People who use search engines are looking for what they want. Search engine operators have a vested interest in providing a list of sites the searchers want. Webmasters and site owners have a vested interest, for our purposes, in finding people that want what they offer.

In general, the world wide web is a linked network for connecting searchers with what they want. Hence, the importance of links.

Webmasters have a vested interest in increasing the quantity of links from outside their sites to their sites, but the historical problem with mere quantity has been systemic to the web. sobitech Searchers became overwhelmed by unwanted information–link spam. Links indiscriminately broadcast to increase quantity also produced unmanageable clutter and inefficiency for search engines.

One answer to the problem of unbridled link quantity has been the organization of sites in directories. Directories like Yahoo! arrange sites into categories, making searches more manageable. Site submission to some directories are free, some require payment. Some directories are are highly valued, some less so. Sites must qualify to be placed on certain directories and be categories appropriately if they are.

Another answer to link spam has been the sometimes difficult process of rating the quality of links. For example, a recommendation from a reputable site adds to the reputation of the recommended site–and conversely, a recommendation from a site with a poor reputation can be detrimental to the recommended site. Search engines use link quality (among other factors) to rank sites closer to or farther from the top of the list when searches are made.

Similarly, if a webmaster places a link to his or her own site on another site, it may be valued less (by search engines) than a link placed by someone making an independent judgment about the site. Links easily placed on social networking sites by webmasters referring to their own sites are discounted, at least by Google.

Link quality can also be related to relevance. How many persons viewing a page for tissue paper would also welcome a link on that page to a site regarding tin mining? On the flip side, a link placed voluntarily by a cat-related site to a dog-related site may be based on the earned reputation of the dog site and be relevant and helpful to pet-owning searchers.

If the cat and dog sites place links to each other, the searcher may not know it, but the search engine may view the arrangement as “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours,” and devalue the quality of the link. However, the links are of some advertising value to the site owners because of the relevance. If one webmaster/site owner had both a cat and a dog site, he could similarly benefit from linking the two. The webmaster’s pet-related blog could link to both.

Articles published on article marketing sites can also add links to the webmaster’s site, and will have greater usefulness or quality if the article contents are somehow relevant to the link.

Of course, the webmaster may benefit somewhat from exposure even where relevance may be dubious and link quality minimal. In addition to social media, exchanging links, and article marketing (above), advertising exposure can be gained in comments on blogs and forums that allow such links.

However, if the blog or forum controllers find mere comment spam, they may choose not to display the comment and link. Comments must be valuable and engage in the social network, blog, or forum discussion. And preferably, the topic and the linked site are relevant to each other.

Understanding searchers and search engines helps webmasters and site owners build up a quantity of quality links to increase their targeted advertising exposure and search engine ranking. Short cuts probably will not work in the long run.

Peter Rubel joined a team of internet marketers in 2008. See his blog [] for more internet marketing tips and opportunities or click his sit



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