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If you want me to sticky you the address to give you some ideas, i'd be happy to.
I think so too, cyberair
> and people should be aware that it is a lot of work for us to go to all the sites, verify their content, and approve them.
I hope that you write that somewhere on your website. I am sure that any sensible webmaster will be able to understand that.
And welcome to WebmasterWorld.
If you have a directory and it cost money to be listed in the directory, I don't see any problem with that. However, if you pay a monthly fee to be listed in the footer of a PR7 website, then that is spam issue.
You need to think laterally about hunting links down. Of course it is even better and more satisfying if you look in your logs and see people visiting your site from a link that other site owners / forum visitors put up. :)
Confused...Why would this be a spam issue? The PR7 page is probably also very visible to most of its sites visitors. The company that is listing you on their PR7 site has worked to get that site to that position ( as we all can relate:).
We have an information based website, source of income - advertising and affiliate commissions. We are well indexed because of our content, and people buy ad space for that reason. Directory space is also considered real estate, real estate should cost something. Just like homes...if we want to live on a "link" farm, expect to pay nothing...if we want to live near a country club...it may cost you!
Also, make sure you have a good automated reciprocal link checker. When your checker can't find the link chances are neither can the search engines. Hit the Delete button.
Sure this costs money, maybe a 1-2k to set up. But your time is worth $50 - $100 per hour and begging for links 4 or 5 hours per day brings in little ROI and only junks up the web with more useless link pages built only for the SE spiders.
Don't spend more than 15 minutes per day on links. Links you accept should add value to your site. Instead, spend time building content that brings 1,000s of customers, that brings 100s of advertisers willing to spend lots of money to advertise your site. Then when you get this whole thing rolling those 2 links you bought at start will no longer needed. Ask that they start paying you for advertising on your site.
1) If the site is related to my own
2) If the site has "real" content
3) If I think my website visitors will find the site useful
I don't ask for reciprocation, unless you believe the same three things above in regards to my site. I approve links each day for listing on my site for the sole reason being the site is a quality resource, related to my own site.
I could care less what a site's PageRank or Alexa rank is.
Our website is a very specific directory, it isn't one of those dmoz clone's or other general theme directory. All sites in this directory were evaluated and added, therefore making it very theme specific and of high quality to the visitors. Furthermore, it ranks in the top three on most search engines for our main theme. With over 5k websites manually approved, and thousands more that weren't, this job becomes very time consuming to our evaluation team. The fee being charged is not a large one like Yahoo's, but a mere 19.95 evaluation fee that we agreed would weed out the tons of irrelevant submissions.
This fee, we have seen, is of no impediment for small website owners. People who take pride in their website will understand this fee. I have also considered and agreed many times to do a free link exchange when their site is of extreme quality.