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My cynical linking experiment worked!
Linking to external page using keywords works
surfgatinho




msg:88465
 4:12 pm on Jun 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have a site with a PR of 6 which was floundering on about page 4 behind lots of spammy/low pr sites.
I don't link out to my competitors as a rule but if it improves my ranking I thought it's worth a try.
I do remember reading linking out worked but I imagined it was just the latest way of spamming and had been pretty much stamped out.

Anyway to get to the point, I linked to a site that was doing better than mine using my keywords in the anchor text and what happens, I'm back in the top 5.

So the moral of the story is linking to an inferior site or one of your competitors for no good reason is good because Google rewards you for it!

 

kaled




msg:88466
 8:10 pm on Jun 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

As I've said a few times, linking to competitors above you can do you no harm - they're already above you.

However, anchor text will be deprecated by Google eventually as have other factors before.

Kaled.

IITian




msg:88467
 8:57 pm on Jun 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

>However, anchor text will be deprecated by Google eventually as have other factors before.

Just like around late last year we saw demise of "recommended" keyword densities around 3%-20%. Can remember so many debates with some arguing 7% was the max limit and some went all the way to 40%.

I will give it a couple of months after which keyword-stuffed external links will look as silly as pages with 40% keyword densities now. {Yahoo is a different story.)

cabbie




msg:88468
 9:38 pm on Jun 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

Firstly,there is nothing cynical about linking to another site in your field.This is just good website practice that rewards your visitor with extra related knowledge.It is natural that google rewards you for this.
Secondly, I want to put my hand up here and take credit for introducing this tactic to WW members about 10 months ago.I was ridiculed at the time and my self esteem suffered.:)I am glad now that I have been vindicated.:)
Thirdly, it helps even more if you own the other related site you are linking to.;)

netguy




msg:88469
 10:10 pm on Jun 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

As with anything, it depends on the market. Our news sites send people out to competitive sources all the time.

But in e-commerce, there's a lot of hard work and money that goes into getting prospective buyers to our sites, so the last thing I want to do is send them out to a competitor (particularly in competitive 'commodity' industries). I like to provide as much information as possible about the product lines (with lots of photos, specs, price comparisons) - and keep a captive audience.

I do like the trend though. I get a kick out of looking through several dozen logs and the same competitive sites come up with 50-100 free referrals to us each day. ;)

Steve

blaze




msg:88470
 10:26 pm on Jun 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

While I find the constant praise about this post a bit overdone, Brett did mention this 2 years ago:


G) Outbound Links:
From every page, link to one or two high ranking sites under that particular keyword. Use your keyword in the link text (this is ultra important for the future).

[webmasterworld.com...]

Assuming he has not editted it since he first posted.

martinibuster




msg:88471
 10:47 pm on Jun 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

want to put my hand up here and take credit for introducing this tactic to WW members about 10 months ago.

Well cabbie... I'm not saying you're wrong. But with great respect for you...

The concept of linking out to a competitor, or to related sites, in order to gain a boost in ranking has been around a long time. The previous moderator of the Link Development forum had a theory about this years ago. The roots of this technique are found in discussions about Hubs [webmasterworld.com] going as far back as at least four years ago.

This thread [webmasterworld.com] featuring a notable GoogleGuy post received a lot of attention and various amounts of interpretation related to hubs, the importance of linking outside of a site, etc.

Thank you GG. So I’ve not been so far off with my theory about ‘participating in the web’. I could tell even two years ago that Google appeared to ‘reward’ ...sites that let information flow in and flow out.

Here's a post [webmasterworld.com] from January 2003 where someone is alarmed because a competitor is linking to him.

It wouldn't surprise me if experienced hands like Robert_Charlton were discussing these issues way before WebmasterWorld existed. ;)

steveb




msg:88472
 11:24 pm on Jun 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hubs and authorities are one way to look at it, but from the most simplistic perspective, if you link to a site Google thinks is high quality, this is a signal that you have good judgement. If you link to something Google thinks is crap, this is a signal that your can't judge quality which calls into question your own content.

bts111




msg:88473
 11:31 pm on Jun 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

If I was to try this, and it was successful, how long would it take for me to see the change.

Thanks
BTS111

blaze




msg:88474
 11:32 pm on Jun 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

Yeah, this is based a lot on research paper theory, where a lot of this came from.

If a paper doesn't reference the relevant material, it's quickly judged as written by someone who didn't do their research.

Monkscuba




msg:88475
 6:55 am on Jun 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

surfgatinho :

"I have a site with a PR of 6"

"I linked to a site that was doing better than mine using my keywords in the anchor text"

Remember that a SITE does not have PR, a PAGE has PR. So I guess you mean your index page.

Did you link to that other site from the index page or from another page? And as an aside did you make the link nice and obvious for surfers or was it semi-hidden somewhere so only bots could see it? Several of our competitors are interlinking in such a way with little links right at the bottom of the page. I mean, you wouldn't want a big "WHY NOT VISIT OUR COMPETITOR?" link, would you?

