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  1. #1
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    Does it matter where your inbound links are coming from? For example, if you have a gardening web site, is it ok to exchange links with an auto parts web site or a perfume web site? I've read advice going both ways.

  2. #2
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    At the moment it is the link text which matters most. Some think that the SE's will give more weight to links from sites in your area.

    You will always hear advice both ways I'm afraid

    R

  3. #3
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    It's technically possible, though difficult, for a search engine to know the "theme" of any site and assign a relevant weighting to links, but I don't believe that this happens at the moment.

    Let's say you have a site about auto parts.. well, how does Google/whatever *know* that it's about auto parts. It might be clear to a human, but to a machine it's a bit more difficult. Sure, if the site was listed in the ODP (dmoz.org) then it would have been categorised already, but if not Google/whatever will have to categorise it through content through context and content.. which is likely to be where the problem comes in.

    I think this sort of thing *will* happen in time, and that it's just a question of getting the algos in and ironing out the bugs.
    Innovative advertising with Slimeware Corporation and Telephore. Mail-order fuel with Petrol Direct.

  4. #4
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    Thank you for the reply, let me follow up with another question . . .

    Do you recommend that I have one site with more than one category, or a separate site for each category I do? Using the previous example, can I put separate pages on the same site for the auto parts and perfume, or should each have its own mini-site because they are so different from each other? Obviously having separate sites adds a little more time and expense, but it's do-able. Thank you.

  5. #5
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    That is definately two sites for me.

    I always ask myself "if I walked into a shop to buy product A would I be happy to see product B". if not it's a different site.

  6. #6
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    Ummm I think it's up to you. There are advantages and disadvantages in each approach.
    Innovative advertising with Slimeware Corporation and Telephore. Mail-order fuel with Petrol Direct.

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador ktmkiddy's Avatar
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    Isn't this where sub-domains come into the ball park ?

    autowidegets.easypeasy.com and perfumedwidgets.easypeasy.com for example.

    Google see's two seperate sites...but u only need to buy 1 domain and 1 lot of hosting space and as far as I remember reading...google will add some PR to the sub domain if the main domain has good PR....sure there was a threa about this somewhere online.

    Malc
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  8. #8
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    I think Google is not keen on you using subdomains.. possibly because they *do* pass PR.. not sure.

    I honestly think that you shoulnd't just have one affiliate site anyway.. in my experience the vast majority of sites just don't generate any significant revenue, so you need to have several different sites going at once using different promotion techniques. You should be able to find one that works for you.. and that might not be the same as something that works for someone else.
    Innovative advertising with Slimeware Corporation and Telephore. Mail-order fuel with Petrol Direct.

  9. #9
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    I agree with Dynamoo

    I have a number of sites and they all perform differently. Even though I used pretty much the same marketing techniques for each.

    I once launched two sites at the same time. One took 3 week to get spidered by Google the other only 2 days. However the one that took lonker and has less pages indexed produces more income per day.

    I have also found that people are less likely to do link exchanges when they see you are using a subdoamin.

    Also if your server goes down then you lose all your sites and not just one.

    If a search engine drops your domain for whatever reason then they often drop the subdomains as well.

    Domains are so cheap as is hosting that you can affordably buy the doamin suitable for each product range you sell and host them on servers arround the world getting the best advantages with relatively low cost.

    R

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by tod1016
    Does it matter where your inbound links are coming from? For example, if you have a gardening web site, is it ok to exchange links with an auto parts web site or a perfume web site? I've read advice going both ways.
    Why would unrelated sites want to link to one's site? I have gone to some of these and can't even find their link to mine, yet they show up with a back link tool. Could this have anything to do with parasites?

  11. #11
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    >>Why would unrelated sites want to link to one's site?

    Either for PR, or because you yanked 'em into it when they asked for an exchange

    >>I have gone to some of these and can't even find their link to mine, yet they show up with a back link tool.

    Possibilities:
    1) They have a link to their links page somewhere, but not from the front page. Or it may even be a hidden link.
    2) They put your link in a mishmash of tons of unrelated links, and you're just missing it.
    3) They redesigned their site and moved your link to another page.
    4) They ripped your link, and Google (or whoever's backlink checker you're using) just hasn't picked that up yet.

    Last time I checked my links, I used the Google Toolbar's "search this site" ability to find the exact page G saw my link on last. (For the search, use the anchor text your link's supposed to have--not your URL.) Usually the links popped right out, but on a couple of sites they had redesigned and I had to go fish to find the new location. And on a couple of others, the link had disappeared.

    >>Could this have anything to do with parasites?

    Doubtful, IMO...
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  12. #12
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    If you can't find your link on a page that shows as having a backlink, try searching in the page's source code for your url. If that doesnt get it, try pulling up the cache of the page & searching thru the source there.

