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Q: Links pages and Google ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Links pages and Google
Category: Computers > Internet
Asked by: legion01-ga
List Price: $50.00
Posted: 12 Sep 2003 01:46 PDT
Expires: 12 Oct 2003 01:46 PDT
Question ID: 254939

We have a site which currently has very few
reciprocal links.

I understand that by exchanging links with similar reputable sites in
my industry I can improve my sites Page Rank.  I know that it is
counterproductive to have links from FFA pages etc.

I was thinking of adding a links page ( or resources etc ) as other
sites often expect a link back etc and I have seen this sort of thing
on higher ranked sites.  However a colleague has told me that Google
is changing how it ranks sites and this may do harm that good etc. My
site has a Page Rank of 2/10 which I know isn't very high.

Our site is full of our services etc so it would be hard to introduce
more than a few links embedded ( referring to industry bodies etc)
into the body of the text without loosing the marketing appeal etc

I would like guidance on what I should be do.  If possible with
examples of what is seen to be good and what is not etc


Subject: Re: Links pages and Google
Answered By: slawek-ga on 12 Sep 2003 11:21 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Good Day legion01-ga,

You have the basics down right, so I will build on what you already
know. When you say FFA I assume you are referring to free-for-all
pages, also known as link farms. Having a link to your website on a
link farm will not damage your PR. What will damage your PR and
perhaps even get you banned from Google is outbound links TO link
farms. Let's look at the logic behind this setup:

- When a link farm links to you, you have no control over the link.
Maybe your competition wanted to damage your reputation, and added you
in. Maybe a link farm is just starting out, and in an effort to
populate their pages they put in random links without consent.
Whatever the case, it is considered that you have no control over
inbound links. They cannot harm your PR.

- Linking to a link farm is the opposite. Unless someone hacked your
website, you or someone in your organization is responsible for the
outbound link. You have full control. If you are linking to a website
that has been deemed by Google to be a link farm, your PR will suffer.
Linking to a couple link farms will probably only result in a hit to
your PR, while larger numbers of outbound links to such sites will get
your domain name black listed on Google. Once you are blacklisted, the
only way to get back on is to register with a new domain name.

While I am very active in the Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) online
communities, I have never heard of any upcoming changes that would
penalize a website for having a link page. The only draw back to a
link page I am aware of is "link ratio dilution". Let me explain:

There is a set maximum PR value that can be assigned to links on any
given page.  If you have 5 links, this value is divided into 5. If you
have 500 links, this value is divided into 500. This example is
oversimplified because there are other factors that will determine how
much value can be given to each link. However, this should suffice for
our case example.

The link dilution is in place for many reasons. From taking a bite out
of link farms, to devaluing "useless" links like guest book pages. If
there was no link dilution, we could just all run around the Internet
and sign a thousand guest books to create backlinks. With the system
in place, if there are too many links on a page, each link will only
receive a tiny amount of additional PR. A guest book that holds your
website address, and a thousand other entries will not boost your PR.

As a website owner, I would not fear to put in a links page. I WOULD
avoid the practise based on the principle that if I put in someone's
link on my link page, chances are that my link will land up on their
link page. With a hundred other links on that page, the PR I will gain
from this arrangement is not worth my time. You might get away with
having a link to your site on the main page of another website, while
your backlink is listed on a link page. Many website owners are not
aware of PR, and how it is calculated so they might not care. Still,
as a small business owner I hate to "ask for help" without somehow
giving back. I believe that what goes around comes around.

Back links are hard work. What can you do to get the job done, and
done well?

SEO copywriting might be the answer. SEO copywriting is the task of
writing search engine friendly text on your webpages. You are probably
wondering how this has anything to do with what you are looking at
accomplishing. Here is the answer:

You might have noticed that some websites use some pretty strange
wording, and unusual sentence structure on their pages. While on first
sight the average visitor would probably dismiss this as "lack of
writing skills" on the author's part, it may in fact be SEO

SEO copywriting is very much about using keywords in proper density,
all throughout the page. This means that some things will be said
multiple times, in a few different ways. In the end one hopes that if
a user searches for information relevant to the page, they will find
the website regardless of the wording used for the search, and which
person or tense the search query was in.

You can take this practise on a side step, and start developing
content which will allow you to link right from you body of text. This
practice has many benefits:

- You are providing relevant content to the visitor, without any
- Each page that deals on different subjects has the potential for
more good
- Anchor text is one of the biggest boosters to keyword searches:
  Let us take three pages, all three linking to you. Each page that
links to
  you has only 1 link, and it leads to your website. Who will give you
  biggest advantage?

