Google’s Topical Match

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To many web site owners, Google’s Topical Match is more like a leper attempting to find friends. Site owners, like the Romans of old, have developed great inroads into their sites and captured many links during the process. Unfortunately, Google with their “great wisdom” pulled up the ground under those roads like a great earthquake and virtually destroyed the landscape.

You’re probably wondering what this means and rightfully so.

Regardless of training and experience, site owners and search engine optimizers alike exchanged links with other sites to attract traffic from other web sites. The Hyper-Text Markup Language was developed to make linking possible turning previously non-connectible documents into a web of information. However, many web site owners acquired links to their business with less helpful link text. Links to external resources must be identified in the link text by the target. Obviously, a link to another web site would be either another company or web site; however, the title of the page or topical representation should be used instead of the company or domain name.

Here’s the problem due to the lack of attention to detail. Anyone that has links coming into their web site or providing links to others should use the title of the page they are linking to. This may be hard if the page doing the linking can’t work the target title into the link text, but something close should be used.

For example, the Apple Pie Shopping Cart a search engine friendly shopping cart must be linked in such a manner as to not marry the term “Apple Pie” to the primary subject of the site. By placing Apple Pie in the link text the site becomes topically matched to “Apple Pie.”

Imagine the problems people have because of the search directories listing sites in alphabetical order and people using numbers, non-alpha-numeric characters and possibly the name of their product or company. This has turned into more problems than those webmasters and search engine optimization companies had expected. Unfortunately, there isn’t much that can be done about links that may have existed for years except ask the linking webmaster to change the link text. This may fall upon deaf ears as those webmasters may become over burdened with the large task of updating tons of links.

What can be done now?

As everyone is aware, we need to be out there seeking link exchanges with as many sites as possible. Now, that you know your link text should be based upon the title of your page or the topic of your site, if the title of your homepage is based upon your company or domain name. This should be a continuing activity for any online business.

If you think the link text doesn’t make any difference, you can go to Google and do a search for “miserable failure.” You’ll find President George W. Bush listed first in Google’s results. The power of the link text cannot be ignored any longer.

In the past you’ve read and possibly heard me state that the Standards for proper web design must be used. All web sites must be developed and promoted using proper web development standards. Failing to do so will destroy your online business.

I anticipate the next move of the search engines to be a higher level of code validation. The search engines are already examining codes used in web pages. But, as we all know change takes time and people must be led into doing the “right thing” in ways they may not be aware of the lead being used.

As a point of reference, you can’t lead a mule or push a mule due largely in part to their stubbornness, but you can coax a mule into doing what you want it to do through subtle suggestions or challenges. The mass of web designers using poor HTML programming techniques and web design techniques can be compared very well with a mule. While there are those that understand, there are many that do not and are so stubborn they refuse to improve their skills.

So, where’s the road map now?

The road map hasn’t moved or changed; only the landscape has changed. All the links to one’s web site still exist and people can find one’s web site through the various search engines. However, with Google the landscape has been, in the opinion of many, replaced with a stronger foundation upon which the roads won’t get washed away if the inroads are developed correctly.

Lee Roberts President/CEO of target="_blank">Rose Rock Design, Inc. and owner/developer of the Apple
Pie Shopping Cart
the search engine friendly shopping cart.

Google’s Topical Match
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