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Automates part of the process of hunting down linking sites, and building a topical link directory. (You still have to carefully review the sites it finds though...)
Default directory layout is incredibly ugly. Dont use it unless you're willing to tweak it's output template and put in your own header graphics, etc.
It costs money... may be a deterrent to some.
As long as you customize the emails Zeus sends, and tinker the *heck* out of the directory output, I just see it as a handy shortcut. It hunts down relevant sites to link to, and you just sort through those, rather than having to hunt through all the search engines your self.
If and when I ever get my rear in gear and start my web business, I do plan on giving Zeus a try... I'm lazy, so anything that saves me time is worth my money! ;)
How 'bout another way, not necessarily better, I haven't tried Zeus. Check out LinkTopics [linktopics.com], there's been some controversy about how some engines may react but recent testing has convinced me that it is accepted at ALL of the majors.
I remember reading somewhere that you must create a unique presentation in your email contact. As much copywriting as I am doing right now I certainly will be able to accomplish this too.
>haven't seen a programmer yet that could also build a pretty web site
True, and I've been programming something-or-other since 1973.
99.9% get trashed here. I responded to two. After spending several hours and emails "negotiating" with the other sites over where the links were placed and how they were displayed, I became convinced that it was a COMPLETE waste of time.
That is my problem with almost all Zeus sites... they seem to go by one of two hideous default layouts, and one that requested a link from us hadn't even put in their own header graphics, so the top of every page still had all the Zeus info in it... bleaugh. Also, most Zeus sites seem to have about 50 categories, with only one, two or ZERO links in each category.
I'd say limit your directory to 10 or so cats, add at least 10 links to each category before you ask for reciprocal anything from anyone, and make sure the site *looks* halfway decent. That should go a long way towards increasing your link request 'approval rating'...
As for the harvesting, I was wondering how you're planning to make the initial contact. Does Zeus also find email addresses on possible recip candidates for you, or are you going to the sites and doing a review?
I just started to implement this strategy today but I been thinking on it fer a long time. I believe what I've heard that Zeus is good at dredging up theme sites and that the automation I desire. The rest is schmooze.
Haven't seen the hideous link page yet but I take your word for it mivox. Ain't no biggie though its just standard operating procedure to twist and bend things around to my liking. Thats why I like Perl and PHP so much.
Anything that I do with this is better than what I'm doing now.
It seems that most of the faults listed in this thread are the result of operator error or incompetance, not the program itself.
Having said that, Zeus is not for all situations. One "feature" of Zeus is that it looks for thematically related SITES, not pages or subsites or sections of a site. This in itself can present problems. Both of the directories I am building at the moment (profile...) are horizontally related not vertically, and in most cases I am listing one page only in the applicable directory.
So in these cases Zeus is not for me. This could be the same for you BH. There may be lots of sites that contain a section related to your search, Zeus won't list it as the section will get lost in the target site's overall theme.
I have often pondered about doing a comparison of recip-link finding programs; give me a day or two.
May the force be with you Grasshopper.
Gotcha on the relevance of site vs. page or subdomain. However the sheer number of sites out there will certainly overcome this situation, yes?
Yes and No. One of my directories lists Glossaries. There is no site I am aware of that consists solely 100s of glossaries as these are best put together bu "experts" in the applicable field. So all of my listings are to a specific page within lots of sites. Zeus would be useless in this case.
Also, some of the best and most authoratative parts of the web on almost any subject you may pick are only subsections of a complete site. This is one thing that worries me about this theming road the engines are going down but that is another story. In your case, lets say you are researching "blue widgets". There may be many pages about blue widgets out there that would be good for you to exchange links with, but as blue widgets is not the major theme of the sites that contain those pages, Zeus will ignore them.
Even a site about widgets in general may be ignored, depending on your kjeyword setup, as blue widgets will be lost in the wash. It's like keyword density all over again.
The question is one of quality not quantity, and you may miss some quality links because of this problem.
But then I am getting ahead of myself and starting the comparison already.
Add to that Zeus requires you really to have 24 hour internet access so it can scooter overnight and all week etc etc. Not feasible again for us on dial up.
Having said that we found once a small, decently priced program, just a simple robot that followed links and caught titles and metatags and emails in a text database. It was around 20 US$ and you could trial it for free minus a few features. Thats the sort of thing I think we need, and develop the actual directory ourself. For requesting recip links, we can do that manually after reviewing the sites.
Does anybody perchance know the URL for that or a similar program (we lost the link details in one of our regulalr laptop disk crashes!)?
Overall so far I am reasonably impressed. I'm thinking maybe I'll convert that ole eMachine sittin over there into a search engine spider. I'm on cable so it can run and run and run.
Two Thumbs Up :)
Chiyo, I just ran across this one,
Crawls, $25, free trial (or so it says on one page), the rest is sketchy. Trellian's been around awhile though.
A few of my sites are getting bombarded with Zeus, and they will *not* remove the links, even though I've written. I just need to prevent them.
How can Zeus be blocked altogether?
What the page looks like however might be a different story...beauty is in the eye of the beholder?
The reply: According to the author, all new versions of Zeus obey the robots.txt instructions. Unfortunately, some very old versions were not set up to do this. A few of these may still be in use, since the program remains functional (although lacking in features) indefinitely. If we are seeing a widespread problem with this, perhaps we could ask the developer to force an upgrade. I think the software keeps checking back for an authorization, which could eventually be denied. Lately, I haven't run across any Zeus abuse, at least from a robots.txt standpoint.
Most of the Zeus problems I have encountered are from total idiots who launch the robot, don't customize their directory, create stupid categories, and then send spam-like e-mails with no customization or personalization. The last one of these I got told me my link was up and asked for a reciprocal. I went to the URL to check, and (big surprise) the directory hadn't been updated and no link existed. I sent an e-mail to the sender, but never received a reply. A week later, still no link. Zeus would be perfect if only it administered an IQ test prior to allowing a user to operate it...