The Downsides Of Reciprocal Linking To Increase Search Engine Rankings

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By Brian Gilley

Reciprocal linking is still a highly sought after method for many companies and webmasters hoping to increase their web site’s ranking in the search engines. Back in 2002, when reciprocal linking firmly took its place as a real way to boost your rankings, many webmasters and sites started using it to quickly and frantically get the upper edge on their competition and the search engines. But, like all short lived and unnatural ways to boost web site rankings, reciprocal linking has quickly just become another very loosely based and often worthless method for many sites trying to get their sites ranked by the search engines.

Let’s look at some of the reasons why reciprocal linking is fading fast, and why some sites who still use the examples I’ll describe below are left with hours, weeks, and possibly months worth of wasted marketing for their own sites.

The first thing I like to think about with any linking campaign or any sort is how easy it is to spot reciprocal linking from Google’s standpoint. If they can spot unnatural linking building, and they likely will, then the other big search engines aren’t far behind.

Here are my methodologies for reciprocal linking from Google’s standpoint:

1) All of the reciprocal pages and links are very easy to identify. The URLs on sites where the links ‘live’ are often a dead giveaway, many times using “reciprocal-links.html, “reciprocal-links-2.html,” etc. for all of the linking pages. Many variations of these types of URLs are used and are easily spotted by Google, even if you call them “resource” pages they are still essentially just reciprocal links pages.

2) On all of the reciprocal links pages, the links are set up and displayed the exact same way. There is no variance in page layout or how the links display. By this, I mean the bulk of reciprocal links pages only have this:

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Link & Anchor text – description goes here…

Link & Anchor text – description goes here…

Link & Anchor text – description goes here…

Link & Anchor text – description goes here…

Get the idea here? This is extremely easy to spot and demote by Google or any other search engine.

3) Often reciprocal links are nothing more than completely automated – the emails, the reply emails, the code that inserts the links on pages, everything. Practically the only thing a webmaster has to do nowadays is just click a button and have the new batch of reciprocal links appear on their link pages. And Google and other search engines know this. There’s no “real” reciprocal business or mutual working relationship between the two sites reciprocating. They are simply trying to boost each other’s rankings in the search engines – nothing more, nothing less.

4) Unnatural, unnatural, unnatural. Reciprocal links were built on the reputation of boosting one’s page popularity and rankings in the search engines and are being used very erratically. Some webmasters simply abuse this method without one thought to other, more substantial methods of building quality links to their site. A worst situation is that some webmasters use this as their only method for building links to their site.

An example of unnatural and erratic link building would be a pharmacy web site sending out a link exchange email to practically any site, no matter the industry they’re in, even to a poker related site. This is extremely unrelated and, quite often, just links two sites together that have nothing to do with each other, not to mention the example above describes two industries that search engines frown upon anyway.

Reciprocal page ‘directories’ are worse than the recent hay-day of directories that just scraped results simply regurgitated them on their own site because at least spent the time to categorize and accept links based on some sort of acceptance guidelines. Reciprocal link directories often have no guidelines except the fact that a link has to be placed on one site before it’s placed on the other. In the end you just end up with page of links not related to anything else on your web site, often proving that there’s zero targeting and zero concern for quality.

If webmasters still continue to use reciprocal linking as a method to boost page rankings, changes will need to take place. If you are going to reciprocate links, do it within context on the site that is specifically written for or by the other site, much like what you see on blogs today where links appear randomly throughout the text in a paragraph.

Use reciprocal linking sparingly and really mix up the way they look on the pages of your site. Do not follow the example I listed above and simply display the anchor text and link along side the description. Even use the old method of site A, linking to site C, and site B links back to site A, if they are all on different IP addresses.

Lastly, and the most important advice is do not rely on reciprocal linking campaigns alone. To get truly natural links to your site you need to syndicate articles with links, submit to directories, and gain links through targeted sites willing to work with you in some way. Google’s ‘Jagger’ update proved itself enough to wipe out many reciprocal linking networks and sites who use them and it’s only a matter of time before further Google updates will penalize or demote what they initially left behind.

About the Author: Brian Gilley is the President of

, a North Carolina based search engine marketing company. For information on

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, visit us today.


