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A reciprocal link is a mutual link between two objects, commonly between two websites to ensure mutual traffic. Example: Alice and Bob have websites. If Bob's website links to Alice's website, and Alice's website links to Bob's website, the websites are reciprocally linked. Website owners often submit their sites to reciprocal link exchange directories, in order to achieve higher rankings in the search engines. Reciprocal linking between websites is an important part of the search engine optimization process because Google uses link popularity algorithms (defined as the number of links that led to a particular page and the anchor text of the link) to rank websites for relevancy.
Three way linking (siteA -> siteB -> siteC -> siteA) is a special type of reciprocal linking. The attempt of this link building method is to create more "natural" links in the eyes of search engines. The value of links by three-way linking can then be better than normal reciprocal links, which are usually done between two domains.
In order to take advantage of the need for inbound links to rank well in the search engines, a number of automatic link exchange services have been launched. Members of these schemes will typically agree to have several links added to all their web pages in return for getting similar links back from other sites.
An alternative to the automated linking above is a link exchange forum, in which members will advertise the sites that they want to get links to, and will in turn offer reciprocal or three way links back to the sites that link to them. The links generated through such services are subject to editorial review.
One way link is a term used among webmasters for link building methods. It is a hyperlink that points to a website without any reciprocal link; thus the link goes "one way" in direction. It is suspected by many industry consultants that this type of link would be considered more natural in the eyes of search engines. One Way links are also called Incoming Links or Inbound Links.
An effective way to build this type of one way linking is by distributing articles through content sites and article directories. These articles generally contain an About The Author box that contains a one-way link back to the author's URL. When publishers use these articles, those one-way links help authors increase their page rank.
Multi way linking is a technique used for website promotion whereby websites may create similar one way links that each involves 3 or more partner sites. This provides each website with a one way non-reciprocal link. This technique has evolved from reciprocal linking. According to Google and Yahoo, the latest search algorithms have evolved to hold less favor towards websites that contain a high percentage of reciprocated links, and a higher favor towards websites that maintain a high level of incoming non-reciprocated (one-way) links.
The term multi way simply refers to the fact that the link exchange is between 3 or more websites, however each link is singular by only pointing to one other website. Other means of linking that may increase your web presence may also include other indirect methods such as loading images, videos, content or RSS feeds from a third partners website.
Link campaigns are a form of online marketing and SEO. A business seeking to increase the number of visitors to its web site can ask its strategic partners, professional organizations, chambers of commerce, suppliers, and customers to add links from their web sites. A link campaign may involve mutual links back and forth between related sites, but it doesn't have to require the reciprocation of links.
Incestuous linking is an SEO strategy used by a webmaster to promote a collection of their own web sites, or those of close friends.
Due to the domination of the search engine market by Google, and its underlying PageRank technology, sites are deemed to be more important if they have large numbers of inbound links. If those inbound links are also from highly ranked web sites, they will boost the web site further. With the take-up of blogging and social networking sites such as MySpace, this has resulted in lots of web sites that are inter-linked and can artificially improve the ranking of a web site without merit, i.e. without valuable or unique content.
When the sites are not directly owned, this is referred to as a web clique.
It is characterized by:
The opposites of overlinking are null linking and underlinking, which are phenomena in which hyperlinks are reduced to such a degree as to remove all pointers to a likely-needed context of an unusual term, in the text-area where the term occurs. Underlinking results whenever a reader encounters an odd term in an article (perhaps not even for the first time), and wants to briefly browse more deeply at that point, but he or she cannot without an extensive search of the article for a (possibly non-existent) instance of the linked term.
Link doping refers to the practice and effects of embeddinga large number of gratuitous hyperlinks on a website, in exchange for reciprocal links. Mainly used when describing blogs, link doping usually implies that a person hyperlinks to sites he or she has never visited, in return for a place on the website's blogroll, for the sole purpose of inflating the apparent popularity of his or her website. Since the search algorithms of many web directorys and search engines rely on the number of hyperlinks to a website to determine its importance or influence, link doping can result in a high placement or ranking for the offending website.
Originally used in an essay published in Sobriquet Magazine and on link doping has been confused with the related practice of excessive hyperlinking, also known as "link whoring". While the two phrases may be used interchangeably to describe gratuitous linking, link doping carries the additional connotation of deliberately striving to attain a certain level of success for one's website without having earned it through hard work (as an average athlete on steroids might perform better than a naturally gifted athlete not on performance-enhancing drugs).
A Free For All (FFA) link page is a web page set up ostensibly to improve the search engine placement of a particular web site. Webmasters typically will use software to place a link to their site on hundreds of FFA sites, hoping that the resulting incoming links will increase the ranking of their site in search engines. Experts in SEO techniques do not place much value on FFAs. First, most FFAs only maintain a small number of links for a short time, too short for most search engines to pick up. Second, the high "human" traffic to FFA sites is almost completely other webmasters visiting the site to place their own links manually. Finally, search engine algorithms count more than link numbers, they also check relevancy which the unrelated links on FFA sites do not have. Another drawback to FFAs is the amount of e-mail spam webmasters will receive from members of the FFA. Using an FFA can be considered a form of spamdexing.
Link popularity is a measure of the quantity and quality of other web sites that link to a specific site on the World Wide Web. It is an example of the move by search engines towards off-the-page-criteria to determine quality content. In theory, off-the-page-criteria adds the aspect of impartiality to search engine rankings. Link popularity plays an important role in the visibility of a web site among the top of the search results. Indeed, some search engines require at least one or more links coming to a web site, otherwise they will drop it from their index.
Search engines such as Google use a special link analysis system to rank web pages. Citations from other WWW authors help to define a site's reputation. The philosophy of link popularity is that important sites will attract many links. Content-poor sites will have difficulty attracting any links. Link popularity assumes that not all incoming links are equal, as an inbound link from a major directory carries more weight than an inbound link from an obscure personal home page. In other words, the quality of incoming links counts more than sheer numbers of them.
Link bait is any content or feature within a website that somehow baits viewers to place links to it from other websites. Matt Cutts defines link bait as anything "interesting enough to catch people's attention." Link bait can be an extremely powerful form of marketing as it is viral in nature.
The quantity and quality of inbound links are two of the many metrics used by a search engine ranking algorithm to rank a website. Link bait creation falls under the task of link building, and aims to increase the quantity of high-quality, relevant links to a website. Part of successful linkbaiting is devising a mini-PR campaign around the release of a link bait article so that bloggers and social media users are made aware and can help promote the piece in tandem. Social media traffic can generate a substantial amount of links to a single web page. Sustainable link bait is rooted in quality content.
Although there are no clear-cut subdivisions within link bait, many attempt to divide them into types of hooks. This is a short list of some of the most common approaches with brief descriptions: