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|Artificial Linking and Search Rankings
by Eric Ward, aka LinkMoses
November 13, 2006
By now just about everyone who depends on the Web for a livelihood is aware that links are a key part of how all major search engines rank their results. Stated simply, if you want to rank well, you must be well-linked. Where you rank in search results is due to a combination of factors, one of which is the trustworthiness of the links pointing back to your site.
What exactly does "well-linked" mean? You get different answers to this question. Marketers agree to "avoid artificial link schemes" or "dont get too many links too fast," but there's far more disagreement than agreement as to what constitutes a truly legitimate inbound link profile (IBLP).
In a little known page in the Google Librarian Center, "How does Google collect and rank results?", Google engineer Matt Cutts states:
"As a rule, Google tries to find pages that are both reputable and relevant. If two pages appear to have roughly the same amount of information matching a given query, we'll usually try to pick the page that more trusted websites have chosen to link to "Three words jump out at me: reputable, relevant, and trusted.
From Theory to Practice
One last bit of advice. Have a look at Google search results for the phrase (with quotes around it) "artificial linking". The fact that there are so many people writing about the problem shows you how widespread the problem is. Read through a few of those results and you will see many artificial linking tactics and rules and warnings. Pay special attention to the warnings and -- unless you are willing to accept the consequences -- do not engage in linking schemes to fool the engines.
Link well my friend, -LM
|About the Author|
Ward founded the Web's first services for announcing, linking, and
building buzz for Web sites, called NetPOST,
in 1994, and in 1995 he launched the URLwire
Site Announcement Network, which today has millions of readers
and remains the only service devoted 100% to announcing useful web content.
Eric is best known as the person behind the first linking campaigns for
and PBS.org. His services won the 1995
Award For Internet Marketing Excellence, and he was selected as
one of the Web's 100 most influential people by Websight Magazine
in 1997. Eric is a 4-star speaker at Jupiter's Search Engine Strategies
conferences, and he publishes a monthly how-to newsletter called THE
WARD REPORT: Link Building and Content Publicity Tactics.
Eric writes online marketing advice columns for Web
Marketing Today and I, and previously for ClickZ.com
and Ad Age magazine. Eric, his wife Melissa and toddler
Noah live in Knoxville, Tennessee.