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We've reviewed over 200 websites in the last 30 days. All of those websites have been indexed by two or three major link communities. We've visited those resources multiple times following backwards links and have come to one conclusion...
They exist solely for the purpose of inflating link popularity.
We are not saying that all link communities fall under this category, but 9 out of 10 that we've visited do!
We've also come to another conclusion. There are two types of SEO/SEM consultants...
The first are those who know what they are doing. They develop quality campaigns that are targeted for the client.
The second are those who do not know what they are doing. They develop poor quality campaigns that are not targeted for the client.
We'd like to see the Internet free of this type of practice. Its unfortunate that all of us are being indexed by these resources and included in their databases without our permission. I'm sure there are some who have developed a robots.txt file to keep most of them out. But, that would be a chore in itself, there are hundreds of thousands of these resources and most are junk!
We feel that being indexed by these resources has no bearing (good or bad) on your link popularity. Any major SE is most likely filtering out these references.
Its not a numbers game anymore! It's now all about quality, and really, it always has been. I think too many companies have been caught up in the tricks of the trade and are now finding themselves having to rethink their strategies.
We hope that anyone reading this thread will take it to heart and focus their energies on improving the quality of the web. With all those billions of documents being indexed, there are billions of pages of junk! It sure would be nice if we can help contribute to the sanitation of our back yards!
Sorry I hadnít responded before now. I wanted to give your post some thought first. Iíve posted at [webmasterworld.com...] with regards to a question about linking and it got me thinking about your comments.
Trying to influence ethics in an industry is a big task to bite off.
Businesses take note of the bottom line and thatís money. Ethics have a place inside each of us and itís up to each of us to decide what our ethics are. I think the best I can come up with is stretching myself to explore new possibilities and if I elect to, sharing my theories or strategies with the industry.
An example is to consider how many of us think of linking as a chore to hand it off to a college student and pay by the link? Do we embrace our linking tasks with the fair prospect of adding to the coffers through developing relationships above and beyond the simple act of linking?
What I would like to see more of and believe folks undervalue with regards to their linking efforts, is networking. I think of linking as an additional chance to meet, create and expand on business opportunities. When I take my linking strategies seriously and instead of link hunting for the sake of the link only, begin to approach linking as a door to expanding on business relationships, my linking takes on a whole new meaning.
Sometimes looking for the PR numbers holds us back from "Linking Outside the Box! [webmasterworld.com]Ē
It amazes me that there are so many "companies" (if you can call them that) that offer "guaranteed traffic" and "thousands of hits". In today's web world, traffic doesn't do anyone diddly squat, yet there are people doing it and people paying for it.
While these places still advertice "Massive Hits" not a single one of them mentions page rank. I would imagine that, if one really wanted to put their mind to it and do a well developed directory site, that a "Page Rank Farm" could not only be made, but probably not even punished by Google since, if it was done right, it would actually have relevant topics on each of the link pages.
This is why I've always loved the Terminator Movies. (Why??? I hear you ask.) Because technology evolves at a much faster rate than the people working with it. ;)
I'm hoping that most of us don't consider this to be a chore anymore, but an integral part of site optimization. I've read a variety of articles on Link Strategies and most are relative to developing quality reciprocal links. This past week, I've had the honor of communicating with a fairly large name in the industry who is renown for his linking strategies and the process he uses to obtain quality inbound and outbound links.
I think it is time for the SEO/SEM community to wake up and smell the coffee (for those who haven't already). It is definitely not about quantity anymore, it is strictly a matter of quality.
To me, a link sitting in a directory that is buried thousands of pages in the SERP's has no value whatsoever and may or may not be considered in PageRank, its all relative to the PR of that resource and the value that it has to the general searching public.
> Trying to influence ethics in an industry is a big task to bite off.
I would like to feel that this falls under common sense rather than ethics. Although I do see your point. The issue of advertising submission to thousands of search engines, directories and FFA's is definitely an ethics issue.
> I think the link farms are more dinosaurs from an even longer gone era than we think.
I'll agree with you Grumpus. I see some of the same link properties today that I saw a couple of years ago. I see 2 to 3 large ones right now that are dominating the net. All of us who have websites are listed in these resources. All they present are pages upon pages of linked titles with short descriptions. There is usually a banner ad at the top and that's it! No value to the public, no value really to the Internet. More of a disservice if you ask me, but, this is just my opinion! ;)