14 Oct 2005

Link Pages are Dead – Long Live Content Pages.

I was reading Rand Fishkin’s SEOmoz blog about what a links page should look like, and it got me thinking…..Link Pages are Dead (actually they’ve been for a while).

Want to see what I’d consider a clear Links Page?

(first know that I’m guilty of creating thousands of these crappy pages in the past…most are gone now)

Bad Link Page Example:
URL: http://www.garden-site.com/links/internet-marketing-links4.html

Title Tag: Internet Marketing Links Page

Page formatting:

Site About Gardening – Internet Marketing Links

SEO Company
Bob’s SEO Company offers SEO Services bla bla bla (find this same description on lots of other pages like this)

SEO Services
Joe offers SEO Services and bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla.

Internet Marketing Company
Jim offers internet marketing bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla .

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Ok…you get the idea….now you might agree with the "bad" URL and Title Tag…but you might be asking "what’s wrong with the page formatting?….that’s how everyone does it"

Let me explain my thoughts…..I’m betting that search engines hate pages like the above because it’s just so freaking obvious what the intent of these pages are…..so let’s see, If I were an engine, how would I identify these types of page so I can chuck em out of my index so as to not count these links….hum…we’ll any page with the word "link" in the url or the title tag will knock out 95% of them….I’d agree, it might throw out some "real pages" too…but for the sake of cleaning up, those babbies will be tossed with the bathwater….now…on the the formatting….let’s see….any page which follows this pattern:

Link Text, line break (BR), 4-30 words, new paragraph (p), Link Text, Line break (br), 4-30 words, new paragraph (p), Link text, etc, etc……

yea, that’ll get rid of whatever was missed in our first filter…and yea, it’ll not count a few "real" pages….but again, might be worth the sacrifice.

……ok, I might as well show something better than the old links pages (that are so 2001ish).

Better Resource Page Example:

URL: http://www.gardening-site.com/outdoor-information/tips.html

Title Tag: Gardening tips including info on windchimes, umbrellas, and greenhouses.

Formatting:

7 Outdoor tips and information

The area around your garden can be decorated to make your outdoor experience more enjoyable.

Tip #1. By adding an ornamental windchime to your outdoor area you can enjoy sounds that can be music to your ears. Having a windchime near your garden might also help in scaring away animals which might want to eat your hard earned vegetable that you’ve been planting all year.

Tip #2. Create a nearby area of shade to take a rest in from working in your garden. Patio umbrellas can be a great way to get some releaf from the hot sun. Patio umbrellas can come in several styles and colors to match your outdoor area.

Tip #3. If you want to continue your garden during the winter, you might want to start looking at getting a greenhouse. You can find affordable greenhouses at Bob’s Greenhouses where he stocks several types of greenhouse including large greenhouses and small greenhouses to fit any budget.

Tip 4. If you’re moving plants around you might want to read some expert advice offered at About.com to find information on moving plants from place to place without killing the plants.

Tip 5. The US Government has tips on what types of soil should be used to plant different plants depending on your area. This free planting PDF is offered by Uncle Sam on this .gov page.

Tip 6. Using the right type of gardening tools can make your life easier. Rick’s Garden Tools always offers a big sale on gardening tools during the month of December, but his prices are good year round.

Tip 7. Harvard College did a big study on the health benefits of working outdoors. the study showed bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla.  Bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bl. bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla.  You can find this link to the Study on Harvards’s site right here. bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla.

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If you read those tips above, you’ll see I sprinked in some good co-citation as well (.gov’s, edu, expert sites).

The above is not in any way a perfect example…it’s my quick example of "anything" that’s better than the old link, description, link description, link description, etc.  The main idea I’m trying to make is that by focusing on relevance and links within good content is much better than the "old way" of making "links" pages. Link pages are dead. Long live content pages with link embedded within.

Comments

  1. kservik October 15, 2005 at 9:05 AM

    I have been thinking about the same issue for a while. I operate in Norway and link real estate of quality is really hard to come by.

    What I have ended up with as the best road forward is to pay bloggers setting up posts about websites I need links for in a optimal contextual way.

    The issue is then really that this can really backfire, making it quite a bit of a risk to go about promoting an offer like this.

    Got any suggestions on how to minimize risk here or to go another route?

  2. Reciprocal Linking Pages October 15, 2005 at 10:43 AM

    [...] Read Jim Boykin’s post about link pages. [...]

