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|Google push back|
Call to arms!
Google's reliance on links for it's algo, and our (webmasters') resulting hunt for links has completely screwed up interlinking.
Used to be if you had a good resource, you could actively hunt and find good quality links.
Today, that's pretty much dead. Quality websites either ignore link requests, or demand cash - the end resource is no longer a factor in people giving out links.
In short, this merry go round has distorted every webmaster out there, turning links into currency. And all of Google's guidelines and nofollow crap and everything else has only made things worse.
The only way to reverse the process is if you actively participate. And the only way I know of to turn links from currency into quality, is for you to actively provide links without currency.
To that end, I now give out free links when I have the opportunity and a relevant website to put them on - with no expectation of anything in return. The only thing I want is a general attitude that links are currency instead of citations.
And I'm suggesting you do the same. In fact, I'm challenging you, this week, to find 3 worthy recipients and give them a nice big fat juicy link. Find some friends, some competitors, whatever. Just give out 3 free links.
I'll see your 3 free links and raise you 2 more. :)
I already have a few and six more waiting to go so I'll put them up this week ;0)
I don't ask for links either but now and then I see a visitor coming from a new link to me somewhere and that's nice.
Haven't done link exchanges for 3 or 4 years now, not worth the effort. If something deserves a link it gets one, otherwise it doesn't.
whilst I'd like to support you Wheel I have to pay the bills so don't give anything away without getting something in return
|whilst I'd like to support you Wheel I have to pay the bills so don't give anything away without getting something in return |
You're doing it so that longer term, YOU can get links for free.
|To that end, I now give out free links when I have the opportunity and a relevant website to put them on |
Always done it that way. And never exchanged links.
But that links become a currency is not because of Google. It is like IRL, to make certain people talk about your product, they want to see cash. Meny others will talk about it, because they liked it (or not). Links is the same.
Waiting not for buying "Likes" in packs or 1000... ;)
|whilst I'd like to support you Wheel I have to pay the bills so don't give anything away without getting something in return |
I have a site that generates some very nice, very niche leads. I have no use for them, so I have given those leads away, for free, for years now - all to one guy.
Did I get anything in return? Nope.
Yet....this week we got on the topic of a nice site that he has. It's in my niche this time, and it's like 10 years old. Yes, he's giving me a link. For 'free'.
Nevermind vague concepts like karma. It's quite simply looking longer term, networking, and doing things without expecting anything *specific* in return. By doing so, other people reciprocate. Not on a one-for-one basis, but overall they do.
|I'll see your 3 free links and raise you 2 more. :) |
Threw in another one for good measure- 6 links for the week.
Relevant outbound link text is good.
i have a site which i have done a lot of work on, part of it brings in some cash revenue because of the services i offer in my niche, but much of it is actually a big community resource for the town i live in, which i try to keep updated (and for which i don't accept any advertising or paid links etc). I've been linking out for years, sometimes they are link exchanges which have ended up on the links page, but I have many higly informational pages with plenty of links out to other useful sites in my niche.
i was actually quite surprised when I learned how to do a check on all the outbound links from my site on Bing, it was indeed substantial. so i've more than matched wheel and quite agree with him and others - links are what made/make the web and (too) many webmasters have become hoarders or do it only if they see an (usually monetary) advantage for themselves, while not thinking so much about the visitors. & no one website out there can cover it all for any medium sized city/niche. I always figure visitors will appreciate links out to other useful sites that have good info, in addition to what I can provide in my limited experience/time/energy....
I also believe from reading around that good linking out/"linking up" can very much help establish Authority for a website
|i was actually quite surprised when I learned how to do a check on all the outbound links from my site on Bing |
How is it done, Michael?
I think that part of this problem stems from the common misconception that outgoing links negatively affect the linking page's PageRank. While a minor part of internal link flow may be redirected outwards, I feel a solid outgoing link can only improve a site's thematic relevance (the ever elusive 'hub score'). It makes perfect sense for Google to actually reward linking, since a relevant outbound link can significantly improve user experience.
I agree that this excessive link hoarding has damaged the structure of the Web somewhat. If I find a good resource I will link out to it, it's just feels right.
Coincidentally just started a mini informational campaign on my website this week informing members that smaller websites needs to be linked to also.
well i have a few different types of sites.
a couple of them are 'informational' - with articles/content written by me, not MFA srapper stuff - i've always linked out to good resources on these sites, it is one of the things that makes those sites good, i link out on the actual article pages, they seem to rank fine, of course people solicit me for links or exchanges all the time and almost without exception i never give these people a link, not because i don't like link requests but because i don't like their sites. i usually find decent sites by researching my niche and when i do i give them a link.
now i'm not saying i do this on retail/ecommerce sites, i think it entirely depends on the objective of the site.
You know, we don't need WebmasterWorld members preaching to the choir. Google needs to request a patent which updates the citation model, where the website's importance is determined not only by who links to it, but also who it links to.
After all, a well researched academic paper points to authorities.
Regardless of this being a factor, just like the "speed is important" thing that google started, they could just start a new campaign and bring back sanity to the web.
It is a problem with no perfect solution. If we open up linking and not use no follow, folks spam us. If we lock it down, we are harming the natural linking of the web.
If we editorially add links, we can't scale.
It is frustrating.
I still think we need a concerted effort to reverse the link hoarding trend.
I've got many dozens of old dormant sites, across dozens of niches. Decent PR, strong relevant backlinks and content, that I've just been sitting on for 'someday'. Someday's here.
