How Directories Help Search EnginesWritten by Mario Sanchez
At beginning of web era, users would go to directories to find sites relevant to their interests. In fact, Yahoo!, web's number one destination, started as a directory. Nowadays, most users rely on search engines, not directories, to find what they're looking for.
When search engines started to become popular, they relied on web pages' 'keyword metatags' to determine topic and relevance of page (the keyword metatag is a section within a web page's HTML code where webmasters can insert words that are relevant to page's content). Webmasters discovered that by stuffing their meta tags with popular search terms repeated hundreds of times, they could propel their pages to top of search results.
Search engines caught up to abuse and decided to ignore meta tags and rely instead on web page copy. Webmasters then started to overstuff their page copy with popular search terms, often writing them in same color as web page's background, so that they could be detected by search engines while being invisible to users.
Again, search engines discovered trick and decided that best way to rank a web page's content and its topical relevance was to rely on inbound links from other pages. The rationale behind this is that it is much more difficult to influence other people to link to you than it is to manipulate your own web page elements. In fact, inbound links are foundation of Google's Pagerank™ algorithm.
Cult of Linking Exorcist Casts Out Linking Demons!Written by Mike Banks Valentine
Have you ever known someone who has blind faith to a religous sect or self-improvement group and has been taken in by a charismatic leader? The devotion to cause is seemingly blind and support in donated time or financial contribution exceeds all reason? That is where we are with cult of linking. You stand by marveling at how an intelligent person could be so entirely absorbed in their linking fanaticism that they lose sight of reality? I ran an article in my blog a couple of days ago called “Link Swapping Killing Web Sites” and commented that I was glad to see some sanity returning to webmasters as a preface and introduction to Michael Cheney piece. Today I've been shown a bit more lunacy from three different angles. First, I have a client seeking quality links. He has hundreds of outbound links from his network of sites and uses his own linking script with an admin control panel where he approves or deletes links submitted.
I talked him into scrapping that and took down links to "swap" page from major pages of his sites. To replace those "Swap" links, I proposed that we use one of many "text link brokers" popping up across web. We can simply buy links from relevant sources from reputable brokers - or so I thought. I contacted two of those brokers asking for some type of substantiation for value of links they were selling. I simply asked them if they had any case studies showing search engine rank increases attributable to major text link purchases. I'm still reeling from one response. He said, "We don't keep track of that sort of thing. Most people have been happy with our partners links." I had to pick my jaw up from floor! He is asking better part of $1000 for "run of site" links from a questionable "network" of sites that, although on topic, were not a good fit for my clients links. When I pointed out to him that they were all on very close IP addresses and clearly resided on same virtual server, he seemed not to understand what I was talking about when I asked if they couldn't offer more variation in IP address range to avoid a link farm penalty from search engines. I shook my head in astonishment and moved on with my day and then I got a note from a colleague who asked me if I