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1. I have read a few times that when acquiring links to be careful not to get too many too soon. What is considered too many, and in what given time period? And are we talking too many to a certain page or site wide?
2. Is a reciprocal link better than no link at all?
3. Is an IBL from related authority site with the anchor text reading ‘web site’ (this is how they link to all external sites) still a good link? Or will the absence of relevant anchor text degrade the value of the link?
I am trying to structure my linking strategy to benefit the user while still getting the maximum benefit from the links themselves.
2.Yep, reciprocal links are better than no link at all. Just disregard the search engines and think about whether the link from that site would be a possible benefit to visitors.
3. The absense of your desired anchor text could effect the value, depending on the text around it. A link from an authority site is always a good thing and the vote still has value.
If you structure your linking campaign to benefit your users, you should not come across any problems.
1. I think "too many" is industry dependent. It might be normal for a news site to accquire a hundred a day where as if your site is on crotcheting doilies, getting 5 links a day may appear a bit suspicious. My general theory is to legitimately promote your site and you should be ok.
2. Any link that can bring me traffic is a good thing in my book.
3. Anchor text is always good, but I'll take an authoritative link that says "visit this site" over a recip on a low traffic site with my exact desired anchor any day of the week.
My two cents...
considering only one in those five people ever seem to actually link back.
agree. Say a site gets major exposure in its topic area (tv, news, ect), is hundreds of inbounds quickly going to hurt this site? doubt it or at least this is how most "authority" site got to be "authority".
but then again in the above scenario, the inbounds are probably the result from somewhat "good" neighborhoods as apposed to hundreds of "bad" inbounds
Gain links slowly get trust, then you can throw anything in any amounts at it and it will rank. All this 5 links a day stuff is bull unless you are just starting out.
Bear in mind that naturally occuring links are likely to be all differently phrased -I am sure that search engines can use this to spot sites that are link harvesting a mile away.
A news site may have many backlinks in a day but its rare for site such as "california shoes". So number of backlinks depends from site to site.
3-5 backlinks is considered to be good for a new site on daily basis.
Your thoughts please............
Easy to spot and clearly deceptive in intent. Not good.
I think that for a site manually sending out emailed link requests to other site owners, requesting one link at a time, chances are that you're not going to be getting inbounds too fast.
But if you start getting ROS (run of the site) links, or if you use a link builder who is giving you links from many pages on his network, that's where, IMO, you might start getting into trouble.
I would never have all, or even the majority of my links be recips, but if recips make sense for the user, then they're OK. Regarding what kind of links make sense for the user, read Liane's excellent post of a week or so ago...
What works ... in my humble opinion
I prefer a smaller number of good quality links over a large number of crappy ones.
Or will the absence of relevant anchor text degrade the value of the link?
Relevant anchor text always helps, but a "click here" or "web site" type link from an authority site is better than no link at all. Check to make sure that these links are in fact direct href links. Many authority sites redirect their outbound links through click counting pages, and you may well get no boost from these (and perhaps might even encounter some problems).
3 way links are not clearly deceptive in intent and are not easy for SE's to spot....There is absolutely nothing wrong with a simple 3 way link exchange between related sites.
I think I read somewhere that a lot of those three way link request emails end up getting forwarded on to Google's spam team.
Personally I would not send out any request for any of my sites to strangers that I didn't want the Google spam team to read.
 The dates that links appear can also be used to detect "spam," where owners of documents or their colleagues create links to their own document for the purpose of boosting the score assigned by a search engine. A typical, "legitimate" document attracts back links slowly. A large spike in the quantity of back links may signal a topical phenomenon (e.g., the CDC web site may develop many links quickly after an outbreak, such as SARS), or signal attempts to spam a search engine (to obtain a higher ranking and, thus, better placement in search results) by exchanging links, purchasing links, or gaining links from documents without editorial discretion on making links. Examples of documents that give links without editorial discretion include guest books, referrer logs, and "free for all" pages that let anyone add a link to a document.
As long as you're outside of those neighborhoods, you're ok. That's why the topicals work so well.
So for instance, I have a blog about controversial politics that I rarely ever post to, but when I do, I ping a few other blogs about it and next I know people are linking to it from all over the place because they think I should be arrested, or are linking to it because they think I'm a genius.
Regardless, the site jumps to position five for a one word term, and after a couple weeks it wears off and falls back to the second page. No biggie. It continues to rank for new phrases and everything else it has ranked for, same as ever. No downside.
The leather meets the backside and stuff begins to happen
The fact is that this site is dormant for three to six months at a time, then the backlinks go haywire accumulating a ton, then goes back to sleep. If the above theory were true, then my site should get penalized and sandboxed as spam, but it doesn't.
So what that means is that what we are dealing with is more than a simple speed issue. In other words, we're not talking about 1 + 1 = 2, or simple addition, so to speak, we're talking calculus. To reduce it to a simple rate of attainment formula is missing the point entirely.