|Many people would agree that having alot of links to your website is the key to rank well in all search engines. As Search Engine Optimisation becomes more popular, everybody tries to come up with new ways to get as many links as possible and link exchange is just one of the many techniques.|
|Introduction To Link Exchange
Link exchange is one of the earliest andÂ most popular SEO techniqueÂ among smaller websites to getÂ inbound links (urls pointing to your website). Basically, what a web master does is to exchange urls of his website with another website. Â There are a few variations to link exchange, ie it could be 2-way, 3-way, 4-way…etc.Â Â 2-way link exchange means site A exchange links with site BÂ (This isÂ the most common definition of link exchange). 3-way means A link to B,Â BÂ linkÂ toÂ C,Â and C link to A.Â You could figure out the restÂ of the variationsÂ easily…Â
The most complex link exchange today is a Link Exchange Network. In the network, you post a url of another website in your site and the server willÂ post your url in another person’s website based on a merit or point system. There are also people whoÂ incorporate the idea of MLM into link exchange, turning the whole linking systemÂ into aÂ pyramid. Why the hassle? The whole idea is not to let the search spidersÂ detectÂ your linking strategies.
Link Exchange Is Often Abused
Search engines want to display the most relevant search resultsÂ with the most important websites ranked first. If the number of links pointing to the website is the only criteria to determine the importance of the website, then search engine results could be manipulated easily. Nobody knows the exact Google, MSN or YahooÂ ranking algorithm but we do know that Google especially, take strong measures toÂ preventÂ people from manipulating searchÂ ranking results.
Many small companies are often blamed for manipulating searchÂ results because theyÂ are able to getÂ alot of inbound links without spending any money using the link exchange technique.Â The link exchange boom makesÂ everybodyÂ to post and exchange links in blogs, link directories and affliate pages… Almost everyone would want toÂ incorporate a link directory in their website just for SEO purpose. As such,Â we also witnessÂ a boom in link directories.
Even if you can getÂ 1000 links overnight, does it really mean that your website is important?Â Does the amount of linksÂ pointing to your website really equate to the importanceÂ of your website? These areÂ debatable tough questions which is hard to answer in a short time.
Is Link Exchange Ethical?
Many people believe that Google and Yahoo have already started penalising web sites that does link exchange in a large scale but we do not know the extend of it. In my opinon, it is very hard to justify whetherÂ link exchangeÂ is ethical or not.Â Everyone will have a case to say but generally,Â all of us would agree that websitesÂ thatÂ getÂ large amounts of links within a short time, has manyÂ outbound and inbound links to and from many unrelated websites are trying to manipulate search results but again, there can be exceptions.
It does not make senseÂ to me to punishÂ website A, B or/and C if they are practising 2, 3 or whatever ways link exchange; doesn’t matter ifÂ theirÂ websites are related or not. There are many real lifeÂ examples. If my friend Andy is web designer and he has a web design blog and another friend of mine JoeÂ loves swimming and he has a swimming blog. Both of the sites are totally different in nature but theyÂ are friends andÂ they want to link to each other.Â If this is not permissible in the SEO context, thenÂ it will be a sad news for everyoneÂ of us.Â Â Â Â
Search Engines Is Evolving But SEOÂ Travels Back In Time
Search engines, like human being, are evolving everyday. they are getting more intelligent and are able to pick up websites that are trying to hack the ranking system. With enough computing power and time, I believe they would one day be able to detect more complex linking systems. Many experts believe that search engines are too clever to beÂ manipulated and started advocating “Natural Search Engine Optimisation” – NSEO. The word “Natural” is important because it means that you are trying to optimise your website legally. In NSEO, you write content naturally, link to pages naturally and so on. To withstand the test of time, the practise of NSEO is highly recommended.
ManyÂ believe that links to a websiteÂ will still be an important factor in calculating itsÂ searched ranking in major search engines. Therefore,Â link exchange and other SEO techniques to get inbound links should still be important. The only problem is that the inbound links have to be natural.Â Personally,Â I would think that natural links should have certain features:
1. The Ratio of Text to Links
2. TheÂ Density of LinksÂ
3.Â Google PageRank
4. Quality Is Better Than Quantity
I think the list for “The features ofÂ Natural Links” could go on. So back to the ultimate question… Is Link Exchange dead? My personal opinion is more inclined towards aÂ ‘No’ but we have to start practising natural linking when doing link exchange. One think to keep in mind is that searchÂ engine spiders are getting more intelligent everyday.
If we are more carefulÂ with links, search engines will have an easier task of displaying relevant search results. Let us all make internet free from spam!
