Seattle IT Edge
Seattle IT Edge - Seattle IT Consulting

Business Technology Marketing – SEO Linking

There is some interest recently in Search engine optimization.  There a several variables that determine popularity among the search engines.  Some companies began linking campaigns to boost thier popularity with search engines. 

Managing your own Search Engine Campaign is like trying to go to Vegas and break the bank playing Black Jack.  It’s possible, but not likely.  For those that are going to try it anyway, here is a quick summary on doing your own linking.  One caution, be careful who you link with.

Popularity is the variable the search engine uses when breaking a tie.  When two sites are equally relevant the most popular site wins.  In fact a very popular site can sometimes win even when relevance is not equal.  This article is about how to build tie breaking popularity for a website using link requests.    

If you’ve used a search engine, then you’ve typed in a keyword Query to find a site. The keyword query returns a list of sites.  The first site on the list has the top ranking for that keyword query.  This type of ranking is called a Keyword Ranking.  There are many variables that the search engine looks at when determining the top Keyword rankings.  The two we need to focus on are Relevance and Popularity.  To be relevant, the keyword query must be a part of the content of the webpage.   The question is how does the search engine decide who should be on top when two sites have the same level of relevance? 


(*Note: If you’d like more information about relevance try reading Non-technical SEO: using keywords to get your Site(s) found.)


To explain this, let me ask the question, do you ever overdo your exercise?  I do these dumbbell lunges that leave my thighs in pain for days.  It seems that working at a desk and getting older requires more exercise and stretching just to keep from getting fatter.  I have found that along with an excise and a stretching regime a good massage therapist just makes exercising so much easier.  So how do I find a good massage therapist?  If I go on the internet and type Seattle Massage, I get a long list of over 1000 massage therapists.  As much as I enjoy a good massage, I can’t try them all before deciding on one.  Especially after considering that the real benefit of massage comes after developing a long term relationship with a single massage therapist.


The problem:  Of all these massage therapists, who is the right therapist for me?  One solution consistently works whether looking for a massage therapist, a doctor or a mechanic.  What I could really use is a good referral.


The problem is the same for the search engine.  The search engine programmers want to refer the top sites for each keyword query.  I can call a friend for a referral, but what about the search engine?  The search engine has 10’s of 1000’s of websites on the query list.  Unfortunately search engines don’t get referrals, or do they?  Well actually there is a search engine equivalent of a referral.  For a search engine, a link from one website to another is a referral. 


Long before there were search engines, webmasters pointed to other sites they thought were cool.  This is actually a big part of the early internet community.  By pointing at other cool sites on the web, the webmaster helped pass on information about these other cools sites.  The original search engine programmers realized this and decided that if two sites were equally relevant, the site with the most links moved up the list.  The thinking was that if a webmaster took the time to program a link to another site, it must be a good site.  You may have noticed that many sites have a “Web Resource” type page.  You’ll also see a “Link to us” Page.  On the Web Resource page the webmaster refers other sites to the search engines.  The “link to us” page describes the code and instruction to link back to the site.


Here is an example of the code Seattle IT Edge uses when requesting a link.



<A HREF=”” STYLE=”COLOR:blue”><B>Seattle IT</B></A> – Seattle IT consulting by Seattle IT Edge, Stable Seattle IT services strategies.


In this code you can see the URL or website being referred is .  Essentially the code is saying, I think Seattle IT Edge is a cool site.   In our example, “Seattle IT Consulting by Seattle IT Edge, Stable Seattle IT services strategies” explains to the search engine why Seattle IT Edge is cool. By including the site keywords into this code, the website URL is linked to the keywords.  The search engine now associates Seattle IT Edge, the company, with Seattle IT Consulting, Seattle IT and Seattle IT Services without even seeing the site.   If Seattle IT Edge uses the same keywords in its content as in the link, then the search engine will be convinced of the relevancy and popularity of Seattle IT Edge.


We could wait for webmasters to look at our page.  A faster way is to send a Link Request to the webmaster of another site.  Essentially saying we think you’re cool.  We’ll link to you.  If you think we are cool also, will you link to us in return?   The webmaster then creates a link back to the requestor’s site using the code in the Link Request.  When the search engine see’s the link pointing back to the requestor’s site, the link is counted as a referral and helps build the requestor site’s popularity.   Along with posting articles and videos that point back to a site, link requests are another way to build popularity.


Search engines break ties in relevancy with a value called popularity.  Popularity is built based on the links pointing to the web page.  It would be nice if this were all there were too it but the reality is, each link is valued differently depending on the originating site.  To learn how links are weighted check this article, Let’s talk about SEO PR.  There are many ways to build links that point back to a site.  Blog Articles and comments are one way to create links back to your website.   Remembering that all links are not created equal, Link Exchange requests are another tool a webmaster can use to create customized and highly credible links back to the website.