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Search engine insiders talk about links

On a recent search engine conference, Tim Mayer from Yahoo, Matt Cutts from Google and Kaushal Kurapti from Ask Jeeves revealed information on how these three search engines analyze links to determine the ranking of web pages in a public discussion.

What did these insiders say about linking?

Basically, the old linking principle still applies: if page a links to page b then it is a recommendation from page a to page b. The more links point to your web site, the better your rankings.

The Ask Jeeves representative pointed out that text links can be understood by search engines but not image links. He also pointed out that you should avoid link farms, cloaked pages and invisible or hidden links. It seems that ethical search engine optimization is still important.

The Yahoo representative said that links had been very popular and that the link popularity on Yahoo would be moving to the social community aspect (without revealing further information). He also said that the links to your web site should look natural.

Google's representative agreed with Ask Jeeves' statements. In addition, he suggested to add one new page of content everyday and that the links to your web site should not all have the same text. He also confirmed that Google only returns a few of the backlinks they have in their index.

How can you improve the link popularity of your web site without upsetting search engines?

The discussion confirmed that it is important to focus on ethical search engine optimization. Don't try to cheat search engines and don't go for one shot quick fix solutions.

Get good links to your web site and use text links whenever possible. If the site navigation on your web site uses image links, add text links so that search engines can index your pages. Mix reciprocal links and one-way links to create a natural linking pattern. Don't forget to optimize your web page content for search engines.

It takes some time to prepare your web pages for high search engine rankings and to keep them there. If you want to get long-term results with your web site, you have to work with your web pages.

Be cautious when someone offers you quick solutions that require no work. These companies usually offer spam services that will harm your web site rankings.

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August 2005 search engine articles