  Link 1: This link is a clickable logo of your company. The visitor
          your logo, clicks on it, and they arrive at your website.
  Link 2: This link is the form of a sentence that goes something like
          To visit our newest online partner, Legion Security, "click
          (Note that the part in quotes is the actual link)
  Link 3: This link is also in the form of a sentence:
          Visit our newest online partner, "Legion Security".
          (Again, the part in the quotes is the actual link)

Which link would you benefit the most from? Well, from a PR point of
view probably the page with the highest PR would give you the biggest
boost. What about other benefits?

Well, link 1 is an image. Search engines cannot read images, so all
they really know is there is this link going to your page from this

Link 2 is a little different... Now the search engine knows how the
link is presented to the user. Unfortunately "Click Here" is used to
describe your link. The search engine now associates the words "Click
Here" with your website. Not very useful.

Ah, but link 3, here is the biggest gem! It links to your page with
the term Legion Security! Now the search engine has extracted your URL
and associated Legion Security with it!  Next time someone does a
search for these terms, your website has a much higher chance of
coming up high in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). Of course you
can use any text in the anchor text, and thus improve the chances of
being found for the anchored keywords when a search is performed.

Anchor text is VERY important. Probably the most important thing when
targeting keywords.

By now you probably get a pretty good idea where I am going with all
this. Embedding text links is the most valuable method of linking. It
keeps the links at a pretty low number, so dilution is not a problem.
It also will give bonus for keywords used in the anchor text. If
anyone ever offers you a backlink and asks how you would like it to
show up, now you can make a much more informed decision.

I have looked over your website to get an idea on your layout and
situation. You have a very consistent design, which is excellent for
your image. It looks professional and instils confidence.

If I were in your position, I would not want to damage this with
images, logos and such. If you are going to use this form of
backlinking, it is generally best to know if before the website is
designed, so the items can be "built in" from the start. This means
space set-aside right in the layout of the page.

In your situation I would recommend text links, with the request for
the same from anyone who backlinks. Alternatively, a link page will
work but as I mentioned above, if you get placed on a link page with a
significant amount of links, don't expect to see your PR heading north
anytime soon.

As a side note, please keep in mind that there are very few people in
this world that know the Google algorithm and Google's behind the
scenes procedures. Google Answers Researchers are not part of that
small group. Any information I have provided about Google is based on
knowledge attained from SEO discussions in online forums, and many,
many hours of reading up on SEO subjects. To add to the uncertainty,
the algorithm and procedures change very often to keep a step ahead of

I hope that you have found this information of value, and that I have
answered your question at the level you expected. If not, I would be
happy to explain in more detail, or include any other information that
will increase the value of my answer. Please use the "Request
Clarification" feature if you require further assistance on this

Thank you for choosing Google Answers.


Request for Answer Clarification by legion01-ga on 12 Sep 2003 12:35 PDT

a very good answer - one extra query I have read on the google quality
guidelines that more than 100 links per page is not recommended.  Is
this a particular threshold ?   ie pages are ignored over this level
etc ? I now better understand the importance of backlinks from
anchored text but would prefer to limit my outward links to one page. 
But if successful this could be a very big pages or several?

We have corporate brochures etc with the same wording so changing the
site text at the moment is not a great option.


Clarification of Answer by slawek-ga on 12 Sep 2003 12:59 PDT
Hi legion01-ga,

What it comes down to is link dilution. There is no set number where
Google begins to ignore the content. At least none that I have ever
heard of. Looking at it from a reasoning point of view, I cannot see
any benefit for a threshold like this. The recommended 100 probably
refers to dilution. By the time 100 links are reached, they probably
become next to worthless when it comes to PR. I'd be curious to read
the article you mention, as there might be some wording in there that
I might pick up on and be able to give more insight on? Do you have
the address available?

The more pages your outward links are distributed over, the more they
will benefit their owners. Ideally, you should try to balance the
value of backlink you provide against the value you receive. Several
pages of links are better then one. Maybe have a section of related
links for each topic on your site; rather then having all links
bundled into one page? Then you can request the same from others. Ask
them not to put you on just a generic link page, but something with a
sub section. This will make your link more targeted, and also less
diluted down the road.

I have also read in several places that how high to the top your link
is can affect the PR you receive. This of course would be of little
influence when there are many links on a page, as the PR you will get
to start with will be next to nothing. However, with websites that
contain a limited number of links, being the highest link on the page
supposedly will give you better PR then if you are stuck at the bottom
of the page.

Of course, with so many factors it will be difficult to get the exact
same PR bonus as you give someone, but as long as everyone plays it
fair in the end things balance out.
> But if successful this could be a very big pages or several?

I am not sure I answered the above question, as I am not sure I fully
understand it. If I did not answer this question, could you please

legion01-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars

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