Link Exchange Blues

Written by Usiere Uko

It is a well-known fact thatrepparttar number of important relevant inbound links to any site counts in its Google PageRank and position in search results. Hencerepparttar 128104 quest for inbound links from other webmasters isrepparttar 128105 beginning of wisdom. This has spawned a whole new industry with experts in tow. The Webmaster world is abuzz with linking campaigns. Every Webmaster wants his site to show up on page one of search engine results.

Getting quality inbound links takes a lot of effort. Quite a number of link exchanges have sprung up to makerepparttar 128106 job easier for busy webmasters. Like a dating agency, you register and seek, or wait for suitors. Within 24 hrs, they arrive in droves. Wish that wasrepparttar 128107 end ofrepparttar 128108 story. Sadly, it is not, in my experience so far. Practically 100% of my suitors come from a different planet. Our sites are totally unrelated. What has financial freedom got to do with renting a holiday bed-sit in Acapulco? Well, it may come in handy for dreaming…

It makes me wonder, do these webmasters fire before they aim? What isrepparttar 128109 purpose of link exchange byrepparttar 128110 way? Let's go back in time…

Once upon a time, before Google made linking Holy Grail, links were simply additional resources forrepparttar 128111 audience, on topics which are not core torepparttar 128112 theme ofrepparttar 128113 site, but complimentary. For example, a site on fish farming would feature links to sites that deal with fish food as a core theme etc.

Before addingrepparttar 128114 links,repparttar 128115 Webmaster would have checked outrepparttar 128116 site, see what it offers, and make a judgment based onrepparttar 128117 best interest of his audience. “Does that site offer quality fish food?” He will check outrepparttar 128118 fish food on offer. As a matter of fact,repparttar 128119 Webmaster can take it further and negotiate a discount for visitors from his site who may wish to buy fish food from that site. Then he can boldly say, "Recommended Link". This means he had taken time out to check outrepparttar 128120 site, and certifies it fit for his audience. His "trust me" then comes fromrepparttar 128121 heart.

Nowadays, you see bold disclaimer notices on link pages. Something to this effect:

"Visitrepparttar 128122 sites listed hereunder at your own risk. If you believe what you see on these sites, you are on your own. You have only yourself to blame".

Funny and sad; makes one wonder, if a site's content is deemed harmful to your audience, why link to it inrepparttar 128123 first instance? If you have managed to gainrepparttar 128124 trust of your audience as an expert in your field backed by integrity, why send them to a site you cannot vouch for?

Am I against link exchanges? NO!!!!!!!!!!!! I am for it. But I believerepparttar 128125 Webmaster should put onrepparttar 128126 table, a tiny little bit of his name and integrity behind every link he features in his link pages. His audience should be able to relax a bit and drop their guard once they click on a link from their favorite site. Otherwise, I believe webmasters should weed off all links they cannot vouch for to some extent. You may not be able to take full responsibility for what stuntsrepparttar 128127 other Webmaster may pull, but you should be able to watch out forrepparttar 128128 interest of your guests visiting that site, and yank of that site from your link pages (alongside warning folks that have already landed there) if you find out something questionable about that site, no matter how much traffic that site sends you or boosts you Google PageRank. That spells integrity.

Some "experts" recommend; "if you link to a guy and he does not link back to you, remove his link and move on". Hey! Are you saying if a site has content your audience may be dying to see, andrepparttar 128129 Webmaster of that site does not feel like linking you, then no matter how good and valuable that site is, yank him off your link pages? What isrepparttar 128130 issue here? Your ego or your audience? Who loses? Your audience of course!

Forrepparttar 128131 rookie Webmaster, do not be enamored byrepparttar 128132 number of links to your site you have been able to garner. Apart fromrepparttar 128133 quality ofrepparttar 128134 links and how they complementrepparttar 128135 content of your site, you should always have atrepparttar 128136 back of your mind, THE BEST INTEREST OF YOUR AUDIENCE. If you send them to a site where they get their fingers burnt, they will not trust you anymore, your PageRank notwithstanding. More than anything else, you need to inspire trust in your audience. If you fail on that score, then you can have your PageRank for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Ten Steps To A Well Optimized Website - Step 1: Keyword Selection

Written by Dave Davies

This is part one of ten in this search engine positioning series. In part one we will outline how to chooserepparttar keyword phrases most likely to produce a high ROI for your search engine positioning efforts. Over this ten part series we will go through ten essential elements and steps to optimizing a site. Some steps take a few hours, some may take months depending onrepparttar 128103 competition, but inrepparttar 128104 end and if done correctly you will have a well optimized site that will place well and hold it's positioning.

