Saturday, November 05, 2005

So You Want to Trade Links ?

We see them everyday in our in box."I would like to link to your site".
I suggest you choose your links and create your links pages with as much care as you would your homepage.

Go to the web site requesting to link with you. Using the Google toolbar check for the following:

(If you don't have the Google toolbar you should. Go the and search Google toolbar)

1. Has the homepage been indexed by Google?
2. When were they last indexed?
3. Is the link page where they placed your web site hyperlink been indexed by Google?
4. How many links are on the links page? Less than 100 - over 100?
5. Are the links relevant to your business or are they mixed links?
6. Finally - Pretending for a moment that search engines do not exist. Now ask yourself, 'Is this a useful place or resource for a web site visitor.

You might also want to download the Alexa toolbar. I use both Alexa's and Google's tool bar.

When you are looking at web sites requesting links you can see if their web site is listed in the top 100 ~100, 000 ~ 500,000 ~ 1,000,000 and so on. With the number of web sites numbering in the billions this can be a useful metric of determining whether or not to link with a particular web site.

Too many link pages are built for search engines and not human visitors.

The new Google update detects this. This probably will not get your web site banned, but it certainly won't help your rankings. I'm not trying to tell you how to run your link campaign, but
I am very careful not to link to a page built for search engines versus a page built for humans. In light of this update and feedback from other SEO pros I have lightened my link load, added
heavy descriptions for each link and removed links not (closely related) to my business. When time permits I may even add thumbnails of my link partner web sites.

I want my links page to be a resource for users not spider food for search engines.

The Google Jagger Update
Google has made some major changes to their search engine algorithms. However, the Google updates have not fully run the course. Some of the most widely discussed elements for this Google update include:

• Hidden text, especially text that is hidden in CSS or DIV layers
• Paid linking or reciprocal linking that is considered outside of “Google Quality Guidelines
• Using internal links or anchor text as one’s sole source of optimization


This should improve your position. Create thoughtful pages with links and detailed link descriptions. "Build it for the user" not the "spiders".

See my link partners page:
It's not perfect, but I'm striving to create a better page that will interest a casual or professional visitor.

More info about the Google update here:

About the Author
Ricardo Vidallon Site Owner and Designer