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Developing Links for Local Focused Recreational Business

     
12:54 pm on May 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Hi
I have some SEO (i.e. PageRank) questions:

One of my clients is a golf course website in Scotland.

1. If my client website were to 'swap links' with 'almost every other golf course website in Scotland' - (of which there must be say 200 or so golf courses) would this:

a) Give my client website an increased competitive SEO advantage over the other clubs? (most of whom presumably wouldn't have bothered) OR

b) Get my client hammered by Google for setting up a 'link farm' ? (!)

2. Is it better when swapping links to deep link or link to the home page.
And is there any advantage of doing so asymmetrically - i.e. it is better
for our site if we to deep link, but have the other sites link to our home page?

3. If ALL golf courses were to link to all golf courses, would that help all their PageRanks ?

4. Do the links need to be in the top half of the page?

5. Is there a maximum number of links allowed on one page?

- Any advice appreciated!

Ship
Shiperton Henethe

12:59 pm on May 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Does your client want his site to be a golf course directory? Or does he want people to come to his golf course? if the answer is a, link to the world and it's wife with pleasure, if b, why would you want to refer his hard earned visitors to other golf courses?
1:12 pm on May 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

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The point about linking to other courses is mainly about pure SEO.

From a business perspective the course is in a remote location, and so visitors would normally be holiday makers who often would be doing a tour of the extended area.

9:04 pm on May 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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a) Yes, this would give an SEO advantage, but for max benefit you need to make sure that the links that you swap actual link to good content, not just a directory style approach.

b)Google should be fine with this, each golf course will be hosted separate (different ip) so should be ok.

2)From a link juice point of view, you want people to hit your home page, but again you have to think about the content. What is the link going to do. i.e List of golf courses in your area <link>, then yes link to the home page.

3) Would help pagerank, but again links have to be worth while links, to get the best out them.

4) No links do not have to be in the top half of the page. You could have them in a sidebar. Try not to have all the links in the footer looks very spam like.

5)No, but you have to remember that when you page has a great number of links it have have trouble getting fully
spidered by the Search engines. If the site is not fully spidered it can influence trust of the site.

I hope this helps in some why.

9:35 pm on May 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Am I allowed to show you the URL on this site?
9:43 pm on May 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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No, not allowed.
7:46 pm on May 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

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You could always create another site for all golf courses to add their site ( a directory ), and request that they link to your clients site. This is a little sketchy, well, very sketchy but as long is everything is on different servers, and nobody reports you, you should be in good shape :)
11:30 pm on May 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I'll offer an answer but I want a commission, the site owner is paying you thinking you already know answers to things like this. :-)

If your client wants a section of their site to be full of golf course links it might be time to move that project off-site. Create a new paid directory and add the golf courses to it, in return perhaps the other owners would link to your sites index page.

12:21 am on May 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I have some SEO (i.e. PageRank) questions

This tickled me. Don't be obsessed with Pagerank. Position in SERPS is more important. Only webmasters care about PR.

That said, I see nothing wrong in your ideas. The key is to do what comes naturally. Link to relevant and related sites, and if you get backlinks then great.

11:48 am on May 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Linking out to competitors from your own site does not harm your own rankings - linking out to relevant sites is beneficial.

Whether your visitors decide to go to that site and then spend money with them is another matter altogether.

5:41 am on June 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Links from relevant websites is good from search engines perspective and it will not hurt your search engine ranking. In fact in long run it will enhance your natural ranking. so i don't see any issue with it.

1) It would be good to have links on top half of the page.
2) Yes there should be no more than 50 links on single page.
3) Yes it will increase your page rank.

7:03 pm on July 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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shiphen I think a cool way you could set up the links to the other sites would be use a country map and add a star were the course is located and make the star the link. You could add under the star the name of the course and city it is in. If there are multiple courses in the city make smaller stars.

I think this would actually add nice value to the site for your visitors. I know I would like it myself if I found a golf site and had all the courses located by city on a nice map.

Then try as best you could to get the other sites to link to your site using your preferred anchor text.

The ones that won't link to your site just add a no follow to the link.

11:43 pm on July 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Don't exchange links with other golf courses if there are local hospitality businesses you can exchange links with. Think of local restaurants, hotels, hostels, b&b's, spas, non-golfing resorts, local sporting goods stores, sporting goods stores anywhere in scotland that sell golf supplies, and most especially get listed with websites that are guides to your local area.

Be sure to create your own guide to the local area and list everything local in it except your competitors. Develop a brilliant link strategy for your local guide and follow through with it.

By the way, it might not be a good idea to discuss your client's business on a public forum. Next time don't use so many specifics, can get embarrassing [seroundtable.com], plus business strategy should be considered private. In the future members may want to use phrases like Local Centered Vacation Business. But what's done is done.

Good luck,

mb

9:29 pm on July 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Pretty well what I was about to post.

For a leasure based site that I ran until last month I viewed links on the basis of the natural traffic that they would generate and SEO pretty well took care of itself.

Examples:
Looking for nice hotel - wow, golf course nearby too, perfect holiday.
Looking for a golfing holiday, nice course, what are the hotels like?

 

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