What a great idea, and one that we have been trying out ourselves. Creating entire pages to swap links in and supplying content to other sites to link to you are wonderful ideas. As link marketing becomes more competitive we shall see how things change in the SEO world.
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 quality.
- 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 re-used.
This strategy will have the following benefits:
- Improves the chances of a successful link swap because you are not hiding the reciprocating link in a rarely visited “resources page”.
- 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 link request.
- 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.
- 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 link partners.
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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 search rankings.
Hosted Marketing Pages are also 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 ihttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gifn 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