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My question is do these links help in terms of inbound link development to your site. It is most likely that people won't find them and click on them, but the SE might see all the links to your site and help rank you higher.
What are other thoughts on this?
I related her comment to Robert Charlton that evening and he immediately understood the importance of her statement, and had many things to say about it.
Do a little research on WebmasterWorld, my original post about that is here from a few days after she said that.
As I said, it's hard to be definitive about that, but I suspect that if webmasters had inordinate amount of juice because of all the websites they built, you'd probably see more web design sites in the serps for things other than web design.
you'd probably see more web design sites in the serps for things other than web design.
Sometimes you can reverse into this situation by linking out, not in.
I never link back to my site from client sites but in my portfolio section each featured site has a page, with a couple of paragraphs about the project and a link to the site.
For quite a long time (years) these pages have somehow ranked incredibly well in Google for the topic of the client's site - often, especially in the early stages, above the client site itself and pretty much permanently in the same general area. Which can tick clients off some on the one hand but sends them targetted traffic on the other. With a new site it can start the ball rolling quite fast, since these pages tend to rank fast, the new sites taking a little longer.
It has gotten me quite a few customers - people who were starting to look for a web developer and just researching what their industry had out there already.
I do the same thing as well. I try and position my services as marketing services first and web designer second. To that end I created a portfolio page and offer a link to most of the sites I have created and a paragraph about the audience and purpose of the site.
I see your point about gaining customers from people that look at their industry and somehow find their way back to me, but in the 3 years I have been doing this that has only happened once. The person that called me was already and existing customer and happen to be on the site of his competitor that I also designed the site for. He called me as a result of my logo being on the page, but no business actually came from it...yet.
I suppose if any of the sites that I have created ever get really heavy traffic for some reason (which has happend a few times with political sites) than I can expect some residual visits, but at the moment I can't tie any business to it.
A stark wake up call about this can be seen if you happen to wander into the world of wiki! It lists the links a page is linking out to as being "relevant" and when I saw this - it was like on NO, I am not relevant to this topic!
The answer to this would be to - if using a link back to your site for design credits then marry the link into your portfolio page that actually is on topic!
Like the person who creates their portfolio display to promote their client - deep-link to that page or an on topic higher category page within your portfolio. :)