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You can't watch competitors that closely because you don't have access to all of their information. Since you can't see all of their backlinks you can't tell if they got any or how good they are. So you can watch their rankings but you can't watch their links.

I'm growing tired of this John. It is really getting stupid now. Of course, I have a couple of things to say. I do enjoy a lively argument and you sure are a feisty one.

Two things.

First, I have been in the exact same keyphrase competitions from between 8 to 12 years now. That's friggin' near the beginning of the Internet. Where were you when I started understanding my niche markets? Point is, there is no one that knows my keyphrase arenas better than I do, and so I should. That being 101 again.

I have watched them all. Challengers moving up and down. Oh, here comes a good one right on my ass. Nice techniques. Oh there is a cluster of spamshits that just passed me by again on its way down the ladder to SERP oblivion. I wonder what they did to get detected. Oh I see, that should keep them outa' the way for a bit. Darn it, got myself banned again for that? Oh well, better start coming back from the dead, again.

Get the picture?

Secondly, there is life beyond Google? It is not the supreme god of link information, not even close to being a good priest of the god of link information.

You completely misinterpreted his post. Let me explain it for you ...

I wish you would have spared me your response. The only thing I really care about, and is yet another indicator as to the search engine's desire to not-reward web sites that are empowered by bad links, seems to have completely slipped you by. Perhaps this is your ploy to bait me into the reading of your next launched blurb of 201 trickling gobblelygook.

What is important in Cutts' quote lies inside the parentheses.

(or other link-building techniques)

Techniques.

He didn't say schemes and he's not writing about recips. Techniques John.

What techniques do you think that includes John?

We all expect the penalties ( or un-rewards ) to intensify for webpages that have bought and rented links, whenever the search engine figures out how to do that fairly. What other types of links do you feel may be harmful? What other types of incoming links do you think are useless and should not-rewarded for possessing. How about shit like what Google deems an important sampling of what is glued to my webpage that I showed you.

I don't give a hoot about any of your SEO theories and I certainly don't want to burst your little pride bubble. I neither want to prove nor disprove anything. The only thing I really want to do is leave a warning, similar to that which the Cutts quote implies.

Be careful those SEOs and Linking Strategists who wish to solicit, buy, swap, rent, steal, replicate, harvest, extort or inherit links to the web pages for the purpose of artificially inflating the web pages importance. Your power weakens daily and your days of decent SERP performances are near.

Perhaps it is you that is spewing the SEO caca today. Why don’t you tell people to craft content that is worthy to be linked. Forget about the little green bar and the trendy search engine manipulation tactics. Lead junior SEOs and lead them far from search engine manipulation techniques. Giving linking advice in these times could be misinterpreted as a a reflection of your obsoletism.

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I'd like to interrupt your argument a moment to bring up something you quoted Matt:

Reciprocal links by themselves aren’t automatically bad, but we’ve communicated before that there is such a thing as excessive reciprocal linking ...

Does this mean that I am being negatively affected by running a reciprocal link directory?

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I'd like to interrupt your argument a moment to bring up something you quoted Matt: Does this mean that I am being negatively affected by running a reciprocal link directory?

It goes much deeper then simply having reciprocal links. It's not a case of reciprocal links are bad. It's a case of reciprocal links are bad in certain scenarios. Daniweb clearly has established itself as a trusted site in Google's eyes and the reciprocal link directory are a minute fraction of the links Daniweb has. And many of those links to Daniweb from other sources are very high quality links. It's safe to say that you don't have anything to worry about.

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I'd like to interrupt your argument a moment to bring up something you quoted Matt: Does this mean that I am being negatively affected by running a reciprocal link directory?

Probably not. Yours seems to have developed naturally enough.

Let's look at the link exchange we have between your Search Engine Optimization Directory Listing and my Ethical SEO Expert web site. I link to Daniweb four, five maybe six times throughout my web site promotion blog and my SEO web site. I do this for my Internet visitor almost exclusively as I find this resource to be of good value. This resource is also a big part of my SEO training. I write a great deal about my Internet marketing passions and whenever Daniweb comes into my paragraph, out of courtesy for my visitor and the entity of which I speak, I link to it. It is offering relevant content to my visitor primarily.

It isn't about whether I help your web site trick the search engine or if you help my web site manipulate the search engines into thinking that my stuff is more important than it actually is. It is natural in this case to have cross references of our relevant content. Our links seem to be like the ones that Google wants us to have :

... editorially given by other sites on the basis of merit ...

I co-incidentally, am given a couple of links from your web site because I keep your link in a particular place on my web site and people click it once in a while. In my case, it could be argued that since I actively participate within your web site, not frequently enough mind you, I should naturally have links offering your web visitor my additional source of quality relevant content.

