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Monday, December 05, 2005

What Linking Techniques are Relevant with Google

Insightful article concerning Google's suspected plans concerning link relevance after the Jagger update.

Relevant Linking With Post-Jagger(naut) Google

Since the last Google dance reciprocal links lost some of their magic. Before, their very existence ensured high search engine rankings. But Google rocked the world (wide web) when it began to evaluate the relevancy of those links. Many high-ranking sites woke up to find themselves suddenly plunged to the bottom of the list, replaced by newer, seemingly less important, sites. Why? Relevancy.

Google found that its own value as a search engine was being threatened when too many searches resulted in returns of little or no relevancy. Realizing how damaging this was, it set out to re-align the universe, or at least the web. And with good reason.

Since the birth of the internet, links have been its cornerstone. That was the entire point of the internet: For computers at various locations (initially colleges and government locations) to be able to "link" to each other. As it became available to the general public, relevancy became an issue, but only as an organizational tool. With the introduction of commercialization, a sudden boom created a demand that a general organizational tool be developed. And search engines answered that need. So, in essence, search engines are all about relevancy.

But until recently the progamming tools available to analyze these links was limited. They could only see "x" amount of links and whether they were in-bound, out-bound or reciprocal. While they had the capability of analyzing millions of sites in a few minutes, they lacked the programming to break down the results, until recently.

The result?

Those who worked so hard to create massive link directories (also known as linkfarms) on their sites in order to force their rankings up find, instead, all they've "harvested" is link graveyards. And, though it's painful for them, it is necessary, too.

But the motivation of those marketers in search of massive amounts of links is understandable. Because, to them, link relevancy equates to promoting their own competition. Who wants a link that may, in some way, pull traffic away from their own site? While that may seem possible, the truth is that is not necessarily the case.

Understanding link relevancy, without linking to the competition, is the key to successful reciprocal linking today. So what IS non-competitive reciprocal linking.

Say, for example, a site sells baseball equipment. They link to every other baseball related site-- that DOESN'T sell equipment. Little league sites, major league fan sites and sites for adult league baseball.

But it could also, strictly speaking, move on to other sports equipment sites. And, because baseball is a game and "games and toys" go together, it could link to other toy sites, especially outdoor toy sites and still be considered relevant on another level.

Taking that one step further, because baseball is a popular sport for kids, it could also link to school-related sites. Then, backing up again and exploring the avenue of adult league baseball, it could link to businesses that typically support those leagues: restaurants and bars, for instance. And, unless that baseball equipment league sells uniforms, it could link to sports-uniform sites. The list goes on and on. And all of those sites are relevant in some way to baseball equipment.

This is, of course, a lot more work than simply linking to every other willing site. But there is a twofold bonus in this. Because, not only will 10 well-related sites linked together do much more for rankings in the search engines, the actual direct links will be much more active themselves, producing high-quality traffic that will lead to direct sales.

One of the most important factors in understanding the internet is that it has become, like the real world, "worlds within worlds," (niches) or a place where whole sub-cultures can happily co-exist without touching any other sub-culture. Yet the magic of the internet is that we are not confined to, nor defined by, any one sub-culture.

About This Author:

Marige O'Brien works as a writer, web designer and internet marketer. Her website, Tracker Mo's Den (, is a collection of some of the best affiliate programs and internet marketing tools available. And, for the most part, the links on her website are all relevant to that.

Big Oak SEO can help with your linking strategies and more importantly help you with your online web marketing strategy.


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