Your Snap! Website, Links and SEO...

Alexis Wilke's picture

I mentioned links several times as I talked about SEO. I'm sure you already know that you can click links to go from one page to another like the Snap! Websites home page, and I was thinking that it could be a good idea to explain what links are and what are the different types of links, and their effectiveness.

Technical Aspect

Flash Content - Clock by bi

Pages on the Internet are generally written in HTML1. HTML stands for Hyper Text Mark-up Language. This is indeed a computer language describing what you want to display on the screen. It is not a programing language, however2.

HTML is composed of two parts: tags and content. All the content in HTML is text. Tags may point to other types of content such as a Flash animation (see on the side,) or an MP3 song, or details about the style of your page.

A link is created using the Anchor tag. It is written as follow:

<a href="">Snap! Websites</a>

As you can see, a link is no more than some text. Tags are written between < and > and here you see the anchor tag <a>. The destination of the link is written between quotes after href=. This is like a variable attached to the anchor that defines the destination. These tag variables are called attributes.

Voilà. Now that you know, you should not be scared by links anymore.

Note that with a Snap! Websites, you can simply select the text that you want to transform in a link and then click a button and enter the destination URL. No need to edit the HTML.

Different Types of Links

Deep Linking3

Deep Linking is what you do whenever you link a post to another on your website. For instance, I can mention the post I made two days ago: How do you determine your Snap! Website keywords?, which is a good idea since it talks about SEO and has a graphic about the different types of links explained here.

First of all, Deep Linking helps your readers finding information that is in link with what you're talking about. It also helps search engines because they also can link things together (by increasing their inferred calculations.)

External Linking

Pretty much all the other links are called External Links. You have two types: those that appear on your website and those that appear on other websites and point to you.

Whenever you link from your website to another, make sure you check the destination website and that it works for you and looks okay (and eventually similar enough to your website.) Such links are not required, although if you talk about something and found another article about it or at least something interesting about it, then adding a link is a good idea to help your readers find details about what you are writing in your website.

Note that Snap! Websites offers a feature that checks such links for broken links. It happens that you point to a website that one day goes down for ever. When that happens, Snap! can automatically let you know. Know that fixing broken links is important to maintain the quality of your website!

Forum Linking

Often times, if you want to talk about your subject you'll be looking for a live forum talking about what you write about in your blog, which, I will assume, is what you like. When you write in a forum, you can include a link to your website (although different forums have different rules... you may need to make a few posts before you get the right to add your links.)

Note that if you do participate, intelligently, you will get links in forums that permanently point to your website (at least as long as said forums exist.) This is extremely good since it means your rank will remain quite stable.

Blog Linking

As with Forum Linking, you may find others who blog about similar ideas as yours. It will be likely that you'll want to post on those blogs. When you do so, don't hesitate to include a link to your website, especially if you have a blog. At first, your link may even appear on the front page of that blog which should be really good because in general the front page has a higher page rank than the others. Later, it will get hidden deeper. It is alright, it will continue to exist (at least as long as said blog exists.)

Note that in general the value of a link in a blog is lower than one found in a forum.

Non-Profit, Academia, Government Linking

There is an aspect of the Internet that is quite interesting. Content on all websites is not actually considered equal.

The difference is based on several things: (1) how many people visit your page, (2) what your current Page Rank is, (3) how unique your keywords are, (4) how many links point to your website and where they were found, ...

Yet, there is one other quite major difference: the Non-profit, Academia and Governmental websites. All of those are considered to be superior to all other websites. The main reason being that it is tightly controlled and thus is likely to have correct content. Therefore, such links that point to your Snap! Website count more than most of the other links you can get.

Affiliate Linking

When a company creates a product or a service that others can help sell by posting a banner ad or similar content on their own website, it creates links that point from that affiliate website to your company website. Although a lot of people would consider this as a negative, it increases the number of links from a whole range of websites, some of which may very well have a very high rank.

This is done by many for all sorts of online products and services. For instance, a free software like SugarCRM includes a link to their website at the bottom of the log in page. Users will generally install that software and leave the link. This can generate millions of links back to SugarCRM which is really good (a large number of links proves that you are worth your higher rank.

Advertising Linking

This type of linking counts when you can post a banner ad directly on a website. It is frequent on smaller sites, generally not available on larger websites.

The reason why so many ads do not help your link count is because the ad is shown using JavaScript and thus is not HTML. Most of the time the JavaScript code opens the ad in an IFRAME, clearly hiding the content from search engines. That means the banner ads are good to get people to click on them, but it generally has no SEO value.

Article Linking

You may have thought that writing an article was to get people to read it and get them to your website. Okay, that's correct too, but I can tell you that even with the best article, your readership is likely going to be small (one to two hundred) unless you get published on what I would call an official website. It is very difficult to get there.

However, the important aspect of article publishing on the Internet is to get many links from those articles back to your website. The result is that you get more links and most of the time those will be good links (links that a spider has the right to follow on a website with a high page rank, etc.)

RSS feeds

I mentioned RSS feeds earlier as a way to publish your content all over the Internet with little effort (see SEO with RSS and Links on your Snap! Website). That works too, even though it is limited. Remember that a link is a link and adding your RSS feed in many different places that duplicates your content will definitively help you get your content flowing.

Places where you can include your RSS feed: Facebook, Ning, IMplate, ecademy, Blog Frog, Feedburner... Do you know others? Post their names in a comment below.

  • 1. There are many other formats that one can use such as Flash, images, plain text, PDF, etc. However, the majority of the pages are written in HTML which allows one to format the content nicely and include many different files in a single page.
  • 2. You can incorporate a programming language within HTML, yet, HTML itself is not a programing language. You may have heard of JavaScript and ASP which are commonly used to program web pages.
  • 3. Deep linking is often called Inter-pages Links, or Internal Linking.