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Old 11-16-2005   #1
St0n3y
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A Positive Step Forward in Link Strategies: Part Deux!

Last year I started a thread called "A Positive Step Forward in Link Strategies ", which was about looking for new ways to exchange links with other sites, namely article exchanges. While the thread received some good responses, our efforts at the whole "article exchange" program never really produced the amount of interest we were hoping, in regards to our own optimization efforts.

Over the past several weeks we've implemented a new evolution of this linking strategy, which has performed quite well in our initial testing. Again, I want to bring it to SEW to get input and ideas, etc. etc.

Here is what we got going one:

1) We write an article about an industry related topic. For this example, let's say it's a site that sells baby products. We might write an article called "important baby care tips." The article has a couple of opening paragraphs and a closing paragraph. The Bulk of the article will be written by sites we wish to exchange links with, under a section headed as "Here are some tips and ideas to assist you in your baby-care needs:". To start things off, we also write the first tip. We then invite related sites to write a 50 (plus or minus) word tip that also links to their site however they want. After we get about 10 tips, we then start the process over again with a new article, or even have several articles covering multiple topics at the same time.

2) In exchange we write a completely original article and ask them to place it on their site. Of course, we give them the option of having a full article of their own (with no other outgoing links) on our site should they choose to write one up.

As for the merits of this, it rids websites of those nasty "link" pages, while giving each site valuable content. The likelihood of these links driving traffic is substantially greater than any link page and the value of these pages to the search engines is also superior.

So there it is. I would be interested in hearing any comments, or anything that perhaps we are overlooking in this process.
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Old 11-17-2005   #2
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Excellent idea! I have often encountered the problem that people do not want to write a full article to exchange (or they do not want to pay someone to write it). Your idea resolves the problem since a person would only have to write a small amount.

I would suggest that you state only “real tips” will be accepted and not fluffy writing. That way those pages will be of real use to the end user. Plus if the people offering the advice are from quality sites the tips page could easily rank and attract natural links (depending on how well your site currently ranks). This would be great for established sites.

It might also help if you listed some quality content writers at various price points for those that want to exchange articles.
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Old 11-17-2005   #3
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Thumbs up Kudos to both

First, St0n3y, I want to commend you for your foresight last year in your "Part One" thread. Not only the article idea, but also the early understanding that linking was well on its way to a slide under Google algo microscope.

Secondly, Justilien of WBP is certainly an authority on this matter, as Jim and the guys have been advocating this successful strategy to share information in a SEO-friendly manner for some time, now.

I am not certain, however, that this allows for the complete removal of "resources" pages. These "nasty link pages" can still be very effective, if properly linked-to from within content on the site. For example, if your resources are categorized, those specific category pages can benefit from internal links from relevant pages, in my opinion. Often people discount or simply forget the power of internal links, which can carry some weight in the information/relevancy "food chain."

I look forward to responses as to how you have handled this, St0n3y and Justilien, or reasons that this may be counter-productive in your opinions.

Last edited by Chris Boggs : 11-17-2005 at 09:47 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 11-17-2005   #4
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Justilien, I think your idea about the "real tips" is a good one. Ultimately we are in control of what tips get added and what do not, just like with any link exchanges. We opted to keep the "how to" information more simplistic, but that will definitely be a consideration before posting. We are also banking on the idea that the articles will be good enough to attract natural links in and of themselves. But this brought up a dilemma that we have not yet resolved...

When we post an article on another site in exchange for a tip or article on ours, the article we write WILL be good content and should be a good link draw. But that would draw links to the link partners site rather than our own. Of course, we get benefit because that article links to us, but we are debating whether to take those same articles and place them on our site as well. That would make one article posted in two places, on on our site and one on a link partner site that links to us. Any thoughts on this? Will the duplicate content devalue the link from the partner site or would it just not matter?

As for the removal of "resource" pages. Our thoughts to this are along the lines of 1) are they really a resource for visitors, or just for link swappers? and 2) Can or will the search engines be able to pick out a "resource" page for devaluing? Can't be too difficult to detect the pattern that most resource pages use.

