Linking and Search Relevancy
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Linking is a Basic Necessity of Online Business
by Mike Banks Valentine

First, I'd like to offer my apologies to those of you who don't
know and use HTML coding. If you use WYSIWYG web authoring tools
then you may as well only read the first half of this article.
I'm not sure it's possible to follow these suggestions if you
don't write your own HTML code. I know that you can insert code
in most editors, but each varies. It's worth looking up in your
instructions though, because linking is critical to your site!

In a "linking campaign" your goal is to have many sites link to
yours, which gives you visibility among high traffic sites where
interested surfers may see your link. This technique packs a two-
fisted punch, since it also increases your search engine relevance,
the more sites that link to you suggests a wider interest in your
business. You can check your link relevancy by pasting the following
into your browser "address" or "location" window (replace WebSite101
with your URL):
(Cut and paste if your email program breaks this link to two lines)

Or go to and type ""
into the search box (without the quotes) and hit the search button.
The result is a list of sites that link to yours. If you look above
the yellow bar just above the results and to the right side, you'll
see a total number listed. My search reads "About 306 Pages Found"

What this does is check how many other web sites refer to yours
via a link to your URL from their websites. In order to facilitate
this, I recommend establishing a linking "page" at your site to
allow sites of a complementary nature to link to you easily. I have
a page at my site that you may view to see what I'm talking about:

This is all part of what is done in a linking campaign.

There is a little trick to providing the HTML code for your visitors
to *see* on your page which requires some coding slight of hand. Due
to the nature of code, it is meant to be invisible and making it
show up requires the following:

Those < brackets > that define HTML to a web browser make the
contents within them disappear, so you must use code that defines
a bracket, rather than using the bracket itself. That code is &lt;
for < the left-facing bracket and &gt; for the > right-facing
bracket. So in order to make the HTML show up on an HTML page,
you must use &lt; and &gt; in place of all of those brackets in
order for them to show up on screen.

The simplest way to understand this is to go to the link page at:

and choosing "View" and then "Page Source" from your browser menu.
This will let you *see* the code necessary to *display* code in a
browser. I recommend using a background color in the area you've
created to display your HTML to separate it from the rest of the
page as well as using "comment" tags to show the start and finish
of your links. Comment tags are designed to allow you to create
instructions or comments in HTML that don't show up in a browser.

A comment tag is meant to be invisible too, so you will need to use
those &lt; and &gt; characters to *make* THEM visible as well.

&lt;!-- Link END --&gt; will show up in a browser as
<!-- Link END --> and when cut and pasted by your
visitor, they will become invisible code used in their HTML source.

The easiest link to provide is a text link and it can be used in
email as well as on a web page. Tbe following is the text we provide
at WebSite101:

&lt;!-- Text Link START --&gt;

&lt;A HREF="" TARGET="_top"&gt;
WebSite 101&lt;a/&gt; offers an entertaining and easy small-biz
e-commerce tutorial to get your business up and running
on the web!&lt;a/&gt;

&lt;!-- Text Link END --&gt;

This appears on a web page as follows:

<!-- Text Link START -->

<A HREF="" TARGET="_top">
WebSite 101<a/> offers an entertaining and easy small-biz
e-commerce tutorial to get your business up and running
on the web!<a/>

<!-- Text Link END -->

Note the TARGET="top" in the code? This insures that if your link
is used in a framed site, that the resulting page will break out
of the frameset.

The importance of setting up a linking page on your site can't be
underestimated when it comes to gaining that all-important traffic
to your site. It really is quite simple to do, no matter how hard
it is to explain! ;-)

Good luck with your linking campaign!

WebSite101 "Reading List" Weekly Netrepreneur Tip Sheet Ezine emphasizing small business online e-tutorial online at: By week's end you're ready expand your business to the web! --------------------------------------------------------
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July 26, 2001