All About Links -- Interview with link building expert , Bob Gladstein

Written by Julia Hyde

Continued from page 1

Julia: What would you say to Web site owners who are reluctant to use links because they think it will take people away from their site?

Bob: For one thing, a Web site without any off-site links is a dead end, and there is some evidence to suggest that search engines view sites that don’t link out as being less valuable.

Unless you’re willing to pay, you may have a hard time convincing people to link to you if you’re not planning on linking back to them. But it’s still possible, especially if you’ve got content that’s so good people will want to link to you anyway, but it’s definitely harder to get one-way links than reciprocal ones. I’m not suggesting that people link directly to their competitors. The idea is to link to sites that complementrepparttar content that you’re providing. By doing so, you’re contributing torepparttar 127929 impression that your site is an authority on your theme: not only do you have great information, but you have links to other sources of information. That’s another reason for people to come back to your site more often. And if you’re still worried about sending people away from your site and never seeing them again, you can set your off-site links to open in a new window, by adding target=”_blank” torepparttar 127930 code forrepparttar 127931 link. If you do this, however, it’s a good idea for usability purposes to let people know thatrepparttar 127932 link will open in a new window. Otherwise, people who have their browser windows maximized may not realize what’s happened, and should they try to get back to your site by hitting their back button they’re likely to be confused when it fails to take them anywhere.

Julia: We often hearrepparttar 127933 term "Anchor text". Can your explain what this means and why it's important?

Bob: Anchor text isrepparttar 127934 part of a text link that’s visible onrepparttar 127935 page. On a Web page, that would look like this: :Search Engine Marketing and Copywriting Services ”Search Engine Marketing and Copywriting Services” isrepparttar 127936 anchor text. What’s important about it is that it tells bothrepparttar 127937 user andrepparttar 127938 search engine spider whatrepparttar 127939 pagerepparttar 127940 link points to is about. In a search engine optimization project, getting links to your site that use your keywords inrepparttar 127941 anchor text helps to get your page to rank higher for those keywords. That’s why it’s important to have something other than “click here” as anchor text.The power of anchor text can be seen byrepparttar 127942 example ofrepparttar 127943 practice of “Googlebombing,” in which numerous sites will link to a particular page usingrepparttar 127944 same anchor text. If enough sites do it, Google will rank that page atrepparttar 127945 top of its listings for searches on that text. George W. Bush’ biography page onrepparttar 127946 site ofrepparttar 127947 White House is still number one in Google forrepparttar 127948 query “miserable failure” about half a year after that particular Googlebomb was created. Whether or not you personally agree that those words do a good job of describing Mr. Bush, Google accepts what it sees asrepparttar 127949 opinion ofrepparttar 127950 general online community. If enough pages tell Google that miserable failure George W. Bush, then as far as Google is concerned, it must be true.

Julia: Another thing we hear a lot about is Pagerank™—a tool webmasters often use to determine whether a site is worth linking to or not. What does this mean?

Bob: PageRank (not to be confused with “page rank”) is a part of Google’s algorithm for ranking pages. There are numerous theories as to how it’s calculated, but only Google knows for certain. In any case, that’s not important to this discussion. What matters is that PageRank is a measure ofrepparttar 127951 value of a page based onrepparttar 127952 links pointing to it,repparttar 127953 value ofrepparttar 127954 pages on which those links reside,andrepparttar 127955 number of other links that are on those pages. It’s strictly numerical, and has absolutely nothing to do with relevance or value torepparttar 127956 reader. In other words, if I have a page about Shakespeare, and I link to two pages, one about Shakespeare, andrepparttar 127957 other aboutrepparttar 127958 care and feeding of parakeets,repparttar 127959 same amount of PageRank will be passed to both of those pages. The fact that one of those pages is aboutrepparttar 127960 same subject as my page does not enter intorepparttar 127961 calculation.

You can see an estimation ofrepparttar 127962 PageRank of a given page if you haverepparttar 127963 Google toolbar installed. But it’s important to keep in mind that PageRank is not everything, nor is itrepparttar 127964 most important thing. It’s one of many factors Google takes into account when it ranks pages for queries, and it’s not at all uncommon to see that a site that ranks onrepparttar 127965 top of a SERP (search engine results page) has a lower PageRank thanrepparttar 127966 pages below it onrepparttar 127967 SERP.

One ofrepparttar 127968 reasons people believe that PageRank is important is that if you do a backlink check in Google by typing “” inrepparttar 127969 search box, you’ll generally (but not absolutely) only see pages that link torepparttar 127970 URL in question and have a PageRank of 4/10 or higher. People have taken this to mean that a link from a page with a lower PR doesn’t count, and that simply isn’t true. It’s true that, all other things being equal,repparttar 127971 higherrepparttar 127972 PR of a page linking to yours,repparttar 127973 more PR it’s going to pass to your page, but as I said, PR is just one aspect of Google’s algorithm, and every link apart fromrepparttar 127974 troublesome ones we spoke of earlier has some value.

It’s also worth keeping in mind that a page that shows a PR of 2/10 inrepparttar 127975 toolbar today may have a 5/10 or 6/10 a few months from now.When I’m looking for sites from which I may wish to request links,repparttar 127976 only time what I see inrepparttar 127977 toolbar matters to me is when I see that it has no PageRank at all. Assumingrepparttar 127978 site isn’t new, that can sometimes be an indication thatrepparttar 127979 site has done something which caused Google to demote it. That is, it may be what Google refers to as a “bad neighborhood,” and as such, you should be extra careful in checking it out before you agree to link back to it.

