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My Philosophy on Links

When I start a web site for a client, inevitably, they will ask for a links page and want me to link to someone.

So, let me give you my philosophy about links.

It is very valuable to have inbound links, while having a lot of outbound links can be detrimental. Let me elaborate. Inbound links show that other sites think you are important. The search engines see this and surmise that you are important, so they put you higher on search engine results pages.

Every time you provide an outbound link, you should get something for it. The most obvious is a reciprocal link from them. If you don't get a reciprocal link, then you are telling search engines that there page is more important than yours (they have content on their page that you recommend). This boosts their ranking (and if you are not careful, it lowers yours). Trading links can boost both of your rankings (if done properly).

For example, I am currently trying to boost the rank of the Breeder's directory on SA-BoerGoats.com (http://www.sa-boergoats.com/ASP/Breeders/Breeders.asp). I have 20 web sites pointing to that site with the phrase (Breeder's directory). Each of those 20 sites get a link back to their main page. With 20 sites linking there (and more to come), it gives that page more value, which, in effect, gives your site more value as well (with a link back from a valuable page).

From a practical standpoint, though, I would hate to lose a customer who is surfing on my site, looking to buy a goat, and then they get off track when they see a link to another site (and then buy from that guy). So, I would be cautious about trading links with a competitor (unless the "value" of his page will boost the "value" of your page - the value is in terms of the search engines).

Some people link to where they bought their goats (which I think is a bad idea – because if I wanted to buy goats, why would I go to you when I could go to where you bought them {a similar concept to wholesale buying}).

Ultimately, it is your site, and if you want links, I can do them, but I wanted you to be aware that providing a link ought to be a business decision (and not to link to someone just because we are friends).

If you are going to get a link (and you have some say over how it looks), it is best to get a keyphrase linked. For example, if you sell web design and live in Florida, it is best to get the following link:

CCFDesign
www.CCFDesign.com
Web Design For Sale in Florida

The bottom line is that you own web space, which is advertising space. Your main goal ought to be to advertise your goats, and if you want to "sell" advertising space to someone else, it should be a business decision and you should get something from it.

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Gregory Motes
CCFDesign.com

Phone: (813) 391-6793

email: webmaster@CCFDesign.com

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