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  • Methods of website linking 1

    Reciprocal link

    A reciprocal link is a mutual link between two objects, commonly between two websites to ensure mutual traffic. Example: Alice and Bob have websites. If Bob’s website links to Alice’s website, and Alice’s website links to Bob’s website, the websites are reciprocally linked. Website owners often submit their sites to reciprocal link exchange directories, in order to achieve higher rankings in the search engines. Reciprocal linking between websites is an important part of the search engine optimization process because Google uses link popularity algorithms (defined as the number of links that led to a particular page and the anchor text of the link) to rank websites for relevancy.

    Relevant linking

    Relevant linking is a derivative of reciprocal linking in which a site linked to another site contains only content compatible and relevant to the linked site. Relevant linking has become increasingly important because most major search engines stress that — in Google’s words — “quantity, quality, and relevance of links count towards your rating.

    The engines’ insistence on reciprocal links being relevant developed because many of the methods described below — free-for-all linking, link doping, incestuous linking, over-linking, multi-way linking — and other schemes were designed to unethically “fool” search-engines into awarding undeservedly high page ranks and/or return positions to sites engaged in search-engine spamming.

    Though the engines warned site developers (again quoting from Google) to avoid “‘free-for-all’ links, link popularity schemes, or submitting your site to thousands of search engines (because) these are typically useless exercises that don’t affect your ranking in the results of the major search engines — at least, not in a way you would likely consider to be positive, they also took proactive steps to recognize linking schemes and down-rate or de-index sites using them.

    This, in turn, led to the development of search-engine compliant link-management systems enabling webmasters to benefit from the upside of reciprocal linking without putting themselves and their sites at risk from inadvertently straying over into the darkside.

    Since many linking schemes — particularly those involving some form of link farming or free-for-all linking — were (and still are) based on variations of a 1999 patent for an automated system of gathering links and adding them to a website without the possibility of editorial direction or intervention, development of a solution based on a polar opposite approach became highly desirable.

    In 2006, after six years of evaluating the company’s application and its underlying editor-based technology for acquiring and managing links, the U.S. Patent Office awarded Creative Net Ventures of Atlanta patent #7,082,470 for its Links-Manager application.

    To date, the Links-Manager system remains the only proprietary, patented, semi-automatic link-exchange enabler to comply with all major search-engine quality guidelines and Web best practices standards.

    Three way linking

    Three way linking (siteA ? siteB ? siteC ? siteA) is a special type of reciprocal linking.

    The attempt of this link building method is to create more “natural” links in the eyes of search engines. The value of links by three-way linking can then be better than normal reciprocal links, which are usually done between two domains.

    Two-Way-Linking (Link exchange)

    An alternative to the automated linking above is a link exchange forum, in which members will advertise the sites that they want to get links to, and will in turn offer reciprocal or three way links back to the sites that link to them. The links generated through such services are subject to editorial review.

    One-way linking

    One-way link is a term used among webmasters for link building methods. It is a hyperlink that points to a website without any reciprocal link; thus the link goes “one-way” in direction. It is suspected by many industry consultants that this type of link would be considered more natural in the eyes of search engines. One-way links are also called Incoming Links or Inbound Links.

    An effective way to build this type of one-way linking is by distributing articles through content sites and article directories. These articles generally contain an About The Author box that contains a one-way link back to the author’s URL. When publishers use these articles, those one-way links help authors increase their page rank.

    Multi-way linking

    Multi-way linking is a technique used for website promotion whereby websites may create similar one-way links that each involves 3 or more partner sites. This provides each website with a one-way non-reciprocal link. This technique has evolved from reciprocal linking. According to Google and Yahoo, the latest search algorithms have evolved to hold less favor towards websites that contain a high percentage of reciprocated links, and a higher favor towards websites that maintain a high level of incoming non-reciprocated (one way) links. How to filter out excessive reciprocal link schemes is even being mentioned in anti link spam patents. [1].

    The term multi-way simply refers to the fact that the link exchange is between 3 or more websites, however each link is singular by only pointing to one other website. Other means of linking that may increase your web presence may also include other indirect methods such as loading images, videos, content or RSS feeds from a third partners website.

    Link campaign

    Link campaigns are a form of online marketing and SEO. A business seeking to increase the number of visitors to its web site can ask its strategic partners, professional organizations, chambers of commerce, suppliers, and customers to add links from their web sites. A link campaign may involve mutual links back and forth between related sites, but it doesn’t have to require the reciprocation of links.

    Incestuous linking

    Incestuous linking is an SEO strategy used by a webmaster to promote a collection of their own web sites, or those of close friends.

    Due to the domination of the search engine market by Google, and its underlying PageRank technology, sites are deemed to be more important if they have large numbers of inbound links. If those inbound links are also from highly ranked web sites, they will boost the web site further. With the take-up of blogging and social networking sites such as MySpace, this has resulted in lots of web sites that are inter-linked and can artificially improve the ranking of a web site without merit, i.e. without valuable or unique content.


    Overlinking in a webpage or another hyperlinked text is the characteristic of having too many hyperlinks.

    It is characterized by:

    • A large proportion of the words in each sentence being rendered as links.
    • Links that have little information content, such as linking on specific years like 1995, or unnecessary linking of common words used in the common way, for which the reader can be expected to understand the word’s full meaning in context, without any hyperlink help.
    • A link for any single term is excessively repeated in the same article. “Excessive” is usually more than one link for the same term in a line or a paragraph, since in this case one or more duplicate links will almost certainly then appear needlessly on the viewer’s screen.

    To be continued…

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