What’s The Deal With Search Engines And Text Link Ads?

When did hypertext links become the enemy? Google’s PageRank began a burgeoning
search engine optimization link building industry that now seems to be out of
control. What’s the deal with text link ads? Isn’t a link just a link? Not
really, at least according to recent blog and forum posts.

In the Beginning There Were Links

A simple concept, hyperlinks connected the websites within the world wide web.
Linking is what the world wide web is about. This certainly didn’t start with
search engines, but rather with hyperlinks created with HTML code. The rules for
producing viable websites joining the world wide web sprang from this language.
So why is there so much power allotted to search engines and their rules about
linking? Sad to say but the past linking between sites voting for quality have
gotten muddled in the link building frenzy. Search engines have created their
own linking monster.

What Is This rel=” nofollow” Tag Anyway?

Much of the search engine forum discussion started with Google representative
Matt Cutts suggesting that O’Reilly Media use the rel=”nofollow” tag to keep off
topic links O’Reilly Media sold to essentially “not count” when search engine
robots came across the links for indexing purposes. The idea is that this tag
can be used to negate the power of the link vote for link popularity when the
webmaster is linking to what is often called a “bad neighborhood”. This may be
seen as a suggestion by Google, or it could be Google’s way of popularizing the
nofollow tag so it is used by webmasters for their own paid text link ads on
webmaster websites. Only time will tell.

Matt Cutts Comments On Reputable Sites & Link Selling

http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/showthread.php?threadid=7651

The recent flurry of posts regarding O’Reilly Media’s text link ads has produced
some interesting comments from Search Engine Watch Forums members and
Threadwatch members:

O’Reilly In Off-Topic Link Selling Debate

http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/showthread.php?threadid=7496

Google Admit Problems with Text Link Ads

http://www.threadwatch.org/node/3706

Danny Sullivan offers an explanation of this new tag in his Search Engine Watch Blog:

Google, Yahoo, MSN Unite On Support For Nofollow Attribute For Links

http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/050118-204728

Definition Of The rel=”nofollow” Tag:

http://microformats.org/wiki/relnofollow

“By adding rel=”nofollow” to a hyperlink, a page indicates that the destination
of that hyperlink SHOULD NOT be afforded any additional weight or ranking by
user agents which perform link analysis upon web pages (e.g. search engines).
Typical use cases include links created by 3rd party commenters on blogs, or
links the author wishes to point to, but avoid endorsing.”

The original idea behind this tag was focused on decreasing link and comment
spam, particularly for blog sites. When you purchase text link ads webmasters
should be aware that the rel=”nofollow” tag may be present in the link page
source code, thus the link may end up being worthless in terms of ranking.

The Real Problem

How do the search engine algorithms differentiate between a simple text link and
a paid text link ad? The real problem may lie in the probability that Google and
other search engines are unable to differentiate between regular links and paid
links, such as text link ads, within their current algorithms.

This creates a great deal of work on the search engines part to track and
understand the true motivation for a link on a page. Certainly the issue may be
raised that webmasters who sell text link ads may cut into the business model of
the search engines text ad programs.

The Real Solution

The linking problem was created by the emphasis on the need for link voting to
improve link popularity and search engine ranking. This originated primarily
through the creation of Google’s PageRank. If the search engines created the
situation, shouldn’t the search engines then also provide the solution? Instead
of suggesting webmasters add the rel=”nofollow” tag to their pages to make the
search engines job easier, wouldn’t it make sense to create better search engine
algorithms? Maybe it is time to get rid of the toolbars and change the way
search engines value linking. From every comment I’ve seen on this subject it
certainly seems to be the right choice to make.

# # #

The Link Building Matrix – Reloaded

The blue pill or the red pill? If given the choice which one would you take? If you take the blue pill you will return to your online website and everything will be the same as before (including your rankings), or take the red pill and let’s see how deep the rabbit hole goes.

So what is the Matrix? The Matrix is a simulated world where nothing is real, and yet we use it to communicate, share and do business on a daily business. When the Matrix began it was a simple experiment, but as the Matrix grew, it became more and more complex to find whatever it was you were searching for. Along came the search spiders moving one link at a time, scanning across the virtual world, and searching for information became easy.

But the Matrix has a fundamental flaw. The Matrix was available to only those who were linked-in to it.

What is the link building Matrix?

The link building Matrix is the strategy to build the “right kind (Matrix) of quality links” for the purpose of creation of multiple doorways to your site from diverse sources, all leading to you (or your website). The more related credible websites and popular user communities pointing to your website, the better will be your link reputation. Building a strong link reputation will ensure higher search rankings.

So let’s explore the various sources for building quality links that can enhance your link building campaign and build link reputation. Please note that the points below are not listed in any particular order or prominence or importance.

1. Directory submissions: Submitting your website to high page ranked and relevant web directories will get you links and access to the community of web users. Web directories are like the yellow pages, and who amongst us have not opened a yellow page to find a service, product or person.

2. Article Submissions: Submitting your articles to high page ranked and relevant article submissions sites will get you links, access to the reader’s community, and add to your credibility as an expert in your domain.

3. Social Bookmarking: Submitting your stories/ articles/ blog posts to high page ranked and relevant social bookmarking sites will get you links, access to the user communities, and add to your link reputation (once the vote’s start coming in). User generated content and user communities are gaining more importance with search engines by the day.

4. Blogger Reviews: Submitting your website to high page ranked and relevant blogs will get you high value links, access to the community of readers of those bloggers, and build link reputation. A recommendation or review from prominent bloggers with a good reader’s base is a very credible link, and readers generally trust the recommendations of the blogger so they may visit your website. If you finding it hard to get bloggers to do a review, start your own blog and build links from there to your own website.

