Linking Up
Search engines have become the bedrock of promotion and visitor attraction for most of today's websites. With the exception of pay-for-position search engines and portals, one of the main things that make a website rise in the search-engine rankings is the number of other sites or pages that link to it. Consequently, when planning a marketing campaign, site owners should do all they can to establish as many such links as possible.

One way to do this is by including free content, as explained above. Another is a process known as "link exchange," or basically trading links with other websites. That is, "if you put a link to my site on yours, I will put a link to your site on mine." Care must be taken, especially when engaged in e-commerce, not to link to sites that are in direct competition with yours and could steal your customers, however, the link-

exchange process is one of the most effective ways of gaining the links to your site that can be so valuable in the eyes of the search engines.

To facilitate this process, many sites now incorporate a "Links" page, dedicated entirely to providing links to other pages or sites that may be of interest to their potential customers. Not only is the link-exchange process valuable from a promotional and ratings standpoint, it also offers another free service to visitors, for which they will be grateful. Comprehensive links pages will often be recommended to friends, creating additional "hits" for that page on a website. And, if the proper navigation tools are available on the links page, visitors will be presented with the opportunity to investigate all the pages on your site with a simple mouse click.

Promotion of a website can be a rather complicated matter. Since there are literally hundreds of millions of websites and pages now on the Web, making yours stand out from the crowd can appear, at first glance, to be a daunting task. You have probably seen many ads that promise "The Highest Search Engine Rankings" for a fee, however, for the most part, these are just automated search engine submission services (there are tens of thousands of these which all use the same basic procedures). Though submitting to the search engines was originally necessary, it really is not any longer. Because of the intense competition among search engines to offer the most sites possible in their search results, almost all now spider the Web regularly searching for new sites. If a site is properly constructed, with effective content, key words, page titles and navigation tools, they will find it.

Other services that promise high rankings use "tricks" and gimmicks to try and fool the search engines into considering a site to be more popular than it really is. The problem with this is that, eventually (sooner nowadays than later) the search engines catch on to these ploys, and the site's reputation can be permanently destroyed, leading to elimination of consideration in the future.

Again, with the exception of pay-per-click engines and paid advertising, the most important aspect of site promotion lies in the basics: good site construction with no "dead-ends" or frustrating complexities; proper page titles reflecting the content of the individual pages; comprehensive, honest and representative key words; good navigation tools; free content where applicable; and links to a site from other sites and pages.

All of our websites are constructed with these points in mind, and we will advise you on the best methods to gain links to your site and build its reputation and popularity in the future. We will also, if requested, make recommendations for programs of paid site promotion, which requires an ongoing advertising and marketing budget. --- --- (Political Satire) --- --- (Stereo Technical Help) --- --- --- (Help For Writers) --- ---