Of course all website's fluctuate up and down however well optimized sites will spend more time onrepparttar 128105 upper end ofrepparttar 128106 rankings than poorly optimized or spammy sites which may see high rankings but which will lose those rankings over time.

The Ten Steps We Will Go Through Are:

  1. Keyword Selection
  2. Content
  3. Site Structure
  4. Optimization
  5. Internal Linking
  6. Human Testing
  7. Submissions
  8. Link Building
  9. Monitoring
  10. The Extras

Step One - Keyword Selection

Arguably, keyword selection isrepparttar 128107 single most important stage inrepparttar 128108 entire optimization process. If you do not chooserepparttar 128109 correct keyword phrases you will not maximize your ROI on this campaign. I mention ROI and use it as a reminder that keyword selection is not necessarily about looking forrepparttar 128110 most searched phrases. A profitable optimization is one which producesrepparttar 128111 greatest return on investment forrepparttar 128112 time and money that are available to put towards it.

Bigger Is Not Always Better

If you are a web designer in Seattle who has just started your own business, you could make "web design"repparttar 128113 targeted keyword phrase for your site as it certainly hasrepparttar 128114 highest number of searches with 707,962 in September 2004 according torepparttar 128115 "Overture Search Term Suggestion Tool". If you have thousands of dollars and many months to dedicated just to attaining those rankings it could be done however, would that berepparttar 128116 best use of your time? Alternatively you could target "seattle web site design" with 5,070 searches in September. A Google link check showsrepparttar 128117 number of links forrepparttar 128118 top three competitors for repparttar 128119 Seattle search had 132, 21, and 47 respectively whereas for "web design"repparttar 128120 top three had 18,700, 5,420, and 1,310 incoming links each.

With a good site you would get more work than you could handle with 5,070 searches on Overture alone if you were ranking well on repparttar 128121 major search engines. This would clearly providerepparttar 128122 highest return on investment forrepparttar 128123 small business owner who most certainly does not haverepparttar 128124 time and money available to target "web design" and who wouldn't haverepparttar 128125 manpower to take advantage ofrepparttar 128126 rankings even if they were attained.

This is an extreme example however it clearly illustrates that sometimesrepparttar 128127 phrase withrepparttar 128128 highest number of searches is not necessarilyrepparttar 128129 best target for your business.

Phrases That Sell

Another consideration you will want to make when choosing your keyword phrases is whether or not they are "buy phrases". Phrases with a high number of searches that are not "buy phrases" will tend to bring a lot of traffic, howeverrepparttar 128130 conversion ratio will be far lower. Should you choose to target "buy phrases" you may not getrepparttar 128131 same number of visitors however your ratio of visitors to sales will be much higher.

In this example let's assume you arerepparttar 128132 marketing director for a well-known accounting company. There will be many choices you can make for your targeted keyword phrase. The top searched phrases in September 2004 that were accounting-related are:

  • "accounting" with 156,095 searches
  • "accounting software" with 54,621 searches
  • "accounting job" with 32,015 searches
  • "accounting services" with 19,260 searches
  • "accounting firm" with 13,089 searches

Many might go with their gut instinct and attempt to target "accounting". The problem with this phrase (other thanrepparttar 128133 competition for it) is thatrepparttar 128134 people doing that search are not necessarily even looking for an accounting firm. They may be accounting students, small business owners not interested in hiring an accountant but just looking for tax information, etc. "Accounting software" and "accounting job" are irrelevant, which leaves us with "accounting services" and "accounting firm" asrepparttar 128135 two main options.

From this point an evaluation of competition should be performed andrepparttar 128136 pros and cons of making eachrepparttar 128137 primary target should be weighed based onrepparttar 128138 amount of work it will take to attainrepparttar 128139 phrase vs. how many searches there are for that phrase.

Often promotions that target multiple "buy phrases" will end up far more successful that those targeting phrases based solely onrepparttar 128140 number of searches due torepparttar 128141 increased conversions and generally decreased competition.

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