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Posted on May 1st 2018 in Marketing

Marketing Company

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By George Meszaros

While marketing industry is often labeled as glamorous, marketing people always expected to be creative, and marketing companies’ role usually reduced to that of advertising companies, it is becoming more and more apparent that marketing providers outgrow these stereotypes – that their activity relies on numbers and statistical analyses as much as it relies on talent and creativity, that their practice is science and art in the same time, that their result are seen in consumers’ attitudes towards brands as much as in consumers’ shopping cart.

Many of the stereotypes associated with marketing companies come from the fact that in many cases the role of marketing is reduced to that of advertising. Developing memorable ads that remain deep into consumers’ minds and influence their decision making and buying behavior is just one of the many things marketing companies do.

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Another misunderstanding of marketing companies’ roles comes from the fact that in many organizations the sales and marketing functions are separated, which makes it difficult to emphasize the importance of maintaining the first one as an integral part of the latter one.

Nowadays, advertising is mostly done in advertising agencies and the sales function has grown so much in its diversity of means for implementation that it is done by different types of companies, depending on the form it takes. For instance, sales through sales agents -the most traditional form of sales we know – is usually still done by internal employees and not so often by outsourcing it to a specialized marketing company. Still, other forms of sales such as telemarketing or electronic sales are mostly done by specialized companies contracted by the organization producing the goods or services that are being sold.

While the role of sales and advertising is indeed important, these are just two of the types of promotion a marketing company employs together with public relations and promotional techniques.

However, a marketing company’s activity can include anything in between marketing research and customer relationship management. Its role is to first understand the consumer’s attitudes, cognitions, and behavior, then use the insight gained into developing the product or service, its promotion, its placement, and its pricing, and then continue to facilitate the sales of a product or service while using the feedback gained from the consumers and the foreseeable opportunities of the market in improving this marketing mix or replacing it with a new one once before reaching the decline stage a product life cycle. Even though a marketing company can do sales, PR, strategic marketing, advertising, market research and many other things in the same time, many organization have chosen to concentrate on only one of this areas. No matter what the level of specialization of the marketing company is, all of them can have an impact on the awareness and profitability of a company. However, what truly matters when choosing a marketing company is how it integrates the different types of services provided in order to create the highest added value for the investment a client company made in marketing programs.

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Posted on April 30th 2018 in Marketing

A Comparison Between Web Directories And Search Engines

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Submitted by: Macon Gravlee

Web directories and the search engines are mostly used interchangeably that many people tend to get confused. Generally, web directories are lists of numerous web pages listed according to their categories. All websites listed contain reviews about what is contained in the websites, and the name and link of the website. One is able to locate a category and then easily navigate to the sites listed in each given category.

Web directories are manual meaning that they are run and reviewed by humans and not computers as is the case with the search engines. Before a website is listed in web directories, a human being has to review the entire website and not specific keywords and upon approval list it in the directory whereby a website can only be listed in one category only.

Search engines on the other hand use key phrases and words to help internet users locate websites. A search is conducted on the name, titles, contents, and at times in the inside pages depending on the search engine used. Once the search is complete, all results are listed providing the internet user with numerous website links as closely related to the search query as possible.

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The most confusing part about web directories and the search engines is that many a times, they are both found within the same website. In other words, Yahoo and Google, despite being search engines, have web directories where searches can also be conducted. There is the provision of searching for something in the directories to locate a specific topic. Yahoo started off in the beginning as a web directory before it further included search engine services.

In order for your website to be listed in directories, it has to undergo certain procedures. First and foremost, you will need to submit the name of the site and any other data so that it can be reviewed, and categorized in the directory. You can do a free submission or paid submission, it all depends with your financial capabilities. As for the search engines, you wouldn t need to submit your website, the automated crawlers index all websites for free, although indexing may take quite a long while.

You therefore have to link your website to others so that you can be located by the search engines, and this is where web directories come in. The surest way to get links to your site so that you can get better rankings with the search engines is to submit to the directories. For better traffic, some web masters even pay directories for some better traffic. Note that the search engines, through search engine optimization and other techniques, provide traffic to websites so that they can get front page listings. However, this may take a long while hence for better page a rank, directory submissions is of greatest importance.

Both web directories and search engines give links of useful websites to internet surfers. With some knowledge on what web directories are and what search engines are, and their major differences and their mechanisms of work, you can be in a better position to conduct a query.

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Posted on February 26th 2018 in Marketing

Should You Own A Home Health Care Franchise? Some Advice From A Home Health Care Franchises Expert

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By Matthew Franchise Anderson

If the idea of becoming a franchise owner in the burgeoning Home Health Care (HHC) industry is beckoning to you, there are some major questions you will want to consider. First, take an honest look at your own attributes. Secondly, assess whether franchising is the best option for you. And lastly, if it is, take time determining what franchise you will choose.

