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I currently have several sites which link externally to tens of thousands of selected sites directly (who have sent their link requests to me directly). Fortunately we receive many excellent inbound links.
My questions is, would it be better to use an asp.net or a .php script redirect page to count clicks when invoking external sites (sometimes with a 0 pagerank due to newness on their part, not lack of quality) as opposed to just direct linking via the href?
I am not clear about the penalties for linking to too many external sites, particularly when as a portal site that is part of the inherent nature of the service you offer; by filtering out sites you are performing an editing service.
Occasionally I regretably pause to wonder whether I should link to low Pagerank sites due to the usual advice concerning "bleeding pagerank" when linking to too many external sites.
Currently my sites have very high Pageranks for many pages, but I wonder if they might be higher across-the-board if I were to use a redirect script? Do the major search engines know how to parse basic redirects to centralized scripts which count clicks and then pass the link as a parameter on to the external site?
Is this a stupid question in that direct or straight-forward redirects amount to the same thing?
Thank you in advance for any advice. I only wish to be honest and do justice to the many valuable smaller or newer sites (without necessarily seeking any form of link exchange).
My site has PR5 and ranks #1 for its keywords - all from PR0 links.
All links are relevent to the topic of the directory however and that is probably far more important than PR
I have the same experience with another of my sites as well but with that one I discovered that there is a threshold - that when crossed causes the rankings to slide. That is, when I have a lot more outgoing links than incoming links the rankings suffer.
The only problem with hard coded external links is the 'local rank' effect, which may mean that your recommendation devalues the relevancy of your own site to a search phrase. If you tell a user to go to #*$!.com for "widgets" then google may say "OK, we will rank #*$!.com higher and thanks for the heads up.... oh by the way, you obviously think your page is not right for "widgets" so we will dump you".
Any external 'link' on your page will dilute the pr being returned into your site via internal links, even if it goes directly or cannot be followed by a spider..... or that is what I have always believed.
>Do the major search engines know how to parse basic redirects to centralized scripts which count clicks and then pass the link as a parameter on to the external site?
I don't think so.
>Is this a stupid question in that direct or straight-forward redirects amount to the same thing?
As far as pr calculations are concerned I think they are the same. I think the general rule is that pr will only be passed on if it is via some kind of 301? but I'm not sure. However, I think that if you have 10 links, the pr will be split by 10 even if it can be passed on or not, resulting in your internal links getting less.
I guess the core question is whether portals are penalized for being portals. If we have 50,000 outbound links to sites which we have checked out carefully and have at least 1,500 inbound links from largely high-value sites, is there a risk that by including more outbound links that site page PRs (which are high for many keywords as they should be) will drop?
Note: We do not engage in link exchanges as a general practice unless the exchange is based on a very valid content connection.
We hope that we will not be penalized for making more accessible new sites which have valuable information or that mini-portals in general are penalized as part of an honest attempt to make available valuable information in the form of external direct links.
It has been noted by us that many sites which use central "click-counting" redirects have a far higher ranking than would normally be expected based on their actual content.