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I am looking at building a directory of sites in a well established industry that has a few major players. The major players have directories that contain 13,000+ categorized links.
In an attempt to rapidly grow my directory, I am seeking the most effective and ethical method for adding links into my directory. Any suggestions?
I need to create a process that can be "mass produced" but also be inviting to the person reading an email they receive from me. (I am well aware of SPAM and its consequences.) My initial thought is to traverse through my competitors' directories and visit all the sites in their directory. I would search for an email address on the website and email the owner. The email would inform the person of our website and request that they add their free website link to our directory. Obviously if I have to personally visit 13,000+ websites, this is going to be a very innefficient process. Are there any programs out there that can help me increase the efficiency of this process?
Once I have about 5,000 sites listed in my directory, I would then request a reciprocal link. In return, the websites would receive a better ranking within their respective category.
IMHO the best way to build a directory is to seek out the sites by spider or the old fashioned way (Surf) and add them, not as quick but less frought with potential hostility. Webmasters IMO will respond better to an e-mail letting them know they've been added vs. inviting them to add their site, unless the note looks fairly personal, like you actually visited their site or you can demonstrate the value to them of adding themselves to your directory.
Subject: Let's trade links!
> I visited your web site and thought it was great. We are building the largest Theme-Categorized Link Directory in the world. Because of the amount of traffic we receive, I would like to invite you to become a Link Partner and share in that traffic. Please visit and let's trade reciprocal links. Email me and let me know what you decide.
> Our Link Partners receive preferential treatment with a listing at the TOP of each Theme page, a Link Partner graphic, bold print, etc. They also receive a lot more traffic than our regular listings. We are trying to
become the largest Links Directory, of our kind, in the world. the number of hits and visits we receive, is increasing every day. Our link partners have reported an immediate increase in traffic to their sites, after
becoming a Link Partner. Best of all, this is a FREE service and it takes just a moment to add our link to your site.
> You are now listed as a regular listing but I hope you decide to be a Link Partner. We have one of the most visited information sites on the web. Come,
> Since all site URL'S are found and analyzed by our ZEUS robot, you may want to review your listing. We use the descriptions, titles and meta tags you have listed on your site, to arrive at a category. If you wish to change
categories, please email me. To be fair to all, you are only allowed one listing per URL, per category.
> If your site does not appear under the listed THEME CATEGORY, please wait and check back in 24 hours. ZEUS is constantly updating his database.
I checked, and they are HTML pages, but the categories are VERY broad and very few. The titles and descriptions are exactly what's on the web pages. The sites listed are familiar to me, looks like they came off a certain crafters web ring.
How could I post it myself?? Simple. The above is a standard link invitation letter as supplied with the Zeus link spider. The Zeus program is very good, I use it myself, but its very popularity creates its own problem; most Zeus owners send out a copy or variation of the very same letter.
It is a good example, but I would suggest to all that you re-write the concepts in the letter on your own words and to suit your own needs.
For example, phrases like "We are building the largest Theme-Categorized Link Directory in the world." not only sound unprofessional, but will also ultimately trigger the delete button as people get sick of receiving the same letter "again!".
Be yourself.., write as you speak, whilst at the same time being professional.
I wouldn't say in correspondence that I had visited a site unless I actually had - any correspondence I do is very personalized. I am, in fact, setting up links, one at a time, with individuals, but I'm putting the keywords in the anchor text and writing descriptive paragraphs, all different - different page design and a different mix, even including some outbound links that won't be reciprocal. As Air mentioned, the old-fashioned way.
The same group of people he's got in this directory are actually setting up a link exchange. One person is doing it up, and they will all use the same page. I've already posted to the email list a suggestion - a warning actually -that they be individualized, but I don't know if any will listen.
This program did, however, catch my attention for another project, so I'm glad to get the feedback - I appreciate it.
Edited by: Marcia
Something else neophyte Zeus users do is send the same e-mail to sites with obviously common ownership, creating multiple dupe messages in someone's inbox. Once again, it creates the appearance of spam.
Zeus is a great tool. So is a chainsaw, but some minimal intelligence and skill is needed to avoid cutting your arm off.
Just once I would like to see an honest letter from a Zeus user.
"Hi, I just used an electronic bot to harvest every email address listed on your site. Since I have collected thousands of sites with my program, there is no way I ever have or ever will visit your site to see what it is about.
However, my bot told me your site contained a keyword that I would like my site to rank for, so I would greatly appreciate it if you would help me improve my keyword theme by linking to my site."
There are plenty of great tools that can help you build a great directory. I would suggest that you check out Hyperseek. [hyperseek.com ]There are third party plugins available that allow you import and spider data from other directories or sites. Once you have a large quality database of sites, a traditional marketing/promotion campaign should bring a great deal of new inbound links.
Doing it the old fashioned way will create much higher quality links and you won't have to irratate alot of people to get them.