    Ross

  13. #13
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    Thanks for the tips. As a Mac user I don't have a google tool bar and must rely on other tools.

    Some of these sites seem totally unrelated and trigger porn pop ups but I guess I can't control that.

  14. #14
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dynamoo
    It's technically possible, though difficult, for a search engine to know the "theme" of any site and assign a relevant weighting to links, but I don't believe that this happens at the moment.

    Let's say you have a site about auto parts.. well, how does Google/whatever *know* that it's about auto parts. It might be clear to a human, but to a machine it's a bit more difficult. Sure, if the site was listed in the ODP (dmoz.org) then it would have been categorised already, but if not Google/whatever will have to categorise it through content through context and content.. which is likely to be where the problem comes in.

    I think this sort of thing *will* happen in time, and that it's just a question of getting the algos in and ironing out the bugs.

    This post surprised me. Anyone else? Seems contrary to many things I believe - was watching for replies from others - especially since it was a Moderator's post and in the Search Engine Insight area of ABW.

    We could begin points back and forth, but right or wrong, I've got a better idea - let's see if this is worth discussing first. Dynamoo, as a Moderator, can you set up a poll for people to vote? I've never setup a poll - if I am able, let me know and I'll do it. Be interesting ABW poll to ask:

    Regardless of other factors (like anchor text and text surrounding it), and forgetting actual human traffic from the link:
    An inbound link (IBL) from a related site helps your SEO results:
    1) same as IBL from unrelated site.
    2) more than IBL from unrelated site.
    3) less than IBL from unrelated site.
    4) it's unknown-indeterminant-don't know or care-won't say-yankees fan-I never take a position, there's a shortage you know-your mama.

  15. #15
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Guess we could also add a note about "related"... maybe an example - like the auto parts and gardening and perfume thing in the first post.

    And yes, I do realize that a poll doesn't determine what the answer actually is - but it will tell us if it's worth discussion or debate.

    And, as affiliates spend significant time seeking IBLs, I think this is a very important topic.

  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    In my experience I do believe strongly that Google cares about the relevancy of the incoming link. I heard something very interesting from an ABW member from this thread:

    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=54467

    I recently learned something interesting, google will "theme" your site keywords,
    this is why some folks get listings for keywords that they didn't specify or include. To find the google themes, go to google and type in (tilde)keyword.
    example:
    ~keyword
    You'll get bolded results for some words. For example, I entered ~fishing.
    google returned (in bolded copy) fish.
    Enter a space, minus sign and the bolded keyword.
    Ex. ~fishing -fish
    Google returns other bolded keywords, including trout. So I enter
    ~fishing -fish -trout
    and get more results with bolded keywords including lakes.
    The next step is ~fishing -fish -trout -lakes.
    Keep entering the bolded words until you get no more results. The string I ended up with for fishing is: "Your search - ~fishing - fish -trout -lakes -tackle -fishing -fish - did not match any documents."

    When you reach this point, these results are the themes google associates with the keyword "fishing".
    So if you utilize all the above theme keywords in your copy and keyword targeting, your pages are optimized for google's theme.
    This proves that Google does understand a site's theme and they understand the words that relate to each other. With this information it's very simple for Google to determine if two pages fit within the same theme. I believe strongly that Google does value sites with related links more than sites without.

    Even if Google didn't support this currently they would in a perfect world. The fact that it's being speculated means that Google is well aware of this idea. If they haven't perfected it quite yet, they will as time progresses. This is why I believe it's important to accumulate related links from well ranked sites. When I look for link exchanges, I search Google for sites that rank well for my target keywords and try to win them over with a link exchange. Because they don't need the link and they're getting good traffic, they may not be open to the idea. This is where it gets difficult.

    I also believe this is true from my own first person experiences. My oldest website ranks very well in Google and has not lost it's strongest keyword phrases for years. Google respects this site and ranks it well consistently. I used this site about a year ago to start several unrelated sites of mine. They all ranked really well at first, but as the year progressed that unrelated link became weaker as my original site stayed strong. I got some related links for my newer sites and the site with the most related links floundered less than the others as time went on. This proves to me that Google cares about relevancy.

    I hope this is helpful!
    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  17. #17
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    AdSense also seems to prove that Google can sense a site's theme. New site, 20 words of text, no metatags, no inbound or outbound links - throw up AdSense, wait for AdSense bot to crawl your text and relevant ads do show up. These ads, my research has showed me, are not strict keyword matchups from what's on your page and what a AdWords PPC'er is bidding on. Using the AdWords tools and other tools, AdSense seems to form a theme for your page and match it with a theme for individual Ad Groups - not on a keyword matchup basis. And we've all seen sites where keyword stuffing is obvious, but the adsense ads that are delivered seem to be a little off from the pbvious - I think this is because of thematic approach to matching a page's content to ads (versus keyword matching).

