Friday, May 13, 2005

Give Google What it Wants

Recent developments on the Google front have gotten web marketers and SEO specialists talking even more than usual. What they're talking about is the changing Search Engine Optimization landscape. Some of the traditional assumptions about what gets good Google ranking have been challenged by things Google has said over the last few months -- especially by the filing of their most recent patent.

A number of sensible suggestions have emerged about good SEO practice. I will comment on a number of them in the next few posts.

1. Don't add links too quickly or all from one or two sources -- Google wants a "natural" linking pattern.

This is not a new suggestion, but Google seems to be prepared to penalize sites which engage in blatant link buying. Clearly this is targeted at services that sell links by the hundreds (or thousands). So one month a site has no links, and the next month it has 2,000 or 20,000 links from one or two "name" sites. Obviously these links have happened because of link buying.

I don't believe Google is trying to discourage all link buying, since, after all, links are just a form of advertising, and Google cannot discourage buying advertising without being blatantly inconsistent. Google itself is one of the primary sources of purchased web advertising.

What they are trying to do is safeguard the integrity of their search results by discouraging the practice of buying large chunks of links to dramatically influence Page Rank and Search Engine positioning. They want Page Rank and SE positioning to be a result of website quality and relevance. And virtually all SEO experts have maintained that quality and relevance come fairly gradually as a site grows and its content develops. So the "natural" development of links would be more or less in lock step with the development of content.

This means that link programs like our own Linknet Advertising packages are not the sort of thing Google is discouraging.

Why? Because...

1. No current Linknet package gives you more than 100 links at a time. We encourage you to add links from a variety of sources, Linknet being only one. We also encourage you to come back a month or two down the road and add some more links. In other words, add links gradually over the course of four or five months until you have a few thousand.

2. Virtually all Linknet packages include links from a wide range of websites. We have 30 or so sites of our own. All of them contain content-rich pages, and we try to put your links on content-rich pages that match the target site's content as closely as possible. We also work with a number of 3rd party partners where we place your links. Typically a package of 100 links from Linknet will be spread over about 60 different websites or blogs.

3. Linknet packages usually include posts on blogs like this one, and short articles on article sites like So, again, your links are "embedded" in content-rich articles or posts that cannot be construed as "spam" in any sense.

If you would like further information about Linknet link opportunities, visit the Linknet website.

By the way, we have just developed a package that gives you links on PR2, PR3, and PR4 pages. They are available in batches of 10, will remain in place for one year, and are very reasonably priced. Get more information


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