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Is it still considered good pratcice to seek recipricol links as I was thinking Google frowned upon them?
Are outward bound links the things to have (to avoid pr traps)
Is the real key to just do what would benefit the user and forget everything else?
Thanks in advance as I have never really been sure about this one
This honestly seems to work for me - in MOST areas. Areas with severe competition or heavy spam require special attention ;). In addition, inbound links that aren't recipricated are always a desirable option - even when taking "ranking well" out of the equation.
since outside links can not harm you I am taking a dual way on my site, I do recipocal (with good sites) and seek non-recipocal link as well anywhere I can
You can create a place for non-topic but high PR reciprocal links with adding some meaningful content.
" Is the real key to just do what would benefit the user and forget everything else? "
I think this works as you do create the sites for human visitors. But there should be a method in the madness : keeping SEs in the mind.
Is the real key to just do what would benefit the user and forget everything else?I believe it is, for NOW.
For the past three years or longer, acquiring incoming links, any way you could, the more the better, link spamming, was the key to high Google rankings. Since Google was the dominent SE during that period...
I'm convinced that, since the Florida update last fall, Google has devalued incoming links in their algo. It seems to be a "work in progress."
Google is getting some "bad press," Yahoo has deployed a new SE, and MSN is rumored to be getting into search, the game has changed. IMHO, until it becomes clear what "tricks" get top rankings on which SEs, you can't go wrong building for your users.
Play nice: Share your toys with the other kids
There are ways to avoid linking to other sites...
Yes, but you shouldn't let conservation of PageRank dictate your outbound link strategy. You may be losing five links for every one you acquire simply because many people may not want to play with you.
Outbound links for 100% selfish motives
I have plenty of outbounds to authoritative websites on virtually every page of my website. I hunt out websites with high quality content to link to. My visitors appreciate it, and sometimes I get a link back from a site that may otherwise have not considered a link exchange.
My top 5 positions are growing for more and more phrases, along with the traffic.
PR, and probably WebRank, are just one part of a larger process going on to determine what your website is relevant for.