Tuesday, July 13, 2010

ETR: To Link or Not to Link?

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Issue No. 3059 - $1.00

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

-----------------------------------------------------Highly Recommended-----------------------------------------------------

What's a "Perfect Home Business"?

Ask 100 of your fellow Early to Risers to describe their "Perfect Home Business," and I'm betting 99 of them would say something pretty much like this...

"Well, first of all, it's got to be based on something I actually enjoy -- a hobby or passion of mine...

Sounds good so far...

"And... let's see... I don't have a lot of spare time (or money!)... so it would have to be quick and easy to start... and fairly cheap too.

Fair enough...

"Oh, and I'm no technical or marketing genius. So I need something that doesn't take a Ph.D. just to make a few extra bucks."

Understood. And at Early to Rise, we've heard you loud and clear!

You asked... now we're going to deliver.

"I believe 'credibility' is one of the biggest issues yet to be addressed by Internet advertisers."

Jef I. Richards

Don't Link Before You Think
(Why Linking for SEO May Be a Bad Idea)
By David Cross

"Do you think this is a good idea?" he asked me.

My father-in-law, GS, had received a request from a website that wished to link to his. And he wanted my advice.

The website looked good. It was similar to his business. And it had a reasonably good Google ranking already. So linking would be contextually relevant. And it could be beneficial to both sites' search engine rankings.

But there's a caveat I'll get to in a minute. It's something very few online businesses consider.

First... let me explain why you would want to link to another site, possibly a competitor.

The World Wide Web is founded on the principle of hyperlinking to other relevant and useful resources. If you are writing an article on whitewater rafting in China, for example, it is helpful to your reader if you provide links to related websites. These could be sites that track water levels, offer translators, or list local businesses where you may rent kayaks and canoes. You get the idea.

Some years back, Google, then other search engines, came up with the idea that the number of websites linking to yours should play a role in determining which websites or Web pages should be deemed "important."

They factored this in their ranking algorithms to help decide which ones should appear at the top of search results on any given term. Sites with more sites linking to them would appear to be of greater import. So they should rank higher.

More incoming links to your website is, generally speaking, a good thing. So you will occasionally receive requests to link to other websites. These could be reciprocal links in which the other websites link back to yours. Done correctly, this can have a positive impact on your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts.

For some years now, websites have linked to each other and, as a result, have enjoyed some modicum of improved visibility from the search engines. So why did I suggest to my father-in-law that he not accept that linking request?


"Do you know this company or their website?" I inquired.

"No, I've never heard of them before."

The concern I had was that although the company in question looked credible enough, what would GS do if one of his customers, referred by a link from his website, started doing business with that company and, somewhere down the line, had problems? Ultimately, it would reflect badly on him.

This is a common occurrence in business and in life. I don't like to recommend a restaurant, for example, unless I've eaten there a few times. Quality can be so variable.

And I've seen many instances of customers of Business A getting irked because they heard a speaker from Business B at Business A's conference and started doing business with Business B. But then they found them wanting in some way.

So, although there would have been some SEO benefit to the interlinking, I told GS to wait until he knew more about the other business. It would even better if someone he trusted had done business with them.

This may seem overly cautious on my part. But reputation in business can take a long time to develop but only moments to shatter.

Consider this a guideline for when you are asked, or plan, to link to another site.

You should also take a critical look at the businesses you link to now. You may have felt that any link is a good link -- but as you now know, this is not true.

How do you weed out the bad from the good? Do your due diligence:

1. What do you know about the business you are linking to? Check out their site and what they sell.

2. Would you do business with them or refer your customers to them? Would you refer your family to them?

3. Are there any negative reports about their products or services online? Do they advertise products on their website that conflict with what you offer?

4. Is their website already in Google, Yahoo, and Bing? If not, you may be dealing with a very new website (in which case the benefit to them would be much greater than the benefit to you) or a website that's been barred for any number of reasons (which could be a major detriment to you).

5. What is the "page rank" of your website and of the website that you are linking to? In general, you should not link to a Web page that has a lower page rank than the page you are linking from.

6. Is there a natural business fit between your two websites? If you sell trout fishing guides and they sell cake decorating supplies, that is bad link. But if they offer fishing tours or fly fishing gear, it could be a good link.

7. Finally, is a reciprocal link available, preferably from the site's home page? (The home page is normally the one with the highest page rank.)

Linking for SEO can work well, as long as you follow these simple guidelines... and use good judgment.

[Ed. Note: Search engine optimization techniques are just a few of the strategies and skills 75 Early to Risers are learning right now at our 5 Days in July Internet Business Building Conference. With help from the Early to Rise team and a dozen of the top online marketers working today, each one of them will leave the conference with a fully functioning online business.

If you couldn't make it to the conference... you're in luck. We're putting every minute of it on DVD, so you can go through all the sessions at your convenience. This "home study" program costs 90 percent less than what conference attendees paid to be here -- and you can find out all about it here.]

-----------------------------------------------------Highly Recommended -----------------------------------------------------

No Silver Spoons Here

Success mentor Bob Cox knows first hand that hard work trumps talent. He helped four men go from rags to riches. All of them became billionaires, thanks to their work ethic. They also had an attitude, a mindset, that drove them to succeed. It's something you can learn. Why not let Bob help you...

"It has touched something in me."

"I have been a regular reader of ETR, but the article on "work" really spurred me to send a few lines as feedback. I have not been able to get the kind of work that I wanted, and had to settle for being a teacher's assistant. Needless to say, anytime I was asked the inevitable question 'What do you do?' I would almost feel humiliated by what I considered a lowly type of job.

"Your article has given me a lot to rethink about my job, though. How many handicapped children have I fed? I mean really fed, not just shoved food into their mouths as I have seen other disgruntled aides do.

"Occasionally, I would be asked to help with teens held after school for detention, and I would get into a conversation with some of the girls. I recall a discussion about preventing pregnancy. Did I help someone that day?

"I am going to print out your article, re-read it, and maybe pass it along to some colleagues. It has touched something in me, and I know I need to re-think the way I regard 'my lowly job.'"

Hanna Debia

-----------------------------------------------------Highly Recommended-----------------------------------------------------

Learn How to "Walk the Walk"

With the ETR Perfect Home Business Quick-Start Kit, you will be guided every step of the way as you build your online business from the ground up... by a dozen of the world's most accomplished and knowledgeable Internet business-building masters.

These experts have already "walked the walk" -- generating tens of millions in sales in their own businesses.

Find out more here.

Today's Words That Work: Modicum

Modicum (MOD-ih-kum) -- from the Latin for "moderate" -- is a small or token amount.

Example (as used by David Cross today): "For some years now, websites have linked to each other and, as a result, have enjoyed some modicum of improved visibility from the search engines."

We want your feedback! Let us know your thoughts on today's issue. Email us at: AskETR@ETRFeedback.com

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    Many times people don't believe me when I tell them about how much you can earn filling out paid surveys at home...

    So I show them a video of myself getting paid $500 for doing paid surveys.

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