My gut feeling is that if you eliminated all your Directory listing and shook off most of your link partners, your web site wouldn’t be much affected, neither positively nor negatively.

It is the irrelevant ones who are never to be seen or heard of again that you need to concern yourself with, I would think, especially from any junk web sites you may have picked up along the way.

Again, in a very real sense, our web sites have a natural relationship. It is the unnatural ones that should drag a web site to chopping block.

Go to Cutts blog, the article is entitled Google Hell? and read the entire article to more clearly see the differences between attaining links naturally and artificially.

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First, I have been in the exact same keyphrase competitions from between 8 to 12 years now. That's friggin' near the beginning of the Internet. Where were you when I started understanding my niche markets? Point is, there is no one that knows my keyphrase arenas better than I do, and so I should. That being 101 again.

I have watched them all. Challengers moving up and down. Oh, here comes a good one right on my ass. Nice techniques. Oh there is a cluster of spamshits that just passed me by again on its way down the ladder to SERP oblivion. I wonder what they did to get detected. Oh I see, that should keep them outa' the way for a bit. Darn it, got myself banned again for that? Oh well, better start coming back from the dead, again.

Get the picture?

You can watch them move up and down but can you explain why it happens? You seem to ignore the larger picture which makes me believe you don't. Plus, if you have been after these niches for 8-12 years and aren't number one by now, doesn't that indicate that you are missing something? Anyone paying any attention to SEO should be #1 by now. Even someone who isn't should rank better then #19 at this point. That's something to think about.

Secondly, there is life beyond Google? It is not the supreme god of link information, not even close to being a good priest of the god of link information.

It's a known fact that Google is the last place to go to for link information. At least publicly anyway. Their webmaster tools are much better. But whether we know how much they know is irrelevant. If Google is using links in their algorithm whatever they know is important and what matters. And if they know something we don't know, it might explain why sites move around in their SERPs.

I wish you would have spared me your response. The only thing I really care about, and is yet another indicator as to the search engine's desire to not-reward web sites that are empowered by bad links, seems to have completely slipped you by. Perhaps this is your ploy to bait me into the reading of your next launched blurb of 201 trickling gobblelygook.

Actually, if you had bothered to read my posts you would see what I said is this, "Bad links will never harm your site. The worst they can do is nothing." Nothing is not a positive thing. Nothing means no reward. Additionally, nowhere have I endorsed black hat techniques. I just said competitors can't take you down with them. That's the one thing you still can't debate with me on.

What is important in Cutts' quote lies inside the parentheses.

(or other link-building techniques)

Techniques.

He didn't say schemes and he's not writing about recips. Techniques John.

What techniques do you think that includes John?

Once again, you're all over the place. We're not talking about seeking bad links. We're talking about a competitor using them to hurt a rival website. You need to stop putting words in my mouth.

Now words that did come out of my mouth back up what you just quoted. I said if a webmaster linked back to a link farm then they would be penalized. Because participating in a link farm is a "technique" that is in full control of the webmaster. Thus the penalty is deserved.

We all expect the penalties ( or un-rewards ) to intensify for webpages that have bought and rented links, whenever the search engine figures out how to do that fairly. What other types of links do you feel may be harmful? What other types of incoming links do you think are useless and should not-rewarded for possessing. How about shit like what Google deems an important sampling of what is glued to my webpage that I showed you.

No incoming links are harmful for the reasons I mentioned above. The worst they can be is worthless. As Google gets smarter they find more and more links that are worthless and treat them as such. As they should. I never said black hat techniques were a good thing. I just said they can't be used against you.

I don't give a hoot about any of your SEO theories and I certainly don't want to burst your little pride bubble. I neither want to prove nor disprove anything. The only thing I really want to do is leave a warning, similar to that which the Cutts quote implies.

Be careful those SEOs and Linking Strategists who wish to solicit, buy, swap, rent, steal, replicate, harvest, extort or inherit links to the web pages for the purpose of artificially inflating the web pages importance. Your power weakens daily and your days of decent SERP performances are near.

Duh. That's what was said all along.

Perhaps it is you that is spewing the SEO caca today. Why don’t you tell people to craft content that is worthy to be linked. Forget about the little green bar and the trendy search engine manipulation tactics. Lead junior SEOs and lead them far from search engine manipulation techniques.

I do tell people that every day. And I practice what I preach.

Giving linking advice in these times could be misinterpreted as a a reflection of your obsoletism.

If you are saying links are obsolete in SEO it would explain why the advice you give is so poor and why your 12 year old sites don't rank number 1 for their terms.

