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The Beautifully Linked Site
I have one site with impeccable inbounds and outbounds: I meticulously accumulated inbound links from sites that are authoritative to the topic. I have deep links from those who are the top authorities in their field in the US, plus deep links from dmoz, too (they're not showing up, yet). Reciprocal links are all on-topic.
I have never hesitated to link out to other sites, as long as they were related contextually and would benefit the user. So I have many non-reciprocated outgoing links.
This site is sailing along, even ranking well for stuff I uploaded last week. There has been no negative impact to it.
Not-so Beautifully Linked Site
I have another site that's not so well linked. No real link partners, just the random somewhat related stuff that normal companies pick up. No bad links, just the normal partner links that any healthy corporation picks up. No outbounds, except to their business partners. Again, pretty much what you would see in a normal corporation in terms of link patterns.
I would say it's somewhat ailing.
Ok, there are any number of things that can help and hurt you, but it's kind of interesting to see the beautiful website with bullet-proof links bobbing along like nothing has happened.
And your experience?
I have another site which is a small directory type site. This site is nothing more than a collection of sites on the same topic as the site mentioned above. The descriptions in this "directory" are all original descriptions. It has lots of out going links. Only 2 incoming links, it is not in dmoz or any other directory.
This site has a link to the "other site" with an original description of it.
It ranks very well for most of the targetted keywords on the first site, where the first site is "buried".
I have other experiences very similar.
I'm also noticing more traffic than ever from dmoz, which has up until lately only been good for links and pr.
If I'm right and you have any more thoughts on the directions this could take, I'd really like to start a new thread to discuss it...
In a competitive field
Spam, spam spam spam…
Anchor text optimised duplicate Dmoz and various directories
Hidden text stuffed to the max
Duplicate content/pages with one word changed
Keyword hidden/visible stuffed, blar, blar, blar
Nothing even remotely clever. But when you are going for an IPO you’ve gotta have the biggest index, or suffer.
Can’t beat them - might as well join them!