Search engine promotion has changed quite a bit over the years. It used to be
that all you had to do was buy a domain, slap up some content, join a link farm
and whammo, you'd be listed in the results pages of popular search engines in
competitive positions. No more, dear friends. No more. Now it takes lots of well
crafted content, perfectly seamless site architecture, proper coding and inbound
links from other well respected websites.
So in essence, the only thing that has not changed is the links pointing to
your website? That's right....sort of.
Building IBLs (inbound links - links to your websites from others) is an
essential part of placing in respectable and competitive positions on popular
search engines like Google, Yahoo, MSN and others. In days gone past, many web
marketing teams utilize what are known today as link farms. Link farms worked in
the following way. You (the website owner) joined a network of other website
owners and everyone agreed to place a set of pages on their site that were
filled with links of the other network partners' sites. Since you are a member
of the network, all of the members of that link farm network in essence pointed
a hyperlink to your site, thereby increasing the number of links pointing to
The problem with link farms from the perspective of the search engines is
that most everyone was using them. This made it immensely difficult for them
(the search engines) to determine who was really popular based on the most
integral part of their ranking algorithms - inbound links. What most search
engines did was penalize or completely ban sites which participated in link farm
schemes (that's right, link farms are a very dirty Web word) because they (the
site owner/web marketer) attempted to artificially inflate the appeared
popularity of their site(s).
Link Exchange Has Changed
You realize the importance of building links - every website owner, webmaster
and online marketer does or should. Realizing that the process of building
inbound links has changed over the years is an important one. There is a
different perspective on how to actually go about the process of building
inbound links inspired by today's most popular Internet buzzword "Web 2.0".
Via Wikipedia, "Web 2.0 is the
transition of websites from isolated information silos to sources of content and
functionality, thus becoming a computing platform serving web applications to
end users". Let's go a step further, "Web 2.0 is also a social phenomenon
referring to an approach to creating and distributing Web content itself,
characterized by open communication, decentralization of authority, freedom to
share and re-use, and "the market as a conversation." If that makes your
head spin or your eyes glass over, let's try to simplify that exhaustive
definition a bit into something a little more palatable.
Welcome to Link Exchange 2.0
For all intents and purposes Web 2.0 is about collaboration. Sites which
essentially enable the Web community of site owners and marketers to work
together for the communities greatest benefit are those in the 2.0 realm. What
is lacking in Web 2.0 for website owners is an ability to collaborate for the
benefit of their Internet promotions; primarily their link building efforts and
in turn their search optimization campaigns.
Participating in a link farm in the past made your site an "isolated
information silo" and failed to embrace the open approach to creating and
distributing Web content or appreciating the "market as conversation" paradigm.
One site which gives website owners an ability to collaborate for the benefit of
their Internet promotions is LinksToYou.com
- an online forum and bulletin board system where members meet to establish one
way and reciprocal link arrangements and collaborate on ways to improve Internet
visibility by establishing relationships.
LinksToYou has embraced the concept of Web 2.0 and by enabling those
responsible for Web promotion and optimization to exchange links with quality
websites that complement their content. The result is a positive difference in
site traffic and increased Web exposure almost immediately. There are many 2.0
websites like LinksToYou which help website owners increase exposure of their
sites but few if any go to the level that LinksToYou has to help website owners
engage others for the sole purpose of increasing Web exposure.