The problem with Search Engine Optimization is
that every body does it. Whenever a new technique gets into the
public domain, it soon becomes overused. As the SE industry is
itself becomes more and more competitive, increasing the
pressure to deliver relevant, quality results, the search
engines quickly devalue it for their algorithms, in order to
maintain the credibility and usability of their search results.
Linking is a case in point. A central factor to
“relevancy”, inward/outward links contribute significant weight
to page rank and overall search ranking. However, as linking is
now both hackneyed and abused, the SE’s are damping or reducing
the weighting attached to certain types of links. As they become
more sophisticated, the SE’s are able to differentiate between
links for their relevance both to the page they are on and the
page they point to.
This has in turn led to a renewed emphasis on
quality content useful, unique, timely, fresh and links that
fit into this new paradigm are given more weighting than those
that don’t. Not only are link farms out, but links on so-called
resource pages, even when properly categorized and sparingly
placed (not more than 100 per page) are being penalized. The
SE’s, unable to fully differentiate between organic link
building, and software-enabled, cookie-cutter link spamming have
tweaked their algorithms to consider the context in which the
link is placed. The factors being considered are:
· The number of links on
a single page for “quality links” not more than 5.
· The link to text ratio
the fewer links per quantity of text, the higher the link
· The link relevance both
to the content of the page the link is hosted on, and the page
it points to.
· The keyword focus this
should be as narrow as possible both to channel maximum ranking
weight to the links, as well make for a readable, useful page.
This brings up the meat of the issue. In order to
benefit from inbound links, it is becoming necessary to alter
the way in which they are obtained and placed. Two alternative
methods are coming into vogue, and now is the time to take
advantage of them before everyone gets on to the bandwagon.
One of them is a variation on the reciprocal
linking theme “Deep Linking”; the other is a form of article
syndication “Hosted Marketing Pages”.
Deep linking is where you as Webmaster, link to
another site directly from an article or relevant webpage,
rather than from a typical link directory or “resource page”.
You then request a reciprocal link in exchange, back to that
specific page, or any other that you nominate, specifying your
required anchor text.
To give effect to this strategy, carefully peruse
the targeted sites, and establish the pages to which you would
like a reciprocating link. They should be relevant and
complementary to your own page. If necessary, compose new
articles/pages just for this purpose, but many site owners will
have in archive many pages/articles that can be dusted off and
This strategy will have the following benefits:
1. Improves the chances of a
successful link swap because you are not hiding the
reciprocating link in a rarely visited “resources page”.
2. As a variation on the
general link-swapping theme, it proves that you indeed have
carefully assessed the target site for right fit with your own,
getting the reciprocating Webmaster more eager to link with you.
You are then much more likely to get a positive response to your
3. Allows you some influence
on where and how your own link will be placed, unlike in
traditional link exchange, because you will have “optimized” the
reciprocating link favorably to the linking partner, and
established on which specific pages you want a link from, and
the anchor text for the link.
4. Ironically, because you
can reduce the number of links on your traditional links page by
moving many of them to your deeply linked article pages, it
boosts the link popularity of the remaining links. This
increases the value, and credibility of these links as honest
recommendations from you, generating traffic from them to the
5. This type of link is much
more targeted, as it is directly relevant both to the page it is
displayed on, and the one it points to. Properly optimized the
traffic it obtains will be predisposed to the subject matter,
enhancing site conversion for both linking partners.
6. You are able to build page
rank for pages other than your index page.
Hosted Marketing Pages
Hosted Marketing Pages are nothing new in and of
themselves. Essentially they are highly optimized articles on
specific topics that contain equally optimized links pointing
back to the relevant page on your own site. They may contain
sales material for your own products and services, or they may
be of a more general nature.
What is new is that you apply to have these
pages/articles hosted on another, highly ranked web site, in
return for a fee. This is essentially Search Engine-friendly
text-link. It is SE-friendly because the links are contained in
a highly optimized and relevant page, and therefore get around
the link damping that search engines are currently engaged in,
due to link purchasing.
The following benefits accrue to you:
1. Such pages/articles will
serve as a magnet for targeted traffic pre-qualified traffic, as
they are optimized for your keywords. They thus serve to boost
your site conversion ratios.
2. Since the links they
contain are also highly optimized, and wrapped around
keyword-themed content, those links will be categorized as
“quality links” thus boosting the link popularity of the pages
they point to (your own). This in turn gives a fillip to your
Hosted Marketing Pages are also being termed
Pre-selling Pages or Content Hosting because they are very
similar to affiliate pages/sites in that they serve to pre-sell
your site’s services or products. You retain much more control
on content than in an affiliate situation; there is no
qualifying action necessary to trigger your payment for the
hosting of the article, and of course affiliates, typically,
will not have done the high level, tightly focused optimization
that such a page entails.
The two approaches are fairly similar in that
they are both about an article-embedded, optimized-links
strategy. They differ in that Deep Linking is reciprocal linking
or link exchange and is therefore free, while Hosted Marketing
Pages is a service you would have to pay for. It however offers
the advantage of giving you greater control over your web copy,
as you would retain the copyright to your own material. Because
a fee is involved, you are much more likely to find sites
willing to engage in this kind of link trading.
Hosted Marketing Pages also offer more valuable
one-way links, while deep linking is a link swap whose value for
search engines is lower.
Whichever method suits you, backlinks are too
valuable a traffic generation and site promotion technique to
leave to the vagaries of search engine changing algorithms. Jump
in and be one of the early adopters, and gain valuable exposure
before the rest of the web catches on.
For more details on these two revolutionary linking
and traffic-generation methods read Jack Humphrey's
Power Linking 2: Evolution.