Has Google Lost the Plot?

Written by Courtney Heard

Withrepparttar help of MSN, recently Iíve been reminiscing aboutrepparttar 128077 Google of old. Remember those days? When you could take a good quality site, add a few keywords, get a few incoming links and bada-bing, bada-boom, itíd be #1 on Google? Rememberrepparttar 128078 old days, pre-Florida, pre-sandbox? The days when we, as search engine optimization specialists, didnít feel like a private schoolgirl smoking inrepparttar 128079 bathroom? When we didnít feel likerepparttar 128080 iron fist would come crashing down at any moment? Yes, those wererepparttar 128081 good old days. And MSN has finally brought them back, though on a much smaller scale.

Google hit it right onrepparttar 128082 nose back then. Search results were almost never irrelevant - venturing torepparttar 128083 second page of results was an event that drew gasps. There was never, ever any reason to leave Google and search forrepparttar 128084 same query on another search engine. Satisfied usersrepparttar 128085 world over, it wasrepparttar 128086 search engine of choice almost everywhere searches were conducted. I myself never strayed from Google, I was loyal and I was rewarded for my loyalty with consistently relevant results.

But has Google taken their quest for perfection a few steps too far? Case in point: http://www.jimmylerner.com - this web site isrepparttar 128087 official site of an author. Search on MSN for his name, ďjimmy lernerĒ and his web site isrepparttar 128088 top result. Now, tryrepparttar 128089 same search on Google. The top results are pages devoted to reviewing his book, book stores selling his book, a press release I sent out to announce his new site and a few times Iíve even seen sites show up inrepparttar 128090 top ten that simply have a link to his site from theirs and are completely unrelated. His site has been jumping fromrepparttar 128091 second page torepparttar 128092 first and back again.

Improving the Link Popularity Of Your Site

Written by Sumantra Roy

Link popularity, i.e.repparttar number of sites which are linking to your site, is an increasingly important factor as far as search engine placement is concerned. Other things remainingrepparttar 128076 same, morerepparttar 128077 number of links to your site, higher will be its ranking.

What is important is not onlyrepparttar 128078 number of links to your site, but alsorepparttar 128079 types of sites which are linking to you. A link from a site which is related to yours is more valuable than a link from an unrelated site.

In this article, I explore different methods by which you can improverepparttar 128080 link popularity of your site. I start with a method that you shouldn't bother using, then go on torepparttar 128081 moderately effective methods, and then end withrepparttar 128082 most effective methods you can use to boostrepparttar 128083 link popularity of your site.

1) Submitting your site to Free For All (FFA) pages

A common misconception among many Internet marketers is that while FFA pages may not directly bring in traffic to your site, it will help to improverepparttar 128084 link popularity of your site, and hence, will indirectly bring in traffic throughrepparttar 128085 search engines.

Nothing could be further fromrepparttar 128086 truth. Most FFA pages can contain only a certain number of links at a time. This means that when you submit your site to a FFA page, your site will be placed atrepparttar 128087 top ofrepparttar 128088 page. However, as more and more people submit their sites torepparttar 128089 FFA page, your site will be pushed down, and finally, when it reachesrepparttar 128090 bottom ofrepparttar 128091 page, it will be removed.

Now, since you can bet that plenty of other people are also submitting their sites torepparttar 128092 FFA pages, your site will remain in these pages for only a short span of time. Hence, in order to ensure thatrepparttar 128093 search engines see your site if and when they come to spiderrepparttar 128094 FFA page, you will need to ensure that you submit your site to these FFA pages on a regular basis - at least once a week.

Even if you used an automatic submission program to do it, can you imagine a worse way to spend your time and/or money? Furthermore, many search engines recognize these pages which only contains links to other sites as FFA pages and may completely ignore them. And while I haven't yet seen any evidence that submitting torepparttar 128095 FFA pages will actually penalize your site, there is every possibility that this might happen inrepparttar 128096 future.

Hence, when it comes to FFA pages, my advice is simple: don't even think about them.

