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Social engineering: how to win management for outbound links?



8:05 pm on Apr 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Management don't want outbound links. "Let them link to us - but we don't link to anybody" is what they say. Or "if I link to one, I need to link to everyone. If we don't link, nobody can complain".

Doing lectures on link development hasn't helped yet, not to mention the reciprocal link concept.

Sometimes I think I'm in a Dilbert strip...

Any idea how to convince stubborn management that outbound links are actually a GOOD idea?


8:07 pm on Apr 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Maybe a little talk on authority sites may help, failing that try shouting.


8:18 pm on Apr 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I like the "shouting" part :-)

Our niche is very small. We are already pretty authoritive, and all other also-pretty-authoritive sites are competition.

Maybe I can find authority sites on remotley connected topics, but I guess it would be even harder to do outbound links to these sites...


5:45 pm on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I too am in this predicament. But my problem is that I don't know how to explain the benefits becuase I don't know them except for the PR part. Can anyone please educate a little?



7:05 pm on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I now had the first convincing argument: we added a new customer success story, and the customer - a prestigeous one - demanded that a link to his website be displayed.

I then mentioned that this would add credibility to the whole success story, and to success stories in general if we would add links to all of them.

I got a buy-in on this :-)


10:15 pm on Apr 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

"that this would add credibility to the whole success story"

LOL, I've been a webmaster too long. My first thought when I see testimonials with a link to the "testifiers" websites is that they only gave the testimonial for self promotion.

Have you exhausted all of your link development opportunities that don't include recipricols? It seems from reading many threads in this forum that a lot of people are using link exchange and link development as one in the same, but their not. Link exchanges are only a form of link development (not directed at you personally, just a general statement).


9:33 am on Apr 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Like chrisnrae says, link exchange is just part of link development.

As I see it, you can have two reasons for link exchange: 1. getting more inbound links and thus increasing PR and 2. helping your visitors finding more resources on the topic(s) of your website. One reason does not exclude the other, and I think that the 2. reason will help you gain "authority" status in Google and thus help your rankings that way too.

I sure understand the managements worries if "other resources" = competitors, but I'm quite sure that the total outcome will be positive for your site.

Some arguements:

When linking to other resources, and doing it in a catalogue-style, visitors will bookmark your site as an authority on the subject, they might even link to your site from their site, if it's related. You build a theme network around your site.

If you are alreaddy an authority on your subject, very few visitors will continue to your competitors through your linksite.

Linkpop has been growing in importance for Google and is as I see it, far the most important single factor for computing relevance and thereby positions on serps.

Link development:

Be sure to be listed in as many catalogues as possible, if international, submit to local indexes too. There are a lot of free catalogues, and even they only add a small fraction of the PR DMOZ gives, it still adds.


3:55 pm on Apr 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

When linking to other resources, and doing it in a catalogue-style, visitors will bookmark your site as an authority on the subject

I heard this a lot, also in the manual of some link building software. Actually I find this hard to believe. I myself use the web for many many years and when I look for information regarding "widgets" I almost always go to Google or other search engines and search for it.

Even looking in a widget-related category on DMOZ is very, very untypical for my surfing behaviour.

Are there actual surveys/statistics if users REALLY DO bookmark catalogue-style linklist on "authority sites"?


4:21 pm on Apr 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Well, I don't have any surveys or statistics, it is a guess based on my own behavour, finding a good on topic catalogue makes me bookmark, the question here is if widgets are interesting enough, the bookmark reaction, I think, is activated when the topic is more specific, like "Extra Terrestial Widgets".


7:40 pm on Apr 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator rogerd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Pmkpmk, you may need to explore management's fears about why links are bad. You've uncovered the one about having to link to others if you do one. Here are some other possibilities:
1) Visitors will click on the link, leave the site, and not return.
2) Linking to a cheesy site will reflect poorly on their site.
3) Links will be a distraction - just another menu choice that will keep visitors from buying, inquiring, etc.

As you uncover the fears, you can try to address them. For example, opening links in a new window, controlling the quality of sites listed, and making the link page/directory one of the less prominent nav choices may help assuage some of the concerns.


7:33 am on Apr 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Hmm.... as for these catalogue-style linkpages. If we have pages on blue widgest, purple widgets and extraterrestial widgets :-) - would you rather:

a) Make on EACH of these pages a small catalogue only linking to other sites covering the specific topic (blue, purple or extraterrestial), or

b) Make ONE link catalogue, with the CATEGORIES blue, purple and extraterrestial?

Gut feeling says "b", since there really is only ONE page to bookmark. But from what I learned about relevance of outbound links in SEO it seems to be better to have the outbound links spread across the site...


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