In the next month or two I'm going to review these sites for outbound link opportunities. I think I'll do some Googling looking for related sites that are doing white hat SEO and see if I can't give away a whack of outbound links to some deserving sites, from within the content.
We either take this back now, or we're screwed going forward folks. It's self preservation time.
I have a site where I offer out free links - yet I still get ALOT of link exchange requests and some one emailed me yesterday offering £X per month!
|I agree that this excessive link hoarding has damaged the structure of the Web somewhat. |
and, strengthened search engines grasp on those searching the interent for information.
I won't even touch the search engines ad sales implications.
I think Google will change the search algorithm within a few years. A lot of content on the first search results pages of Google isn't there because it's high quality it's there because the sites have a high PR because of many bought or auto (blog) generated backlinks. Google engineers know this but it's hard to fight and determine what's real and what's not.
My guess is the SE results will be more based on your previous searches and time spent on websites with adwords or double click ads, and it doesn't matter if you're logged in or not. They just use a cookie and/or IP and some other methods to determine who you might be.
Google is already doing this with there "personalized predictions". It will only get bigger.
What this means for webmasters is that they must focus again more on original content and other ways to attract visitors. It will make the business of buying and selling text/web links useless.
I've mentioned it before, but a simple algo fix would be to measure not the just the PR of a page, but the PR flow *through* a page. If you equate PR to water pressure (e.g. pounds per square inch), then the more inbound links (increased pressure) to a page and the fewer links out of a page (pressure-reducing leaks), the better. But if instead you equate PR to water flow through a page, then both inbound and outbound links bring a ranking benefit.
If you're more familiar with electronics than hydraulics, then the same idea applies equating PR to current instead of voltage (as it is now).
A change like this (likely with weighting factors on pressure/voltage and flow/current) would likely put a quick stop to PR-hoarding "dead-end" pages and Google's self-defeating nofollow idea.
There is a problem with this idea already.
We're not giving outbound links. If there is a site covering a topic worth discussion, we'll cover the same topic ourselves. That may take time but in we link to one web site of ours, not someody else's. Mind you we're not copying content; we're pretty good in our niche and can do a writeup on any reasonably relevant topic. For a not relevant topic, we just do not link at all.
Considering the above, whatever "flow"-link system is used, still I see it only leads to more domains. I have certain evidence in our niche the competition is doing the same way, so we get just several sets of pages/domains covering the same topics and interlinked within a set but never across the sets.
But it will not put an end to manipulation. You can cloak/serve a page full of outbounds, while users see one with none. You get the number #1 spot and get to keep all the traffic on your page.
|A change like this (likely with weighting factors on pressure/voltage and flow/current) would likely put a quick stop to PR-hoarding "dead-end" pages and Google's self-defeating nofollow idea. |
the problem with this is that you are still working out of self-interest. The "no expectations in return" is, sorry to say, dubious.
I run a small blog(in my free time), specific to a software package that is written in 2 different script/programming languages. Same concept, same process, same screens.
Someone always links to it. I never ASKED, EVER. The "small" projects that I do via that blog(people ask for paid help) after visitors read the articles will always outweigh any amount that I could make via the ADs if I would place any, SOMETIMES double digits.
DO I link to other resources on the web that are mentioned in my work? ALWAYS and NO Trickery. I follow one simple rule: If I was searching for an answer related to my study/work/theory and found it useful after all, I will link to it the best way I possibly can if it passes “WHITE-HAT Sniff Test”.
DO I share my user base usage of the site with anybody, NEVER. I get tons of requests to put ADS on this site by hosting companies, language specific software firms - text links, Flash ADS(LSO), image ads and so on... I think too much data sharing could only hurt the site. Give it all away and it is only a matter of time till the SERP Controller drops you like a rock as soon as they see an opportunity.
But it's just me and I don't envy the SERP anymore to the point that I used to, for the site in question...
Note that I mentioned a "weighting" factor to be applied to the "link pressure" and "link flow" assessments. This would favor sites which participate in the "Web," but not completely eliminate sites which choose not to link out, such as yours.
Cloaking is a different problem, and one that has mostly been effectively addressed. If the search engine companies' automated cloaking detection does not catch-out a deceptively-cloaked site, then its competitors' reports, followed up by a human review, surely will.
C'mon tweeple, make lol's and get links, eazy!
|In short, this merry go round has distorted every webmaster out there, turning links into currency. And all of Google's guidelines and nofollow crap and everything else has only made things worse. |
Wheel, I couldn't agree with you more.
I would give you a free link anytime.
|I've mentioned it before, but a simple algo fix would be to measure not the just the PR of a page, but the PR flow *through* a page. If you equate PR to water pressure (e.g. pounds per square inch), then the more inbound links (increased pressure) to a page and the fewer links out of a page (pressure-reducing leaks), the better. But if instead you equate PR to water flow through a page, then both inbound and outbound links bring a ranking benefit. |
..and I think that would somewhat address the issue Wheel has brought up. If there was a more "natural" flow to how links were being placed/given (reminiscent of the Web in the mid-late 90s) I think white-hat guys would be winning the race. Instead we are stuck with a web culture of social media pages (no-follow links galore) and sites linking out for all the wrong reasons.
Anyway, I feel your pain Wheel. All my efforts right now are trying to get links to my content for its value and uniqueness...but I still get lots of "what are you going to give me"s.
Anyone interested in a link, sticky me. I'll do my best with what I have, where it makes sense.
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