* Note: I use SEO to refer toÂ Search Engine Optimization or Search Engine Optimizers in this article to cut short the typing time. The opinions expressed in this article is purely personal and speculative.
|Many web experts will agree that writing articles for internet distribution is the best and fastest way to gain one way links. One way links are important to make your website rank well in major search engines. The way you promote your website or URL is at the end of each article where you write about yourself.|
|Knowing that writing internet articles is important for Search Engine Optimization and marketing is not good enough, your articles must be published, noticed and be able to generate hits for your website. If your only concern is getting one way links, then just getting your articles published in the internet is good enough. If are selling a service or want the reader to visit your website, then you need to work harder on the content.Â
In this article, I am going to cover the key elements in getting your articles accepted by major internet article publishers, how to write succesful articles and get them noticed.
Finding A Topic
When most writers write their articles, they do not do any research before writing. Doing research before writing your article is the most important part of the article writing process because it determines the food for your target audience. If your website is about internet marketing, your obvious customers will be internet advertisers, marketing professionals and so on… Even if you are a good web designer, you do not want to write an article on web design because you do not want to attract the wrong people to your website.
Choosing An Appropriate Article Title
Your article title should hopefully contain the keywords your want for your article. Using the same internet marketing example as above, your article should probably contain the keywords Internet Marketing. If you can, make your title grab the reader’s attention. The best thing to do when trying to come up with an article title is to write the benefits that your reader will receive by reading your article. An example of a good title is “How to market your website” rather than “Internet Marketing”. Write down a few variations of the title and ask other people’s opinion. You will be surprised by their reply.
Writing Good Content
Most of the articles out there are nothing more than sale pitches or materials that do not contain any valuable information. Such articles are basically useless to the reader. As mentioned before, if what you want is only to get back links, you need worry too much about your content. However, with your reputation at stake, you might want to provide good information in the article and improve your credibility in the internet. What do we mean by good content? It simply means that your article must be helpful to the reader and in most cases, unique.
Publishing Your Aticle
If you want to make some cash with your internet article, then at the end of it in your bio, provide a link back to the page of the service or product that you are promoting and put your affliate link in that page. Use appropriate term in the link in your bio. For example, a www link like www.sitecritic.net/web_articles.php is not good enough. www.sitecritic.net/web_articles.php is a web page about internet articles, so the text link should be internet articles instead.
There are many softwares or internet services that allow you to mass publish your articles in many article directories or websites which could save you alot of time and manual work. Use it. One advice though, more back links does not mean better ranking or higher click throughs. An article published in 1000 article directories might not be as effective as an article published in just one well recognized website.
About the Author
|Designing a quality, unique website requires the right combination of art, technology, and communication skills. It is vitally important to the success of any professional website project for the client to be actively involved in helping the designer identify and understand their true wants and needs. Web designers act as both creative coach and translator of ideas. Turning ideas into concepts, incorporating customer feedback, and prototyping rapidly creates a hands-on, evolutionary workflow for the customer, producing maximum results and a pleasant customer experience.|
|Step 1: Learn a little (or a lot) about the client’s business
Once a client has committed to building a new website, it’s time to dig in and learn a little about the business and the specific requirements. This can be done through a simple questionnaire for smaller sites, or may require many hours of consultation for larger ones. Some of the questions asked include: website goals and objectives, target audience, color and style preferences, examples of preferred websites, etc. If a client already has specific text and images that they would like to have included (maybe from an existing brochure or catalog) it is time to share the files and information with the designer, and the designer will in turn review it and share an objective opinion on the usefulness and quality of the customer supplied materials. If a domain name does not already exist for the site, this would be a good time to decide on a name and have it registered. The designer can help as little or as much as necessary in this area. Once all information has been received, work will commence immediately on the custom website design. Idea sharing and customer involvement is always welcomed and encouraged.
Step 2: Review design concepts and pick a direction
Normally, a customer will have initial design concepts to review within a few days. Some projects can take substantially longer to reach this initial stage, depending on the level of research and discovery being done for the customer in other related and possibly interdependent areas, such as designing a new corporate identity (logo and entire brand) or building an information systems solution into the website. The design and layout of the home page and first-level inner pages come first. This offers the customer a view of the possibilities and how different ideas work together at different levels. Then, one will be selected for further refinement. Existing works by the designer can often be used as a starting ground and modified to create a unique, yet familiar, look and feel. In the case that the customer is indecisive or doesn’t fall in love with one of the initial concepts, additional designs will be presented. After a design and layout concept has been chosen, revisions to that design and layout concept will be made until the customer is completely satisfied.
Step 3: Review revisions and ask for feedback
Once the design and layout has been approved and finalized, detailed content will be entered utilizing the selected design guidelines for consistency and beauty. Content can be supplied in almost any electronic format such as email, Word or even scanned text. In the case of larger consultative web projects, content can be created for the customer as part of an overall marketing and branding campaign. For images, content can be shot by the design team, supplied by the client, or in some cases purchased or custom created by the designer. There is also the option of choosing imagery from a gallery of quality royalty-free work at no additional cost. Just describe what is wanted, and the designer will pick the perfect images for the job. Or, if preferred, the client may choose the images themselves and the designer will certainly assist in the process a level with which the customer is comfortable. Customer supplied content can be supplied as soon as it is acquired – there’s no reason to wait until the web pages have been designed. In fact, often times the best design concepts are born of the content.