5. Announce PR: Submitting your news releases to high page ranked PR release sites will get you the links, access to the PR community, and often journalists looking for a good story.

6. Social Networking: Creating your business profiles on various high page ranked and relevant social networking sites (Facebook, Linkedin) will get you links, access to the community, and often new friends.

7. Video Submissions: Submitting your videos (how to, interviews, tips and advice, promos etc) to relevant video sites will get you links, access to the community (YouTube), and increase your view ship base with users who loves to watch rather than read.

8. Vertical Engines: Submitting your website to relevant vertical search engines (catering to your industry/ type of service) will get you links (at times), access to their community of seekers, and targeted traffic.

9. Industry Portals: Requesting for link from your industry specific portal can be very helpful for getting a quality link, access to their community of users, and add to your credibility in the business.

10. Discussion Forums: Also participate in Industry specific discussion forums and add value by giving your inputs and comments. All comments are linked back to your website. Though these links (with comments) don’t hold much value with search engines, it can hurt to get them, and if your comments are interesting enough you may get a reader who clicks to your website.

11. Go Local: Get your address on Google Maps, Yahoo Local etc. Not only will it be a quality link, you will also get listed in the local listings on search results page. Local listings are always displayed before the global listings. E.g. A user from Mumbai searching for the services of a SEO expert in Mumbai would prefer to check the local listings first to find vendor in close vicinity.

12. Wikipedia: Getting a page/s on Wikipedia with a link to your website will add to your link reputation. Keep in mind though that you cannot promote a person, product or company on Wikipedia. All content on Wikipedia must be verifiable, written as if for an encyclopedia.

13. Blog Commenting: By leaving wise and meaningful comments on relevant blogger’s sites will get you a link but ensure that your comments are adding value to the bloggers community of users.

14. Answering Questions: There are many sites where users ask questions and other users answer those questions. Sites like Yahoo Answers are a great way to get links, access to the community of users, and be the helpful person that you are.

15. Make Friends: In the linking world, building a link is like making a friendship. So make friends with someone who has a lot of friends… you get me. But beware, like in between friends there can be misunderstandings, in building good links there can be misunderstandings. Make sure there is a win-win for all parties involved.

16. Building Content: At the end of the day if you have great content, other websites will want to link back to your content so that their user’s community benefits from your content. Many times they may do so directly (depending on the copyrights), or even request you if they can link to your website. This is by far the best link building strategy.

BEWARE: In the link Matrix there are many Agents who give out sweet promises of seemingly impossible feats of building thousands of quality links to your website overnight. I guess the truth is out. Some of us dumb SEO’s actually spend months and months working hard to implement a link building campaign. If there was some shortcuts believe me I would have been the first one to jump at it, but in the link building world there are no shortcuts just good ol’ passion, know how, contacts and persistence.

Reload your Link Matrix?

So what are you waiting for? Boost you link building campaign with a healthy mix of Directory Submissions, Vertical Engine submissions, Discussion Forums, Article Submissions, Social Bookmarking, PR Announce, Deep Linking, Special Freinds, Blogger Reviews, Commenting on Blog, Social Networking, Video Submissions, Google Maps, Yahoo Local and more…

Future of the World Wide Web

How The World Wide Web Was Born:

While working at CERN as a software engineer in 1989, Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web. CERN is a large particle physics laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland where many scientists participate in experiments around the world. These scientists were eager to exchange data and results but were having difficulties doing so due to the distance. Berners-Lee describes the creation of the world wide web a an act of desperation. Most of the technology that is involved in the world wide web was already present, such as hypertext and the internet. Berners-Lee just linked them together into a lager imaginary documentation system-a web. He combined hypertext with the internet and connected that with the Transmission Control Protocol and domain name system; thus giving birth to to the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP).

The first ever website was about the WWW project itself. The 1993 copy of the original still exists at its original address. The site was set up so visitors could learn about the web and access details for creating their own web pages. Despite some small changes, the three fundamental technologies remain the foundation’s of today’s web: HTML, URI, and HTTP. These acronyms changed the way the entire world operates and communicates.

What This Means For Today:

So, what’s the guy who changed the world (and was Knighted for it) doing these days? Besides talking a lot in front of eager nerds and running the World Wide Web Foundation, he’s working on some new developments to continue to revolutionize his already revolutionary idea.

Firstly let me say this: the things that happen with the web has far surpassed anyone’s expectations at its inception. The original website was built to exemplify a way to send information in document form. What we do here at Logic and what other web developers do (though let’s face it, not as well) is manipulate files in the web to look great and do cool stuff. What Berners-Lee is doing now is getting web designers and developers to not get lost in the design and forget about the importance of raw data. The term he is using as the future of the world wide web is “Linked Data.” The best and probably simplest example of this (IMHO) is Wikipedia. When you go to a Wiki page, there’s invariably boxes on the sides that has pulled data from the entry and will link to other descriptive information from the original data. The benefit of this is that a person can then explore other useful information and hopefully bring them to a better understanding of the original search.

The power of linked data goes way beyond the random “What the heck is that? Let’s Google it… ” that we experience daily. In Berners-Lee’s TED Talk on Linked Data, he uses the example of government data being put on the web for everyone to view. Should these documents be linked, it enhances our relationship to it. We can then explore the information as it relates to our lives in business, school, etc. Programs such as “dbpedia” are being developed in order extract the arbitrary (linked) data and link it to other data and so on. Some questions that we may have for Google are far more complex. When utilizing linked data on our sites it creates a broader relationship than the typical hyperlink and makes the information extracted by Google (Bing, Yahoo, etc…) more relevant.

Basically, the guy who invented the world wide web wants us to do our part to create an incredible resource of data. The framework exists in his development of the web but now we are challenged to take it a step further by creating a more personal relationship to the data. He’s the genius, I say we listen to him.