Articles in The 'linking' Tag


August 5 2008

Outbound Links: A Brief (Re)Consideration

by Michelle Stone

Anyone familiar with search engine optimization (SEO) has likely cautioned others about outbound links.   For those new to the term, the links that come from your website and go to other locations online are called outbound links.   The reason for cautious words is that as they originate from your site, in basic terms of online reputation management they are the most valuable links you have and must be utilized very carefully.

The cautionary tales told in SEO regarding outbound links usually involve mention of linking to a penalized domain (which can be harmful to your rankings), unstable links (which are links that continually change — these are viewed as an indicator for link farms or link networks), being in a “bad link neighborhood” (the result of linking to sites that have been penalized or banned), as well as paid / free reciprocal or free-for-all linking.

It’s perhaps easier to think of it in this way.   When contemplating adding an outbound link to any page on your site, ask yourself, “Is this a site I want my company to be associated with?”   As mentioned earlier, this question can be regarded as part of the important online reputation management dimension of the Internet.

If trusted, recognized, or authoritative websites are believed to be safe, what about useful and relevant websites?   One of the primary points of concern usually voiced with outbound links is that of losing traffic or visitors as they click away from your site.   If the outbound links from your website are useful and relevant, there is a very good chance that your site won’t “leak” traffic.   Let’s take a brief look at social media, in particular a site such as Digg.com.   With their model, the outbound links that are offered as the result of their user base submitting articles results in users returning to the Digg site in order to see what other sites of interest they might find.   The same can be true of your website.   If you offer useful and relevant links, your site visitors are more likely to come back in order to discover more.

Of course, the ancillary benefit to having stable, useful, trusted outbound links is the increased likelihood of those sites linking back to you.   That shouldn’t be the driving force behind adding outbound links, but it can yield positive results.

There is one final note to keep in mind whenever there is an appropriate outbound linking opportunity, and it ties in with usefulness and relevance: there’s more to linking out to another site than simply adding the link.   In order to provide value to the site user (and then pass the value on to you), the outbound link should be placed in an area where it is most useful and relevant.   For example, don’t just have outbound links on your homepage — include outbound links in relevant areas of the site, such as on a top level page at the end of body text on a related subject.   Ultimately, you should always be sure that any outbound link is of value to your business and reflects well on you.

July 12 2007

A New Way to Search – Uniting Horizontal and Vertical Searches

by MoreVisibility

Web Search is constantly evolving. First generation search analyzed words on the page to rank content, second generation search tapped into link analysis and today search is becoming more personalized and specialized. By combining horizontal search, where the user searches a wide spectrum of material, and vertical search, where the user searches only through one topic area, the search engines are blending listings from their news, video, images, maps and other databases together onto one page. Google’s new Universal Search unifies all these different offerings by including links, where appropriate, to the standard Web results. All those listings, which were previously available only through the One Box displays and weren’t utilized by most users, limiting the scope of their results, are presented now on one page. The move ensures that the users receive all relevant content, by expanding the number of databases they are searching behind the scenes.

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March 14 2007

Frequently asked questions about links and link building:

by MoreVisibility

Recently we have putting a lot of energy into our “Link-Building” program. While working on this program, several questions have come up. Below is my attempt to answer them as thoroughly as possible. I invite everyone to add more questions or comments where you can.

1. What is linking and why it is so important to my search engine rankings?

When someone links to your site, they are essentially telling people “Hey, I like this site, it’s related to what we talk about on our site and you should check it out”. In other words when someone links to your site they are voting for it. Some votes are counted more than others (hey no one said this was a democracy).

2. Why would one link to your site count more than another?

When it comes to SEO ranking, it’s all about relevancy. In other words, is the site that is linking to you a trusted source for information in your particular field? For example, if you have a site about financial investment, a link to your site from http://money.cnn.com/ is going to be given more weight than say, stevesstocks.com, because it is a trusted source for financial information.

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