Larryhat




msg:88476
 8:32 am on Jun 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

Here's a question:

I link to several sites that rank higher for my single keyword (UFO), but those links are all on a links page, not my main index page which I want to promote.

Reading the other posts, I see that I failed to mention my keyword 'UFO' in the anchor text.
Instead those links are laid out like this:

(plain text) (anchor)
Mufog UFO Group [Mufog USA]
Cufoc UFO Center [Cufoc USA]
UFO Whakistan [Whakistan]

.. where the text in square brackets is what the browsing public clicks on. I presume this is the so called "anchor text", correct?

Lets say I rework this and make my links read:

[Mufog UFO Group]
[Cufoc UFO Center]
[UFO Whakistan] .. and so forth.

Now MY keyword UFO is in the anchor text of links to these external sites. This may benefit them and that's fine with me.

Question: Will MY site benefit as a result? If so, is it only my LINKS page that will benefit? Might the rest of my site, especially my separate index page rate any higher in the serps?

Between my site and the higher ranking examples I link to, are a number of garbage sites; the usual keyword spammers and irrelevant pages. I would like to close the gap a bit. Your opinions are valued as always.

- Larry

Aberdeen




msg:88477
 2:02 pm on Jun 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

Similar to the above question.

We have pages on lots of different subjects, and each subject has a seperate links page. Is this going to gain anything for the subject page? Or is it only the links page that would recieve any benefit from linking to a higher page in the serps?

Also is it important to use the exact keywords in your link out that you are wanting to benefit from, or is just one relevent keyword as part of the link enough?

Cheers

Ross




msg:88478
 2:28 pm on Jun 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

Firstly,there is nothing cynical about .....

Secondly, I want to put my hand up....

Thirdly, it helps even more if you own the other related site you are linking to.

A Webmaster World classic :) ;)

surfgatinho




msg:88479
 3:12 pm on Jun 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

I think what I did was reasonably cynical! I linked to another site not because I want anybody to follow that link (quite the opposite) but to improve my own ranking.

Also the site I linked to has very little benefit to humanity - it is a directory of web design companies which at a guess wasn't set up for alturistic reasons

graywolf




msg:88480
 3:40 pm on Jun 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

So when you are linking out are you using "good anchor text", "garbage anchor text", or "click here"?

surfgatinho




msg:88481
 4:11 pm on Jun 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

I think as a rule Google likes to see your keywords in the anchor text. I'm still working out how this fits in with internal/external linking in terms of weighting.

surfgatinho




msg:88482
 4:17 pm on Jun 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

Actually, whilst I'm thinking about it.
I really resent having to link out to spammy directories just so my site can compete with them.

It seems like a really good plan from Google to actively encourage the proliferation of such sites in this way.
There are 3 directories of no local relevance in the top ten rankings for a regional search of my keywords and now I'm linking to them.
It just gets wierder!

cabbie




msg:88483
 4:38 pm on Jun 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

>>>Well cabbie... I'm not saying you're wrong.But with great respect for you...

And great respect back to you MartiniBuster.Perhaps I am being a bit exhuberant with the word "introduce". :)
But i did bring it to forum 3's attention as a tactic that was working with immediate results.Alas, I didn't at the time,have the back up of those great threads you noted.
Cheers.

cabbie




msg:88484
 4:45 pm on Jun 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

>>>If I was to try this, and it was successful, how long would it take for me to see the change.

A few months ago you could see the result in a few days.Now with what seems to be a delay in links being credited it may take up to 2 months.

>>>Here's a question:
Sorry LarryHat.I don't have the attention span to read your whole post.:(
But you should use the anchor text you wish to rank for and you should do it from the page you want to rank.IMO.

bts111




msg:88485
 2:07 am on Jun 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

Thanks Cabbie!

skipfactor




msg:88486
 4:08 am on Jun 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

>>cynical linking

quotes work well...

Quote the legal limit from your competitor's last interview, (Company name!), then link to the article.

grant




msg:88487
 4:41 am on Jun 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

I linked to a site that was doing better than mine using my keywords in the anchor text and what happens, I'm back in the top 5.

Just curious...how do you know that the anchor text in the link wasn't what you needed, as opposed to WHO you linked to?

Teshka




msg:88488
 7:20 am on Jun 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

I did the same thing several months ago when I noticed directory sites ranking inexplicably well. I added links to relevant high PR pages with my keywords in the anchor text and also saw a boost in the SERPs.

By the way, if you want to try this, you don't necessarily have to directly link to your competitors. For example, two of the links I added were to my sections of the Yahoo and DMOZ directories. You could also link to information sites.

elfin spectre




msg:88489
 12:36 pm on Jun 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

It has been observed with Adsense that you can manipulate what it thinks your pages are about (and what adverts it serves) by putting an external link near the top of the page - it seems to put a lot of emphasis on the top links/link text.

I wouldn't be surprised if Google was using Adsense technology in its algo - good idea to return pages about widgets rather than pages that have the word widgets in them a lot of times.

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