    I've also seen proof of some kind of strong and deep synonym algo in both adwords and the Google serps. Example - A brand name keyword of mine in AdWords would fire off for an abbreviation that seems very, very unrelated until you dug into it - it was the kit number for a replacement part for the brand and item my keyword represented. Something within Google tied together "Ford Muffler" keyword and "BTCX24" search term (I made these up - not the actual one's I have seen - but a precise hypothetical analogy). If someone types in BTCX24, how does AdWords know to fire off my broad match phrase for Ford Muffler... there's strings between things synonamous is my guess. I have seen this on a keyword basis and, within AdSense, on a thematic basis.

    Since Adsense can easily assign a theme to a page, I can see how the same technology would apply to the theme of a page where you have gotten an IBL to your site. The trickier part, and maybe what Dynamoo was saying, is how to develop a scale that scores / weighs / measures themes as... exact, close, almost, barely, not... bewteen a site and the site it links to (so they can weight the link credit). But since they can match up ads really well, I assume this same issue, the choosing and measuring and deciding which ads to deliver is very analogous to grading the similarity between two sites that are linked to one another.

    So in the poll I suggested, I'd vote for:
    An inbound link (IBL) from a related site helps your SEO results:
    2) more than IBL from unrelated site.

    And I suggest that affs aim at related sites more often than at unrelated.

    But hey, just my opinion - it's a complex issue without a doubt.

  18. #18
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Your spot on in your observation Scott. I can put up a new client with lot's of relevency within the content for their chosen keywords and target market. They get a listing ASAP, but never take off in traffic & PR until I research related manufacturers, distributors, or out of state competitor sites, and beg for a recropcal link in exchange for a showcase link on their site. Bang the PR and listing position jumps. Heck I require some local clients to team up with competitors for online sales exposure and multiple shared links. Even suggest they share some complimentary used industrial equipment listings to add relevance to Google and Yahoo and their combined sales tripled. They even talk now to each other daily....ROLMAO. That's what Webmaster Mike calls a "2fer".
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  19. #19
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    I think you need to be careful when you say site. More important I think is the pages that are ranking to each other. On a lot of sites, the topic differs depending on the section of the site. If I get a clothing link to my clothing page I don't think Google will penealize that the whole site isn't a clothing site. Hope that made sense LOL

  20. #20
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    I don't *know* how Google rates the link values, theme-wise. But I'm noticing that it *seems* that links count more if they aim at parts of the site that are related. For instance, in the situation Jack mentioned, a link to the clothes section, from another site's clothes section, would be worth more than one aiming at the front page of the mall. There does seem to be some value to having links at the front page--it passes PR--but it doesn't "kick in" in terms of effect, until I've got some "themed" links to particular sections, to clue Google in as to what terms to rank the particular areas under.


    But as for Google having the technology to determine the theme of a page, they certainly do, IMO. As others have mentioned, AdSense has it down--for the most part. And I doubt they're keeping that tech away from the Search division!

    There are things that can confound AdSense--for a while. For instance, I have a subject-specific site where the name alludes to a totally different subject than what the content actually is (the name is a little joke). It took a long time for AdSense to quit showing ads for the particular thing in the URL, even after I put [ACTUAL SUBJECT] in h1 at the top of the site! But it finally did pick up the real theme of the site. They seem to be having trouble determining what the micro-subject is, though...

    Interestingly, it wasn't until Googlebot--NOT Mediapartners-googlebot (ie, AdSensebot)--came by, that things were properly sorted out as to the general topic. This tells me that the regular search algo is indeed coming into play when determining the theme of a site.

    A couple of months ago, I would have said the idea of Google algorithmically determining the themes was complete and total bunk. But after seeing that happen to the site I described, I can't deny that they have gotten onto at least *knowing* the themes.

    As for the links, I have noticed that it's the theme of the PAGE or the theme at the folder/directory level--not the entire site--that gets picked up on best. Also it has problems with micro-categories, except in very popular areas. For instance, it's easier for it to know if a folder's pages are about "plants" or "nurseries" in general as opposed to "nursery-grown walnut trees."
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  21. #21
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    Interesting observations SNIB - what I suspected although I didn't have a clue as to the actual mechanism you demonstrated. I also suspect that linking with massive multi-topic link pages does no good (even if in the correct category) w.r.t. google and may possibly hurt your pages ranking.
    This World is Not My Home
    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

  22. #22
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackson992
    I think you need to be careful when you say site. More important I think is the pages that are ranking to each other. On a lot of sites, the topic differs depending on the section of the site. If I get a clothing link to my clothing page I don't think Google will penealize that the whole site isn't a clothing site. Hope that made sense LOL
    You are absolutely correct here.

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