Although content is clearly king, that content exists to get the links you need to rank well. The two go hand in hand. Great content without the links goes nowhere.

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... It's a case of reciprocal links are bad in certain scenarios ...

By god, I think you are getting it, slowly.

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By god, I think you are getting it, slowly.

I don't think you understand when I speak. Maybe I should use smaller words?

I never said all links are good. I just said links can never hurt you. The worst a link can be is worthless.

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... There is no such thing as a bad incoming link. The worst that can a link can do is nothing at all...

Those are your original words that started this discussion between us. That is your position. Mine is clearly different.

There is such a thing as a bad incoming link. Bad incoming links can cause webpages not to earn search engine rewards. This is almost the same thing as being penalized. Keyphrase competitors who have not these linked meatheads troubles have yet to have their reputations tarnished. Reputation in itself being an increasingly important ranking factor.

My position goes even further, it is my opinion based on my experiences that some really bad incoming links can damage a webpage's reputation to the point where the webpages can incur penalties.

I know the drill of having webpages with bad reputations. I also know the degree of effort required to regain a search engine's confidence for webpages once it has lost its confidence.

end of discussion

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It's not the end of the discussion. You have yet to state why they would hurt and why it would work in a search engine;s algorithm. You went on a tangent about content and reciprocal links and more but you never were able to explain why they would hurt.

I have clearly stated why they can't. I am still waiting to hear why they can.

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I have clearly stated why they can't. I am still waiting to hear why they can.

You will then wait until I write about this again.

I'm outa' here

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> Bad incoming links can cause webpages not to earn search engine rewards.
Isn't this what Stymiee is saying?

In any case, regarding my recip link directory, I think I left out one important piece of information. All forum posts currently add rel=nofollow to external links. The link directory does not use rel=nofollow. Therefore, when talking about the site as a whole, the only links which don't use rel=nofollow are internal links, sponsored links, and links in the link directory.

How bad is this??? Does it make things look link farmy, even if the links in the directory are of a good quality?

Also, canadafred, if you are in the directory, you should check out what I did to it today. Made some changes :)

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I wouldn't worry about it. It's a big picture kind of thing and the big picture for Daniweb is very good. :)

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How bad is this??? Does it make things look link farmy, even if the links in the directory are of a good quality?

Also, canadafred, if you are in the directory, you should check out what I did to it today. Made some changes

Hey

I woke up this morning thinking that maybe I'll masquerade as a professional today. My metamorphoses lasted about an hour.

Your stuff doesn't look farmy at all. Yours is a quality directory with only relevant web sites linked backed and forth. It should pose no trouble at all. This is not of the completely useless and careless variety. This is not the stuff the search engines should penalize. Yours is good stuff.

So much time and money being spent creating trash compacters. Hope they are enjoying the moment of glory, some of them.

Ya, I like the changes, especially the snapshots. I like little snapshots like that because it makes it easier to pick out the ones that only want you to visit in hopes that maybe you will click out through an Ad. I spotted three or four right away. I detest it even more when they make these Ads look like they are actually part of the web site's content, just a couple of textual phrases between two other lines of text. I clicked on one the other day by mistake. I despise that. Either it is an Ad or it is not an Ad ... anyway that's another discussion.

I better try to get some work done today.

Later

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Thank you for the relief in that my link directory is not hurting me, and for the much appreciated praise. :)

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Thank you for the relief in that my link directory is not hurting me, and for the much appreciated praise. :)

Importance, credibility and authenticity needs to be merited. Your work is all three.

I just finished writing about the power of links in natural working web page relationships. Relevancy and natural development gain the highest link rewards.

The days are numbered for the victory by volume strategists. Artificial inflation of importance has been dealt another blow.

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... forgot something ...

I mentioned this at a Usenet group today and thought it might clarify this a bit too ...

" I think the search engines are moving more towards the natural
evolution of links, and so they should. Unique, richly crafted content
that is well presented to the web visitor turns into a telephone call
more frequently than empowered garbage. Links acquired based on a web designer thinking its content would be of value for his web visitor is a natural link, based on merit earned from the content.


Concentrate on crafting your content. Sure, go solicit for some links
from relevant themed sources, but this type of activity should be kept at a minimum.
Your internal linking is usually more valuable than incoming links.

As far as the rel="nofollow" goes. I can't seem to understand why the search engine came up with this. If you don't want a spider to follow what you do want an Internet visitor to follow then the search engine doesn't get to see what your webpage thinks is relevant content. This seems like another compromise headed for the chopping block. "

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Yesterday I went ahead and made a change to my rel=nofollow policy. While it is still enabled in the forums, since IMO external links within forum posts are not meant to be "endorsed" by the website, blog entries posted by staff writers as well as featured blog entries do not use rel=nofollow. Therefore, the natural linking to/from the blogosphere is not broken.