Aside from that, all our "resource" pages have been topical, minimal in number of outgoing links, linking to only related sites, and well linked internally. But I still don't care much for them as a concept.
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Old 11-17-2005   #5
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Yes I agree using internal link from within topical content can strengthen the power of your links pages (or any page) especially if categorized. It is much more efficient than just the simple “resource” link in the footer file. At the same time how many webmasters or SEOs are going to really take the time to do that?

If I had a new site would I add resource pages? Yes. I would make them with truly useful resources for my visitors. (I sound like a SE Rep) I actually add resource pages with useful links to a site I own on a regular basis. Why? They rank very well and attract their own links. If someone contacts me and their site is useful I add them. That rarely happens since most sites that contact me are not unique nor help my visitors.

Most links pages are not made for users. Most have no true resources. They are littered with SEOed sites. They are obviously made for link trading and can be easily devalued with any update. Yes I admit I have been a part of this. I also realized there was a whole another level of link building. I prefer to spend my time getting links from places that will give sites the most power for the longest period of time. That is why I prefer themed links in real content or links off of real sub-pages of sites.

I think it also comes down to if you are interested in long-term or short-term results. If you work with corporate sites or sites that people depend on for their livelihood I always say play it safe and shoot for long-term results. This gets into preparing for new filters (algorithm changes) SEs are likely to implement in the future.

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we are debating whether to take those same articles and place them on our site as well. That would make one article posted in two places, on on our site and one on a link partner site that links to us. Any thoughts on this? Will the duplicate content devalue the link from the partner site or would it just not matter?
I would not recommend this. You are risking duplicate content and the link on their site not counting.

Without getting into a debate on reciprocal linking how are your going to get around having a high number of reciprocal links? Better yet a lot of corporate people read this forum. If you were the in-house SEO for a single website how would you get around this?

Just my thoughts…
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Old 11-18-2005   #6
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At the same time how many webmasters or SEOs are going to really take the time to do that?
What is the "that" you're referring to?

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Most links pages are not made for users.
This is true and what we are trying to get around with the article contribution links... developing truly quality resources and links.

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I would not recommend this. You are risking duplicate content and the link on their site not counting.
That's what we were afraid of and I appreciate your input on this. Though I'm still not fully convinced. I get a number of links from articles that are distributed across many other sites. These are duplicate articles, but still providing links that show up. Any body else got any thoughts on this (I'm looking for the wisdom in a multitude of counsel!)

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Without getting into a debate on reciprocal linking how are your going to get around having a high number of reciprocal links? Better yet a lot of corporate people read this forum. If you were the in-house SEO for a single website how would you get around this?
I think the quality of the articles themselves lend to building additional links naturally. Good content, that provides truly helpful information AND helpful links. That should be a magnet for natural one-way links by itself. (which is why we are considering putting the same articles on our own sites as well, to build up the value of the site as a whole and therefore get more natural one-way links in the process.
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Old 11-18-2005   #7
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IMO the principal of embedding links within content is very sound, for special recips I often create specific content to "justify" the link.
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Old 11-18-2005   #8
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Question Too much of a good thing?

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I get a number of links from articles that are distributed across many other sites. These are duplicate articles, but still providing links that show up. Any body else got any thoughts on this (I'm looking for the wisdom in a multitude of counsel!)
St0n3y, from my experience, there is good and bad in this. Take a snippet of content from the article, and see where it ranks "your" site. Allegedly, without trying to get too far off topic here, G is working on being able to determine the "first printing" of the content, and adjust accordingly. However, if three or four other sites rank ahead of yours for the text snippet, then this outweighs the value of the links, IMO, until this "fix" is instituted by G and others. If "your" site outranks the rest, then is the value of the relevant links still positive?

BUT, , of course there is the idea that having links from overall higher-ranking sites trumps having your site rank higher for said content. Many people would probably be willing to give up first place position for a snippet of an article, if the article has been reprinted and properly linked to the attributing site by "authority" or "hub" sites.