To begin with, measure your own temperament and personality against the business philosophy of particular franchise you are considering, and the HHC industry overall.

‘This is a life-changing decision, and for some, it’s not the right fit,’ says Eric Little, Senior Vice President of Franchise Development for Right At Home Healthcare Providers. ‘It has to be right on both ends of the equation.’ Scrupulous franchise managers screen carefully for the attributes they consider vital to a successful franchise owner. Mr. Little says Right At Home works hard to make sure the expectations of potential franchisees are in line with the reality of the challenges and rewards they will encounter, especially in the first few years. They also require prospective owners to interview a minimum of 3 Right At Home franchise owners, usually more, so they can talk to both new and seasoned business owners.

‘It’s important to figure out your tolerance for risk and how committed you are,’ he says. Since the first year will be all business building, you need to be comfortable with the up and down income stream during the startup period.

Although owning your own franchise can be financially rewarding, most Right At Home franchise owners don’t come to it primarily for the money. Many want more control and flexibility in their work lives, but in addition, ‘we naturally attract those who care about others,’ says Mr. Little, and often those people have personal experience as caregivers. Little says that the average Right At Home franchise owner is between 40 and 50 years old, has peaked in an earlier career and/or is not fulfilled there, and is entering the next phase of life with a desire to give something back to his/her community.

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After a long search, and after investigating ten to fifteen other Home Health Care franchises in New Jersey, Brian Maroney chose Right At Home. He fits the profile above – in fact, he had owned another franchise previously, unrelated to health care, and says he ‘Swore I’d never do franchises again.’ But as the father of a young family, he says, ‘I wanted to make a difference, not just make money,’ and so he began looking into home health care. After attending Right At Home’s Discovery Days with his wife, Mr. Maroney says they knew they had found the right partnership. ‘They had a really solid plan. Everything they told me has come true, and right from the beginning, they’ve been there.’

Why choose to own a franchise instead of working for a corporation, or starting your own HHC business from scratch? Owning a HHC franchise may be right for you if:

You want to work for yourself, are motivated and community-minded.

You are relationship-oriented. ‘If you’d rather relate to someone over the phone or through your computer, this business is not for you,’ says Eric Little. Brian Maroney, now in his fifth month as a Right At Home franchise owner, describes his average day as ‘getting out and building relationships.’

You can be comfortable following a proven program. Following a franchise’s time-tested business plan can keep you from re-inventing the wheel or making costly mistakes. But when you run a franchise, your decisions affect other branches as well as your own. You need a balance between an entrepreneurial spirit and the willingness to follow guidance to the letter. So, if you want to minimize risk and go where you can see that others have been successful, franchising may be for you. But if having to do things the same way as every other franchise makes you feel like you’re in a cage, then going your own route might be a better choice.

But even for those with experience in the business, navigating the ever-changing tides of regulation can be daunting. Eric Little says the future trend in Home Healthcare is toward greater and greater regulation at both state and Federal levels. Right At Home has a department devoted to staying abreast of compliance issues and communicating with national and local regulators. Without that kind of knowledge behind him, ‘I would have been a fish out of water,’ says Mr. Maroney.

What sets a good franchise apart from its competitors?

Proven track record – A company like Right At Home, founded in 1995 by Allen Hager, fine-tuned its business and didn’t start its franchises till 2000. It now manages 155 offices in 41 states.

Look at what kind of training they offer. A two-week intensive training period is the minimum at any Right At Home franchise, plus there are on-going learning opportunities.

Do they have a training staff and ongoing support? Solid companies like Right At Home offer multi-tiered support structures ranging from financial to operational planning teams, regional meetings once a year, and an annual conference.

How much access do you have to the corporate office? According to Mr. Maroney, communication with Right At Home headquarters is transparent and accessible: ‘I could get anyone from an assistant to the founder himself, and they call right back.’

Brian Maroney says the future in Home Health Care franchising is bright for those who have a true vocation. ‘It’s a real need that will get bigger – so many people need the help that it’s almost as though home health care businesses are not even competing, they’re just all in it together, trying to meet the need.’

About the Author: Matthew Anderson is a franchise article author and advertising manager for

Care Franchises

on te UK’s largest franchise directory


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Posted on February 24th 2018 in Marketing