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Concentrate on crafting your content. Sure, go solicit for some links from relevant themed sources, but this type of activity should be kept at a minimum.

You should seek every link you can get that is related to your site. Limiting yourself wouldn't be maximizing your potential incoming links. Not only is this good for SEO, it's a natural way to promote a site.

Your internal linking is usually more valuable than incoming links.

Not really accurate. Incoming links, if done properly, can play an important role in how a site ranks. But links from external sites, especially authoritative pages, can make a larger difference then all internal links combined. This goes back to the "beyond webmaster control" principle. If an external page that Google has said is very authoritative on a topic links to a page that is not its own then it is seen as an endorsement of that page. In fact, that is what PageRank is built on. Incoming links are seen as votes. Votes from other pages are naturally seen as more authoritative then voting for yourself.

As far as the rel="nofollow" goes. I can't seem to understand why the search engine came up with this. If you don't want a spider to follow what you do want an Internet visitor to follow then the search engine doesn't get to see what your webpage thinks is relevant content. This seems like another compromise headed for the chopping block. "

It was created to limit the effectiveness of blog spam and other links that users can add on their own. Now Google as expanded its usefulness to include link selling. Since they don't want people selling links to manipulate their rankings they encourage the use of "nofollow" to prevent these links from affecting the SERPs. Sites that sell links and do not use it probably will be hit with a penalty. That penalty will most likely be the inability to pass PR from its home page or whatever page they sell links on. They have done this for years with sites like phpbb.com.

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You should seek every link you can get that is related to your site. Limiting yourself wouldn't be maximizing your potential incoming links. Not only is this good for SEO, it's a natural way to promote a site.

It isn't natural to seek links. It is natural to build website content. Natural infers to something happening on its own. In this case, links being given based on some webdesigner thinking the content of the other web page is worth his visitors knowing about, as it is both related to his content and the other webpage's content serves as additional information for his web visitor. In SEO, it is about giving the Internet visitor a pleasant web experience.

Soliciting, renting, buying, borrowing, begging and arm wrestling for links in not a part of SEO at all. That is the game of linking strategists, a mostly pitiful lot who give the art of SEO a bad name.

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It isn't natural to seek links. It is natural to build website content. Natural infers to something happening on its own. In this case, links being given based on some webdesigner thinking the content of the other web page is worth his visitors knowing about, as it is both related to his content and the other webpage's content serves as additional information for his web visitor. In SEO, it is about giving the Internet visitor a pleasant web experience.

Soliciting, renting, buying, borrowing, begging and arm wrestling for links in not a part of SEO at all. That is the game of linking strategists, a mostly pitiful lot who give the art of SEO a bad name.

Seeking links is very natural. It's the first way websites sought to promote themselves online. It's a fundamental form of online advertising. It only gets to be problematic when webmasters use black hat techniques to get those links. And that's what the search engines are cracking down on. But if they didn't believe that links were natural and important they wouldn't make them such an integral part of their ranking algorithms. They would simply ignore them completely. That's also why not all links are worth the same.

In SEO, seeking links means seeking links that will have the greatest positive effect on your site's performance in the SERPs. Not coincidentally this coincides with the best way to market your site online: by getting links from high quality related sites. Having great content is key to being successful at this as without it getting those links is difficult if not impossible. But you just don't throw a good website up there and let it sit there. You must advertise it and seeking links is the way to do it online.

And giving the user a pleasant experience isn't SEO. That's just good business.

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In SEO, seeking links means seeking links that will have the greatest positive effect on your site's performance in the SERPs.

“The approach I’d recommend in that case is to use solid white-hat SEO to get high-quality links (e.g. editorially given by other sites on the basis of merit).”

Don't argue with me about it, argue with Google. Solid White Hat SEO

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I'm not sure what your point was with that post as that's what I said in my post.

In SEO, seeking links means seeking links that will have the greatest positive effect on your site's performance in the SERPs. Not coincidentally this coincides with the best way to market your site online: by getting links from high quality related sites. Having great content is key to being successful at this as without it getting those links is difficult if not impossible.

And asking other sites to link to you is okay, too.

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You really need to grow up. Sorry, but that has to be said. Accusing me of modifying previous posts so I can seem "right" is just so childish. It's bad enough that your reasoning and arguments are poor but referring to what is essentially name calling really is just awful.

And since this thread has hit rock bottom it will be closed. If anyone has specific questions about linking feel free to start a new thread on the subject.

This topic has been dead for over six months. Start a new discussion instead.
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