sites, that's how we have to do it. If we truly care about including relevant, quality content on sites - and I believe that who we link to is part of our content - then that's how we have to do it. We have to look beyond PR and sites that are optimized for high search engine placement and just go looking further for sites of excellence that add value to our sites and enhance our visitors' surfing experience when they arrive at our sites.

That's a major point, as implied by my comments. There's a world of difference between adding links as part of our content and in essence voting for their value by linking to them because they're just plain sites that we like and place value on or hunting down links strictly for promotional purposes, which some of us may be having problems with in terms of examining motives and the essential morality and reality of what we're doing.

Powdork




msg:213224
 8:58 am on Aug 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hi Marcia,
We have to look beyond PR and sites that are optimized for high search engine placement and just go looking further for sites of excellence that add value to our sites and enhance our visitors' surfing experience when they arrive at our sites.

First, I'm not certain how where our surfers come from can enhance their experience while they are here but thats not important.:) What is important (for some, not all) is relevant traffic. It happens that those who strive for high search engine placement are often the ones that bring that traffic. Having 1,000 backlinks from sites that only send you two visitors per month is still 2,000 visitors. At the end of the month that's pretty good. But backlinks from 1,000 optomized sites that send you 7 visitors per month is much better.

<added> Edited to add smileys and niceties that should have been originally included</added>

John_Creed




msg:213225
 9:57 am on Aug 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

Google has already done something about link exchange pages, they have dampened them. If you look at link exchange pages declared PR in the boogiebar (I know, I know, the boogiebar is out of whack, but if you look at enough sites you will still find a pattern); they have been devalued, so the links from them are worth less

That's actually false. Naming a webpage links.html is not a good idea, but in general there is no evidence that link exchange pages on the whole are being devalued.

Besides, lots of people exchange links in other ways than simply link exchange pages.

[edited by: Marcia at 10:04 am (utc) on Aug. 11, 2003]
[edit reason] Fixed formatting. [/edit]

killroy




msg:213226
 11:29 am on Aug 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

Well, I've just launched my first site with specific emphasis on SEO for Google. I must say, looking at it now it is also the most content rich, relevant and perhaps, as far as its niche goes, the most usefull site.

I don't understand the constant warmongering between relevant content and easy, high rankings. I don't think they're exclusive, I think they are powerfully linked. And that may be googles greatest legacy.

By writing a paragraph or 3 of the real information that people truly want when I consider their search keywords, I easily blew out of the water 100s of super-SEOed sites in a competitive field. I jsut started, and already have dozends of top 10 rankings. And it's by far the simplest site I've made. Just pages of well written,
useful information about the topic of the site/page.

Maybe we just have to stop fighting with google, but harmonize with it. In fact I have no doupt that given some time, these new pages will also rank well in other serach engines.

But of course only time will tell.

SN

joost




msg:213227
 1:39 pm on Aug 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

schleefdaddy wrote:
"something irks me about the voice in which began this thread. the ones who cry typically are below the ones who don't. with that being said, an algorithm is an algorithm so until it's tweaked, deal with it and do what you can to increase your placement in the SERPS. link farms, link exchanges, whatever, the former is out, the latter is in. go with it."

I could not agree more. A webmaster tries to communicate (or sell, or whatever) through the web and the web has its rules and guidelines. I see no wrong in the fact that webmasters that manage those rules best get more visitors. How can anyone protest against the time, money and effort spent in page optimisation, or incoming links, or whatever works at the moment? The same applies in the real world: any shop owners in the real world knows he can sell more in a busy street, so why protest against the fact that the rent is higher, that you can't park your car in front, that it is a longer drive from your home, etc, etc?

MonkeeSage




msg:213228
 2:09 pm on Aug 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

You could always form a union and boycott / labor strike. ;)

Jordan

tombot




msg:213229
 2:31 pm on Aug 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

nevermind

glengara




msg:213230
 2:34 pm on Aug 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

Well I agree entirely with the sentiments expressed by Deus and Marcia :-)

kpaul




msg:213231
 6:27 pm on Aug 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

I am really not sure how this comment is relevant to the discussion.

it was in regards to searches at Google not turning up good results. personally, i find it an art form to know what to enter to get the correct answer you're looking for.

the statement was just dreaming for the day when it won't matter if we form the question well enough for google (or another search engine) to get good results with.

