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Webmasters: Where’d My Links Go, Google?

The webmaster forums are lit up with reports that the Google Webmaster Toolbar is showing zero backlinks, and some are reporting a decrease in traffic shortly after.

Why Does Google Trust Old Websites So Much?

The Evolution of Natural Linking

AP Suing Moreover Like It’s 1999
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The Associated Press is suing news-aggregation site Moreover and its parent company VeriSign for copyright infringement for snippeting and linking to its news. This harkens back to the early days of the Internet when news aggregators were routinely legally hassled for linking.

Links Range from Good to Bad to Ugly
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As a site owner, it’s important to devote what link building time you have to creating connections that count – really count – as far as search engine spiders are concerned.

In fact, there’s a range of site link types – links diversity. Some are more valuable than others. Spend your time and resources building the highest quality links and you’ll quickly see the value of these efforts.

Hosted Content

Google Could Hurt Newspapers’ Websites

More than a month has passed since Google struck a deal with the Associated Press, Agence France-Presse, the Press Association, and the Canadian Press, but an outcry has continued.  One onlooker believes newspapers’ sites will be hurt.

Finking On Paid Linking?
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It’s been a couple of weeks since it became apparent that Google was penalizing link directories – at least a few of them – knocking them out of the SERPs even for their own business names. There’s still no official word from Google on this, but there is plenty speculation that it wasn’t algorithmic.

Brand New Websites: SEO Company Perspective
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It’s an unfortunate fact – no matter how good your search engine optimization company or in-house talent is, brand new websites have a more difficult time achieving search engine success for competitive phrases than their older counterparts, particularly on Google.

Google Maps Adds Line-Measuring Tool
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To me, camping means carrying a lot of stuff and sacrificing a decent shower.  Hiking, on the other hand, suggests a pleasant jaunt through the wilderness.  So a new distance-measuring tool from Google Maps is rather interesting – it should make sure that hikes don’t inadvertently turn into camping trips.

Google Allows Some Linking Schemes
Barry caught that Google amended its webmaster guidelines (the holy bible of not getting banned from the search engine), changing the wording on reciprocal linking schemes in a small but very significant way. Before, it said:

SES – PR Train Wrecks Don’t Address SEM

I attended my first session of the day at Search Engine Strategies (SES) San Jose in order to learn more about bad PR as it relates to SEO. Oops, no search discussed here.

Reciprocal Linking vs. Triangular Linking

When emails like this come from amateurs it’s one thing, but when they come from so-called SEO professionals… 

Link Love Can Hurt

So, I guess if there was one thing we could all conceptually agree on, it would be that the link, in all its iterations and forms, has become the accepted currency of the social web — especially in the context of blogging.

2008 to be “Year of Linux on the Desktop?”

On Saturday at the iPhoneDevCamp someone was showing me his computer. It was running Ubuntu. Linux.

I noted to myself that it finally got over some of the ugliness that turned me off of earlier Linux-on-the-desktop attempts. He showed me, and a few other people some of the cool things (much nicer 3D switching than even OSX has, for instance). Damn, I thought to myself, it’s time to give Linux another look.

Links, Accessibility & Endings
This is a running around the room post. Some may call it a recap or roundup. I call it a “brain dump” or Kim’s blog torture. Take your pick.

Jarboe at SES Toronto

Speaking of Search Engine Strategies Toronto, did you know that Incisive Media now hosts half-day and full-day training sessions – intensive workshops on special topics to bring you fully up to speed – the day prior to the SES conferences?

Cingular and Verizon Are Full of It
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You would think that questions about linking to a website, or more specifically, what you’re allowed to say when linking, would have been put to rest. But that’s not true for Cingular or for Verizon Wireless, who think they have a right to control your hyperlink anchor text and where you link on their public sites.

Link Building Tips
Oh we love the links and then some here at TopRank. Old school online marketer Larry Chase published a few more link building tips and resources in his most recent Web Digest for Marketers newsletter. I’ve added a few of my own comments:

The SEO Playbook (Welcome to the Rabbit Hole)

SEO is about more than meta tags, title tags, and targeted anchor text. Call it "competitive webmastering", "SEO", or any one of a slew of other titles – it is the thought process of lateral thinking and understanding of website creation and marketing combined that matters most.

SES – Linking Strategies and Link Baiting

If you click the link under the headline of this post, you’ll land on Day 3 of Search Engine Strategies December 6, 2006 held in Chicago. That day included both sessions "Linking Strategies" and "Link Baiting and Viral Marketing Success", just as this current conference in April in New York. Both sessions are marked "Advanced" and suggest that you don’t attend if you didn’t attend the "Basic Linking" session earlier in the week. Nah. Only rank beginners not likely to attend a high end SES New York conference should need the prior session.

Hosted Content, The Quest for the Perfect Link

Ask Google, search engines love links. Of course, they love some links more than others. For example, a simple link exchange (reciprocal link) doesn’t have as much value to search engines and so, it doesn’t receive the same weight as a non-reciprocal (one-way) link – the theory being that a one-way, in-bound link is a recommendation from a site owner to visit this linked site. The link, itself, is testament to the quality of the site being referred.

Optimizing for a Small Niche
SEO Question: My site is focused on a small niche and I can’t find any related keywords to write content about. How do I optimize my content? What should I do? 

Answer: Track what you are ranking for and look for meaningful patterns and descriptive related keywords in that data.

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