I would like to know what links and where on a page are the best kinds of links. I'm a new blogger and started up my 2nd blog this weekend: The Artist Food Network. An artist will email a recipe and a painting of a food from the recipe. We will link to her in our post and we will want a link exchange by having her put a permanent link to us somewhere on our side bar (in a sidebar with layout -- adding a new page element). Are these the same in value?
Everyone talks about the value of links but I never know where to put these links --In a comments on another's site, in the post, or permanently in the blog roll. Thanks for your help.
What a delightful idea for a blog! Very unique. In terms of your questions, it can be confusing for bloggers to know who to link to, where to place the link and how many links to use on a page. First and foremost, design your blog pages with users in mind. Create your navigation and outbound links so they are the most logical for your visitors. Create a few different layouts for your blog and ask a sample of people to provide feedback and what they do and don't like.
Any usability expert
will tell you that the most expected place for navigation links is at the left of top of a page and the most expected link format is blue underlined text. Now that might not work with your particular blog template, but you should still try to fulfill your visitors expectations as much as possible. Visual heat maps
can show you what areas of a web page are most looked at and clicked on by visitors. Try to place your most important content and links in these areas.
In terms of how to link to your contributors, I see that you have created a Contributors
column in your left-hand navigation and are linking to the profiles of each contributer. But most of your posts don't link out to other sites. I do see one post from a guest artist where you've linked to the artist's site within the post text. The way you've done that is just fine. In terms of search engines and linking, there are really only four things to remember:
1) A link from site A to site B is considered by search engines to be a "vote" by site A for site B. The quality of site A is what search engines pay close attention to. If site A is considered a high quality site, with high traffic and popular content, the vote for site B is obviously worth more. If site A's content is related to the theme of site B, the link value is even higher. If site A is considered to be fairly unimportant or of low quality, then the link value is reduced considerably. This is why mass link building campaigns are often unsuccessful, because webmasters go out and try to build links willy-nilly, without caring who links back to them or who they link to. It's quality that counts for search engines, not quantity. The same goes for the number of links from one site to yours. Having a link from somebody's blogroll to your blog might provide more traffic, because more pages are listing your link, but it won't necessarily help from a search engine perspective unless the pages that list your link are considered of high quality themselves. The point here is to link and become linked by all means, but make sure you only link out to sites you would recommend to your site visitors.
2) If possible, don't exceed 100 links on a single page, as recommended by Google in their Webmaster Guidelines
. I know, I know, I break this rule! It's a usability thing.
3) Don't link to the same page more than once on a single page.
4) The anchor text you use in the link can influence how relevant search engines consider the linked-to page for matching search queries. So you should always try to use logical keywords within the link. For example, if you were linking to a site about watercolor artists, instead of having the link look like this: Visit this site, it's about watercolor artists.
You should use keywords in the anchor text and change the link to: Visit a site about watercolor artists.
Make sense? It's very important that you encourage your guest artists and any persons linking to you to use anchor text in their links also so your site can gain from the link juice.
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