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  1. #1
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    I often get people who want to exchange links but I haven't set up any "links" page on my sites primarily because I think it "may" eat up more of my time than it is worth. People obviosly want to exchange links to hopefully give a search engine boost.

    I say this because I already rank pretty well (especially in Google) for my sites which really don't have any links pointing at them except from my handful of sites (Yes - a couple are in DMOZ and 1 in Yahoo). Isn't ranking high in Google the major reason that the link exchanging frenzy started? Does link popularity affect other search engines and which ones?

    I guess I haven't found it necessary to start the link exchanging route. I would be glad to hear other opinions.

    Larry Wentz
    www.AffiliateNetwork.org

    [ 07-10-2002: Message edited by: wentzco ]

  2. #2
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    The most literal answer is no. Exchanging links doesn't help with your ranking in the search engines (with one possible exception - mentioned later). There is no benefit to linking to outside sites, particularly if you are concerned about Google. All you are doing by linking to external sites is giving away PageRank.

    However, getting links into your site will improve rankings.

    Which search engines use link popularity ? All of the major ones - Google, Inktomi, Altavista, Fast/Lycos and Teoma use it as a factor to determine ranking. Google is the most prominent here as it also has the PageRank system which depends to an extent on links in to your site.

    Inktomi is also important in the link pop. stakes as a few links into your site from other sites already in their Best Of Web database will ensure free inclusion, deep spidering and 6 weekly updates without need to pay for inclusion.

    Obviously, the easiest way to get these links is to exchange links with other webmasters but it isn't compulsory. I've run several link campaigns for clients that have been on the basis of NO reciprocal linking.

    So, if you already have very high ranks in the major search engines and you don't want to link out to other sites, there is no reason why you should; but I would advise getting some links in to your site regardless, as these are a factor in increasing and maintaining rank.

    The exception I mentioned earlier is Teoma. This seems to rely heavily on what is called the hubs and authorities method of ranking.

    Basically, the idea is this: sites about the same subject seem to form communities around that subject. At the heart of all this are a few 'hubs' - which are the authorities for this subject. These sites attain that status by a combination of links in and out of the site. Therefore, these sites are seen by Teoma as more important and thus rank higher.

    In this instance, outbound links contribute to the site's ranking. This is why you'll see more forums/resource sites on the first page of Teoma than at other search engines.

  3. #3
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    Another thought to throw into the mix is that the links and the descriptions you write for them can be good spider food in themselves.

    If you just have a bare-bones link to someothersite.com that would likely be of limited help, but if you choose the anchor text well and put a thoughtful description along with it, you could add new keyword-rich content to your own page that would support your own site's theme.

  4. #4
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    Do you really consider Teoma a major search engine? I think it has a really long way to go before it even cracks the surface.

  5. #5
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    Hello markymark:

    Someone mentioned that you are quite an expert in search engine area, so I decided to ask few questions here.

    I read everyone's messages but I'm still confused. I came to few assumptiions that I'd appreciate if you or anyone on this board could clear things up for me.

    1. When you said link exchange would not help your engine ranking, did you mean it will not help if a site already has good ranking?

    2. How did a site get a good ranking in google at first place if it never had any backward links? Is it because they started the site at early stage when google wasn't using this 'link' method?

    I only have my site for 6 months, and I've been working extremely hard. But I did little on link exchange. Now after the new google update, I sadly realized that the ranking in google for my pages are so bad that cannot compare with all the painful time I have spent in. I'm totally lost. Then I was told that link exchange has the greatest impact on a site ranking. But I'd prefer to get a solid answer before I go too far. Could you or someone take a look at my site http://www.ishopworld.com and see what I could do to improve rankings in google? Hope I'm not asking too much.

    I can hardly wait for a quick response. I'm sitting around with my hands full but can't do a thhing other than stairing at the screen.

