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Links and link building with Google.

By Clare Lawrence
Posted Thursday, October 7, 2004

Google is the leading search engine, so having the right strategy for optimisation on Google is essential.

FFA sites
Having a link on your website to an FFA (free for all) otherwise known as a links farm will not damage your PR. What will harm your site and your Google Page rank is outbound links from your site TO FFA sites.

Page rank is Google’s own measure of the links and their quality to your site. Page Rank is an important factor, but not the only factor in Google’s algorithm.

FFA links must be avoided to protect your site, it is very important therefore to screen carefully each site you link to. Using Google's PR tool (a free download from: - ( ) can give you clues as to how Google rates sites. FFA sites are usually fairly easy to spot, as they contain lots of links to site that have no common theme or thread and the site itself appears to serve no purpose other than the provision of links.

A greyed out PR usually means a site with a penalty a PR of 10/10 is a perfect score (only Google has one) 0/10 means little or no useful links etc.

The reason for this is straightforward: - Google recognises that you do Not have control over who links to you, but you do have control of which sites you LINK TO.

Once Google has blacklisted you – it is very hard to get re-listed the only options being to persuade Google you have “reformed” or move your site to another domain name and start again!

Google’s algorithm

If you’re a mathematical whiz you might also find the following article of interest (

What it says is that the average page rank of a group of pages always remains as 1.0. So for every highly ranked page there must be lower ranked ones. Page rank passes from page to page after the application of a dampening factor (usually 0.85).

The point being that pages with outward links reduce page ranks whilst those with inward links gain it. The higher the ranking of the source and the lower the number of other outward links the more valuable it will be to you.

Link dilution

The number of links on a page dilutes the Page rank transferred. If a page has 100 links. The page rank transferred is worth only 1/100th of the value a single link would have. There are other factors such as the sites theme in comparison to your own.

For this reason link web masters often see exchanging links as hard work!

Link location – some SEO writers also believe there is an advantage to being towards the top of the page containing your link (or backlinks as links from external sites are known), this may be correct as Google does treat headers and title as being of more importance than footers etc. The logic being that in the same way as a newspaper reader will often scan headlines and the first couple of lines of copy so do user of websites.

Using SEO copywriting

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) copyrighting is the process of writing web friendly text. This means for example using your keywords in the right “density” and using words in the tense and combination that a user may enter them into a search engine.

By developing text in this way, it is also possible to incorporate text that will allow you to link directly from the body of your text.

This means your site is providing relevant content and at the same time your giving yourself more pages on your site the potential to contain links, which can be used for promotional purposes.

Interesting in seeing how your site is currently optimised? We have a number of SEO tools , which you might find interesting.

Anchor text

This is becoming ever more important– some say THE most important feature. The use of anchor text is one the biggest boosters to keyword searches.
Consider the following: -

A) To visit our partner Domain names partner click here
B) Click here: Domain Names to visit our partner.

Which is the best? Assuming the pages are otherwise the same Page Rank wise?

B) Is clearly better because the search engine now associates ( with the phrase domain names (the top phrase in the domain name market) with the site rather than the word “here”.


Embedding text links is the most valuable method of linking. It keeps the links at a pretty low number, so dilution is not a problem. It also will award a bonus for keywords used in the anchor text. If anyone offers you a link and asks how you would like it to shown up you now know how to reply!

About the Author
Clare Lawrence is CEO of Discount Domains Ltd – A leading UK provider of Domain name registration and Web Hosting services. Please feel free to re-publish this article provided this reference box remains together with a hyperlink to ( Clare can also be contacted on


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