Step 4: Finalize your website.
All concepts and revisions can be viewed online and there is always an open channel of communication to the designer. Once the customer is completely satisfied with the finished website, high-quality website hosting is offered, or the website can be implemented at a third party host of the client’s choosing, as long as appropriate security access and necessary software tools are available.
|Website hosting nowsadays is very competitive. Many web hosting companies offer tonnes of features at very competitive prices. With so many choices in mind, how do you choose the right host? I have tried many hosts over the years and finally landed on one that I feel has the most complete features that I need at the best possible price, ie BlueHost.|
BlueHost provides hosting features thatÂ surpass the needs ofÂ large commercial websites:10 Gigabyte Hosting Space
Host 6 Domains on 1 Account!!!
2,500 POP/Imap Email Accounts
250 GIGS of Transfer
SSL, FTP, Stats
CGI, PHP, MySQL
2000/2002/2003 Front Page Extensions
Free Domain Forever!
Superb/Responsive Support EngineersÂ
Reliability and Performance
|You must have heard of the term “Quality Links”. How about “Quality Traffic”? “Quality links” means that the one way links coming to your website are from reliable sources and the content is related to yours. For example, if your website is about web design and a link pointing to your site from the web design section of msn website is considered as a quality link. “Quality Traffic” means that the people who come to your website via whatever channels are actually looking for something and have better chances of using your services. They are looking for something specific and your website can provide the answer and make them stay longer. Quality links are important in search engine optimisation as to Quality Traffic to sales generation.|
|Forum / Blog
By participating in forums, you are exposing your url to anyone who is reading your post. For example, if you provide web design service, you might want to be more active in the web design section of the forum because you know that the people who are reading your post are people who are interested in web design. The clicks from these people are usually more valuable than clicks from any other tom, dick and harry. I would recommend using only one link in your signature to avoid confusion. Some people use alot of links in their signature for SEO purposes and that actually defeats the whole idea of getting quality traffic.
Many people leave their urls when participating in blog discussions. Like forums, people who take time to read the blog are interested in the topic. Depending on the popularity of the blog, your url in the blog comments may provide you with quality traffic.
Online Advertisement / PPC Programs
There are other ways to get traffic but most of them are not really effective. I will list 2 commonlyÂ used techniques nowsadays:
Guaranteed Targeted Hits
Hits Exchange Network
|Almost every website nowsadays will have some sort of a login system. If you decide to write a login script yourself in PHP, this article will provide some important pointers on the security of the script you are writing. This article will talk on a common login hacking technique known as The SQL Injection Attack. This is not new in the programmer’s world but worth taking note especially when you are new to programming.There are hackers everywhere, so beware!Â|
|When the user submits a form consisting of the username and password, all the variables will be store in the $_POST array after submitting. You can get the values of the array easily using:
$usr = $_POST[‘username’];
Where “username” and “password”Â are the names of the textfields in your form.
How do you deal with these values?
SELECT * FROM `user_table`Â where username=’$usr’ AND password=’$pwd’
Re-looking at theÂ SQL statement, if someone leaves username empty and writesÂ “Â ‘Â OR username LIKE ‘%”Â in theÂ password field, then your wholeÂ SQL statement becomes:
SELECT * FROM `user_table`Â where username=’ ‘ AND password=’Â ‘ OR username LIKEÂ ‘ %Â ‘
This statement means selecting all the records in the table.Â If your criteria of lettingÂ the user proceedÂ is thatÂ the return number of records is more than 0 (at least one user found), then this SQL statement will return all records, meaning that the user will be able to slip passÂ through the verification process. This type of hacking is famously known as The SQL injection attacks.
One good way to prevent this from happening is to make sure the $_POST array is safe from escape strings such asÂ ‘ and “. You can filter your $_POST array using
$usr = mysql_real_escape_string($_POST[‘username’]);
There are of course other ways to do it but the idea is to let you know that youÂ have to be very carefulÂ in handling the dataÂ retrieved from forms, epecially more so for usernames and passwords.
|There are many variants of Linux used in different computer systems today. Luckily, most Linux developers employ a common naming and utilization scheme that makes different variants of Linux easy to use and maintain. This article will discuss some important and common directories in many popular Linux distributions.|
Each user of a Linux system is assigned a special directory, called “home” direectory, that represents their private space on the system. For example, if a user of the system is called tom, the home directory of tom will be /home/tom. Tom has the right to create any files and directories under his home directory. This is also the default locationÂ when tom logs into the system.
/bin and /usr/bin
/sbin and /usr/sbin
This will be my blog site. There is nothing in here yet. I will add something in the next few days. Thanks everyone.Â