2) Starting an Awards Program

A moderately effective method of improvingrepparttar 128097 link popularity of your site is to start an awards program. You can have web sites which are related to yours apply for an award from your site. The sites which winrepparttar 128098 award getrepparttar 128099 chance to displayrepparttar 128100 logo for your award. This logo is linked to your site, preferably to a page which contains more information onrepparttar 128101 award.

If you publish a newsletter, consider declaringrepparttar 128102 winners in your newsletter. You can also perform a review ofrepparttar 128103 winners' sites in your newsletter. This adds useful content to your newsletter and also gives more webmastersrepparttar 128104 incentive to apply for your award, since you may review their sites in your newsletter. This also gives themrepparttar 128105 incentive to subscribe to your newsletter to see if they winrepparttar 128106 award.

Make sure that you give awards to only those sites which deserve to win. If you give your award to sites which don't deserve it, your award will have little credibility, which will, in turn, hurtrepparttar 128107 credibility of your company. Furthermore, make sure thatrepparttar 128108 logo you design forrepparttar 128109 award looks professional. If it doesn't, not many webmasters will want to display it in their sites.

3) Giving testimonials

This may sound a bit unusual, but giving testimonials for products or services which you find useful can be another moderately effective way of improvingrepparttar 128110 link popularity of your site. If you really like a product, simply write torepparttar 128111 company and tell them why you likedrepparttar 128112 product so much and how it has helped you. Chances are,repparttar 128113 company will write back to you to thank you for your comments and will ask you for permission to display your comments in their web site. Tellrepparttar 128114 company that you have no problems if they publish your comments, but request them to add a link to your site along withrepparttar 128115 testimonial. There is every possibility thatrepparttar 128116 company will agree since publishingrepparttar 128117 URL of your web site gives more credibility torepparttar 128118 testimonial.

Of course, please don't go about giving testimonials to every company you can locate just because it will improve your link popularity :-)

4) Posting to Message Boards and Discussion Lists

Another moderately effective method of increasingrepparttar 128119 link popularity of your site is to post to online message boards. Atrepparttar 128120 end of every message that you post, you can sign off by mentioning your name andrepparttar 128121 URL of your web site. Ifrepparttar 128122 message board allows it, you can even include a short promotional blurb about your site atrepparttar 128123 end of your posts. However, make sure thatrepparttar 128124 individual messages that are posted to that message board are archived in static HTML pages (i.e.repparttar 128125 URLs forrepparttar 128126 individual messages should not contain a "?"). Otherwise,repparttar 128127 search engines will consider these pages to be dynamic pages and may not spider these pages and hence, will not be able to find your link.

Email based discussion lists which are archived onrepparttar 128128 web in static HTML pages can also be used to boostrepparttar 128129 link popularity of your site in a similar manner. In this case,repparttar 128130 signature file that you use with your email program should containrepparttar 128131 URL for your web site.

5) Starting a Link Contest

A good method of improvingrepparttar 128132 link popularity of your site is to give away prizes to other webmasters if they link to you. The prizes that you give out should ideally be something which other webmasters will find valuable enough to want to link to you, but which do not cost you too much. For instance, if you publish a newsletter, and have unsold ad inventory, you can give away some free advertisements in your newsletter torepparttar 128133 winners. If you sell a software (or an ebook), you can give away a free copy of your software or ebook torepparttar 128134 winners, since it doesn't cost you anything to produce an additional copy of digital goods like software and ebooks.

Link contests work best if you runrepparttar 128135 contest on a continuous basis and if you declare new winners frequently. If you runrepparttar 128136 contest for a few months, and then stop it,repparttar 128137 webmasters who had linked to you will all remove their links. However, if you run it on a continuous basis, and declare new winners every month or so,repparttar 128138 webmasters will haverepparttar 128139 incentive to keep their links to your site.

Also, make sure that you require all participants to have a link to your site either in their home page, or in an internal page of their site which is linked to their home page. Also ensure thatrepparttar 128140 page which containsrepparttar 128141 link is no more than two levels deep from their home page (i.e. it should not take more than two clicks to go fromrepparttar 128142 home page torepparttar 128143 page containingrepparttar 128144 link). If they don't do this,repparttar 128145 search engine spiders may not indexrepparttar 128146 page which containsrepparttar 128147 link to your site, and hence, may not find your link.

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