<added>Plus what the others said ;)</added>

GranPops




msg:213232
 6:42 pm on Aug 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

The value of links?

Have a brand new site, 4 lines of text, not a single link, and it achieves #1 out of 250,000, and not had time to SEO it yet.

Happy but a trifle mystified

mrguy




msg:213233
 6:56 pm on Aug 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

Boo Hoo!

I'm being beat in the SERPS by Webmaster's that know how to get more links than me.

That's not fair!

Google, please make my site #1 because I deserve it more than the others.

[edited by: Marcia at 7:09 pm (utc) on Aug. 11, 2003]

MonkeeSage




msg:213234
 7:31 pm on Aug 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

mrguy:

Boo Hoo!

I'm being beat in the SERPS by Webmaster's that know how to get more links than me.

Did you really misunderstand the original point this badly or do you just enjoy misrepresentation?

What deus777 said was:

"it seem unless we decide to exchange links with a miryad site we are not interested in being associated with that our competitors have no qualms about being linked they will continue to gain advantage over our serps."

In case you really can't understand that except as whining about not getting a good ranking, let me spell it out for you:

Some people have a moral dilemma in regards to what type of sites they want to link to / be linked by; their competetors do not hold themselves to the same set of morals. Thus, they lose out because they want to do the moral thing instead of 'selling their soul' (or a least webspace) just to get ahead in the game.

In case you still can't grasp that, take a practical example:

Joe Shmoe has a site for hiring building contractors, but has a special interest in the preservation of old growth forests. Joe wants nothing to do with receiving traffic from places that directly or indirectly contribute to the destruction of old growth forests, nor does he want to give any traffic to them. Plain Jane is Joe's competition. She has no qualms like Joe does. She uses links for a thousand companies that Joe won't, and she in turn links to a thousand more that Joe won't. She ranks and takes the cake, regardless of whether her page content is better or whether she provides a better service (in terms of the web interface).

Now, regardless of whether you would support Plain Jane or Joe Shmoe, hopefully you can understand that this is not simply a case of complaining about being ranked poorly--it is a case of it being impossible to rank better without violating ethical protocol (that was the claim at least).

I personally don't really know where I stand on the link exchange issue, but I can at least give deus777 the respect of acurately representing their posts. You might wish to do the same before you find the shoe on the other foot and have people caricaturing your post such as "Haha! You ugly fools, I'm so brilliant, and you are not! If you were me, your pages would rank well! Too bad you're not, oh well, you can always take up farming you idiots" and then dismissing you as a moron.

Jordan

mrguy




msg:213235
 7:43 pm on Aug 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

--Joe Shmoe has a site for hiring building contractors, but has a special interest in the preservation of old growth forests. Joe wants nothing to do with receiving traffic from places that directly or indirectly contribute to the destruction of old growth forests, nor does he want to give any traffic to them. Plain Jane is Joe's competition. She has no qualms like Joe does. She uses links for a thousand companies that Joe won't, and she in turn links to a thousand more that Joe won't. She ranks and takes the cake, regardless of whether her page content is better or whether she provides a better service (in terms of the web interface). --

In this example, then it is Joe Smoes loss.

You can log with the rest of them, or hug a tree and get left in the woods. (my attempt at some levity)

Yes, there are many link farms out there and those that use them do so at their own risk. But there are many that are not and actually do provide traffic. As said in this thread, a few visitors a day from one link can add up when you have many other links.

Just because a person does not wish to get links from a certain industry, why should that dictate how things fall for everybody else? They need to adapt to the situation and quite talking about how things need to be changed because its not fair. If they want to rank, then do the things that will accomplish that.

Life is not fair, who do I complain to? Maybe GG can do an algo check for me:)

stever




msg:213236
 7:55 pm on Aug 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

And in this case Joe Schmoe should have the gumption to use his advantages and forge valuable links and alliances with groups and like-minded websites (in which case he would probably end up with an "unfair" PR advantage over the more commercial Plain Jane site).

Being ethical or moral or "white hat" doesn't excuse being lethargic.

This 54 message thread spans 2 pages: 54 ( [1] 2 > >
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