  3. mkane October 17, 2005 at 11:40 PM

    Great post. I believe it will take some time though before enough will feel comfortable to leave familiar ground. ( it’s been working well for so long)

    On my site I give everybody the choice now how the want to link .
    ( the adventerous seem to be few and far in between)

  4. Jim Boykin’s Internet Marketing Blog » Blog Archive » Links Within Content, Linking to Content - a Rant. November 1, 2005 at 11:33 AM

    [...] I find many individuals who come to us who have been workin in obtaining links themselves, or by just purchasing links where their focus has been on numbers, and nowhere really on quality. Believe it or not, Link Style Pages are dead, and those are the types of pages that "monkeys" get you. [...]

  5. Moving Away From Search Engine Traffic And Toward Independence November 23, 2005 at 9:33 AM

    [...] Link Pages are Dead – Long Live Content Pages *Tip: Add this blog to your feed reader – you won’t regret it [...]

  6. Hazman March 12, 2006 at 10:21 AM

    Just off Track.

    Show Do you put the “Searchbox in your banner” ?

    I just read a “new” adsense thingy, about a new strategy to include google search box and adsense in the Banner.

  7. Hazman March 12, 2006 at 10:23 AM

    sorry. typo. Let me rephrase it.

    Jim, How do you put the “Searchbox in your Banner” ?

  8. Subhash Kandpal June 4, 2007 at 8:47 AM

    I think this could be better method in comparison of other.

  9. Levi Page August 6, 2007 at 5:17 PM

    Great article and novel idea. The problem is getting your link partners to do this. Seems like a lot of work to beneft others who won’t be offering you the same courtesy.

  10. Rado August 12, 2007 at 3:39 PM

    This would mean that all directories (including DMOZ) are no more than links pages…

  11. Jim Boykin August 12, 2007 at 6:52 PM

    Rado…ah, yes….you’ve caught on to something I believe google caught on to years ago.

  12. MBill August 13, 2007 at 1:01 PM

    Ok Jim, links for Directories are of no use. But what about links from article directories? They are within content but now I’m experiencing no benefit from such links too.

  13. Jim Boykin August 13, 2007 at 9:44 PM

    MBill
    here’s what I think about article directories:
    http://www.jimboykin.com/article-submission-services/
    ….near worthless.

  14. MBill August 14, 2007 at 3:29 AM

    Ah, Link pages are Dead, Article Directories are worthless. How about paid blog posts. I’m talking of blog posts that don’t have any direct links from other sites but those posts are nicely linked within in the blog structure of the hosting site. Are they worthy?

    Your thoughts Jim :)

  15. Sharon Deloy August 27, 2007 at 7:22 PM

    I believe that the DMOZ directory, being edited by hand, ranks well with Google and the other search engines. Wikipedia is also a good link, although it has a no follow policy.
    Also, edu and gov links are good.

    Sitening has a free program that lists page rank, google pages indexed, how many backlinks with google, whether the url has any edu or gov backlinks, and whether it is listed in DMOZ.

    Also it says whether they suggest that you consider a link from that website.

  16. Marek September 28, 2007 at 8:55 AM

    Thanks!
    I was googling for more information about backlink trategies and found this advice. I wrote few artcles on presell pages and still come back to them and change my links (title, etc.;)
    I think that it is great idea to have some gov or edu pages in the neighborhood

  17. Beth Carmen October 1, 2007 at 7:52 AM

    I’m so glad people are getting out this links page business. The Internet is full of junk, spammy looking pages that are full of links. I like many others won’t put up with it, when browsing the net that is last thing I want to stumble across.

  18. Communication October 25, 2007 at 11:12 AM

    We prefer second type of link in our every day business. Butt also need to have a lot of expierence and project. We are using third example.

  19. Chad November 2, 2007 at 11:15 AM

    Although these lists aren’t ideal some of them do still provide great benefit. They are especially useful in markets that aren’t competitive.

  20. JaeWeb March 4, 2008 at 1:16 AM

    a company i worked for as a web dev paid a chump SEO (who just happens to be speaking at the upcoming SMX Sydney……..) a lot of money for basically what is a link exchange program with a huge links page, deeplinked to from every page of the site (via CMS). the links page ended up outranking every other page on the site and is basically a linkjuice leak to the other sites.

    no wonder SEO has such a bad name.

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