    Thanks a lot for any help

    Snakebaby
    ishopworld.com

  6. #6
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    Snakebaby, have you downloaded the Google Toolbar? What works for me is finding sites with an equal or higher page rank than me. Also a couple of things to look for. The fewer outward links they have the better. For example lets say you find a site with their links page with a page rank of 5. A site that has only 10 outgoing links will be better that a site with the same page rank who has a 100 outgoing links. And what works for me the best is lately i don't even go to Google looking for sites to exhange links, i go straight to DMOZ. Google loves DMOZ. If you can get your site in there that would help a lot, but it's very hard to do. The next best thing is to get sites already listed there to link to you. Do this for a couple of month any you will grow steadily. It might take a little time but you just have to keep at it.

    If all the girls lived up in trees, what a good climber johnnie would be.

  7. #7
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    Thanks johnniebry for the quick response.

    I did install google toolbar just yesterday. I realized one thing is I dont' even have any page rank in google. It says the page is not ranked by google. I don't get the concept at all, but I assumed it must be because my ranking in google is just too bad. I don't even know what I need to do in order to be ranked by google.

    I did try in dmoz, and haven't found any site that specifically exchanges links. I searched for 'online shopping mall' from google, and visited the #1 site, a site that mixed affiliate merchants and it's own iwon store stuff. Though these commercial pages are not in dmoz, the owner does have couple of pages from the same domain in dmoz that must be designed separately from the rest probably just for the purpose of getting in dmoz. I assume this could be an excellent starting point. Any opinions?

    Looks like we must do link exchange to get a good ranking, right?

    Thanks

    Snakebaby
    ishopworld.com

  8. #8
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    Yes link exchanging can be a time consuming thing to do, but it eventually pays off. What i suggested has worked great for me. I did go to your site and saw that it did have a page rank of 3. So you are ranked in Google. Is this not showing up on your toolbar?

    Nothing focuses the mind better than the constant sight of a competitor who wants to wipe you off the map.
    --Wayne Calloway

  9. #9
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    Well, I checked it again and did see rank of 3 this time. Guess I opened my local page last time and wasn't thinking what I was doing. Ok, that's a bit relief, or I would be wondering how come I was different than rest of us:-

    Thanks for all your help.

    Snakebaby
    ishopworld.com

  10. #10
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> 1. When you said link exchange would not help your engine ranking, did you mean it will not help if a site already has good ranking?

    2. How did a site get a good ranking in google at first place if it never had any backward links? Is it because they started the site at early stage when google wasn't using this 'link' method? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    1 - no, I didn't mean this.
    2 - You do need links into your site to get into Google (although there was a time when this wasn't true).

    You are all talking about EXCHANGING links as a means to get high ranking. You don't need to exchange links. What you need to do is to get links into your site. Whether you exchange links with another site or not is pretty irrelevant. If you get lots of courtesy links in to your site, it will improve your ranking. It will also improve it far more than if you have lots of exchanged links going in and out of your site.

    I hope that makes it clearer.

    Search Engine Positioning - 1 Design 4 Life

  11. #11
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    Thanks markymark.

    I believe I understand what you meant though still left a bit confused at this point after reading all the posts. But anyway, I decided to confirm few more things and hope you have the answer for me.

    1. About 'courtesy' links
    My understanding is, for example, I linked to HGTV but without them linking back, that is a courtesy link, and that is much better than trading links with tons of other sites like mine. Am I right?

    2. If the answer is yes, where is the place to put these links? Is link.htm the good place? Also if that is true, why do people out there are still crazy about exchanging links?

    3. Even say I need to do someting about outbound links or any other things to improve my ranking, it is still hard for me to believe when I found out that I couldn't see a shadow of my 'baby furniture' page after all other 'book stores', 'kitchen stores'... that have nothing or little to do with baby furniture ranked much better than my page (a page that is named baby_furniture.htm, and first keyword in the title is baby furniture stores, and of course the content is full of the term 'baby'). I feel like something is not right with google's spdering. Do you have any clue? Even one line comment would be greatly appreciated.

    I honestly still don't know what should be the next best way to improve my ranking before all clouds are gone. Today is the very first time that I ever felt like (for a short moment) I was losing interest in doing all these. I'm so tired and no one at home can help me and taking care of two little kids is another taugh job I have to do days and nights.

    Looking forward to your brief response. Thanks.

    Snakebaby
    ishopworld.com

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