Julia: Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge, Bob! I hope you all will check out Bob's site at: for more information about his company.

Julia is an independent copywriter and consultant specializing in search engine marketing and copywriting, direct mail, print advertising and other marketing materials businesses need to increase sales. Learn more about how Julia can help boost your profits by visiting Or email She'll get back to you right away.

Keyword Density - Are You Getting the Right Result?

Written by Andy Theekson

Continued from page 1

The only thing inrepparttar data so far to set No.4 apart fromrepparttar 127928 others is a higher keyword count inrepparttar 127929 body content. But that's not likely to help since it has a much higher body word count.

Keyword density inrepparttar 127930 body content

The table this section refers to is at: Table 2

*The SEO Analyzer did not return results, so word count was calculated fromrepparttar 127931 keyword density SEO did return & knowingrepparttar 127932 body content keyword count.

Inrepparttar 127933 Body word count, none of these pages comply withrepparttar 127934 analyzer recommended figure of 436 to 629.

Now althoughrepparttar 127935 keyword density inrepparttar 127936 body content of No.10 is slightly higher than 19 it's also higher than No.1, but it doesn't get ranked No.1 because of it.

No.4 has a lower body keyword density than all except No.30, yet it still gets ranked No.4 !

Another factor to consider is keyword prominence or how close keywords are torepparttar 127937 beginning of eitherrepparttar 127938 title,repparttar 127939 link text or inrepparttar 127940 main page content. The analyzer reported a minor keyword prominence problem with No 19 inrepparttar 127941 link text and body content and more of a problem with prominence of No.30 inrepparttar 127942 link text.

But to keep these prominence reports in perspective for No 19 & 30 we must not forget that No.4 and 10 have zero keyword prominence inrepparttar 127943 link text because they don't have any link text !

Online Analyzer Keyword Density

One ofrepparttar 127944 most detailed online keyword density analyzer's is that from

The table this section refers to is at: Table 3

The above results showrepparttar 127945 keyword density & prominence forrepparttar 127946 words "keyword" & "density" as separate words and also as a two word phrase "keyword density".

It seems a higher keyword density coupled with a higher prominence goes some way to explainrepparttar 127947 ranking order. The exception to this No.4 whose ranking is not due to keyword density or prominence since on both counts it's only slightly different to No.30.

Two other things are striking aboutrepparttar 127948 results from all analyzer's, firstlyrepparttar 127949 very wide variation in word count and secondlyrepparttar 127950 variation in keyword count.

The word count by analyzer's varies by as much as 81.3% (No.10), 44% for No.19 & 41.9% for No.30.

Inrepparttar 127951 worst extreme (No.10)repparttar 127952 keyword density calculated byrepparttar 127953 analyzer's varies by 154.4%

The keyword counts for No.10 & 30 showrepparttar 127954 most variation. The keyword density software counts 3 occurrences ofrepparttar 127955 word "keyword" and 3 of "density". The online analyzer counts 8 and 5 respectively.

For position 30repparttar 127956 software counts 13 for "keyword" and 9 for "density" whilstrepparttar 127957 online tool counts 8 and 6 respectively. Inrepparttar 127958 worst case this is a keyword count variation of 62.5%.

The software was set to look for keywords inrepparttar 127959 Title,Link text, Links, Header tags (h1-h6), Meta Keywords & Description tags, Body text & Alt tags. In factrepparttar 127960 only place it was not set to look arerepparttar 127961 comment tags, but then neither wasrepparttar 127962 online analyzer.

Bothrepparttar 127963 software andrepparttar 127964 Ranks online analyzer can exclude words shorter than a defined setting. In all keyword density analyzer's whererepparttar 127965 option was available it was set to ignore words of 2 letters or less.

To another online analyzer position No.4 had only 10 keywords and a body word count of 969 both of which differ fromrepparttar 127966 figures already seen.

Can we use any tool to compare one page with another ? None give consistently high word & keyword counts or consistent low ones, a relative analysis of pages is also questionable.

Keyword Density Analyzer Conclusions

Three software tools and two online tools have been shown to all produce widely differing word counts (variation 81.3%), keyword count (variation 62.5%) and as a result wide variations in keyword density (variation 154.4%). This whilst analyzing 5 different pages with Google rankings from No.1 position to No.30.

It seems likely with 5 different tools all producing different results that Google itself also arrives at yet other figures for word count, keyword count, prominence & keyword density.

Based onrepparttar 127967 tests, these tools don't produce absolute results or consistent relative comparisons between pages. The differences in word count and keyword count between these analyzer's could not be explained by a word exclusion filter.

The rankings ofrepparttar 127968 test pages can not be explained just onrepparttar 127969 basis of keyword density, prominence, word count, keywords inrepparttar 127970 meta tags, headers, links or Alt tags.

This should come as no surprise, since we know other factors like on & off site links and link popularity all play a role.

What may come as a surprise is thatrepparttar 127971 analyzer tools we rely upon give such widely differing results. Does this mean we should stop using them, no I don't think so, at least not until something better comes along.

Andy Theekson the Search Engine Optimizer provides free information on SEO for small web businesses and conducts independent research on software tools and services. Andy has been involved in small business start-ups both offline and online since 1988.

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