On another note, what about if said article uses the same anchor text each time, which we would assume it does, to the site? Does this heavily skew the allinanchor value if it goes "too far" and gets reprinted hundreds or thousands of times? If so, one would probably want to ensure each article is using different anchor text in the links to the site, and is not "over-disseminated."
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Old 11-18-2005   #9
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Very Interesting...

You have a terrific idea. I however would not relish writing an article for everyone that wanted a link.

I have come up with an interesting strategy of my own - however it is far more involved from a technical standpoint - yet presents less actual grunt work (ie writing articles). I am having my IT feller develop an xml script that randomly displays a topical tip from a database of hundreds of similar tips on my website. It will be a tip of the day script.

What I plan to do is make this script downloadable so that people with blogs, or websites centering around the same topic can cut and paste the "tip of the day" script onto their site, which will also contain an html link back to mine.

What's nice is that the tips which will be displayed have been submitted by my customers who have agreed to relinquish their creative ownership of the tip to me.
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Old 11-18-2005   #10
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You have a terrific idea. I however would not relish writing an article for everyone that wanted a link.
The point is that you DON't have to write an article for each link... they write the tip to be included in the article.
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Old 11-20-2005   #11
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scratch that... you do have to write an article for each link to exchange, the point is its an article for your own site. A little extra effort goes a long way!
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Old 11-21-2005   #12
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nice & informative thread really, thanks
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Old 11-21-2005   #13
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I guess there is no reason to take this into a new direction.

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On another note, what about if said article uses the same anchor text each time, which we would assume it does, to the site? Does this heavily skew the allinanchor value if it goes "too far" and gets reprinted hundreds or thousands of times? If so, one would probably want to ensure each article is using different anchor text in the links to the site, and is not "over-disseminated."
I guess what I don't know is if one article is duplicated in two places: 1) on a site linking to me, and 2) on my site, if that duplication prevents me from getting the value of that link from the linked site. Assume both sites are relatively equal.
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Old 11-25-2005   #14
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I like the creative thinking, but let me see if I've understood it correctly.

If I write around 50 words, and include a link to my site in it, you will write a whole article and include a link to your site in it. Then we both put each other's writing in our websites. If I'm right, it's a bit one-sided, isn't it? You get to do all the work - my 50 words would only take a few minutes.
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Old 11-25-2005   #15
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It all depends on how you look at it. Yes, if I solicite the link they only write 50 words and we write a whole article. But then they get the value of an entirely unique article and we get the value of another 50 words to our existing article.

But then they get their link on a page with about 10 others while our link is on a page with only one.

Either way, we also allow the linking site to write a full article instead of just the 50 words if they want... it's just easier to get the link if all they have to do is write 50 words.
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Old 11-26-2005   #16
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Hi

I find the best linking strategy to follow is the one that was first used when websites started to appear on the Internet,, and that is... if someone likes your site they place a link to it..

Simple, sweet, effective and no need to rip off clients with insane link building fees.

Remember there are over 100 parts to the algo.... links are just one part.

Clint
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Old 11-26-2005   #17
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But the beauty of this strategy is that it gives you BOTH links AND content...
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Old 11-26-2005   #18
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Ok but what value is the 50 words??
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Old 11-26-2005   #19
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Ok but what value is the 50 words??
Each 50 words is adding to the value of the content on the page, and the vehicle that carries links is an important factor.

Done this way, it should be an enhancement to the hub score of the page, as well as being a benefit to contributors.
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Old 11-27-2005   #20
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It's a capital idea. I'd like to just bring up a few points:

1- Avoid the duplicate content. It's starting to look like there really is a duplicate content penalty these days, as opposed to just a duplicate content filter. Evidence is still inconclusive, but it's best to play it safe. Keep the articles you run on your site and the articles you syndicate separate. Of course, that means writing a lot more articles.

2 - As far as this being one-side, that pretty well sums it up. Especially if the link is a really good one, you end up doing all the work. In fact, not only will you write the article, but then you'll also probably pay the site to run it (the old presell page). Making them write the 50-word segment might just provide a barrier to getting the link; you'll probably want to write that too.

'Course, you'll only bend over backwards like this for the really good links. But if you can get those, you don't need to bother with the others, they usually take care of themselves.
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