Wednesday, April 30, 2008

What's Your Page Rank?

You must keep track of your own Page Rank, and it is illuminating to watch what Google's Page Rank Score is for various websites, there are two ways of determining this, listed in order of preference.
1. Download and Install Google's Toolbar at Once this is installed, you will be able to determine the page rank of every website you visit, including your own. The page rank is displayed with a green rank bar roughly in the middle of the Google Toolbar. The more green you see, the higher the rank. By mousing over the green rank bar, you can see the actual numerical designation, for example 5/10.
2. Go to Google's Live Directory (which is a mirror of the Open Directory Project) at All websites listed in this directory display Google's Page Rank, as the green bar to the left of each listing. The more green you see, the higher the page rank. Keep in mind that only a small percentage of websites on the Internet are listed here.

Link Building and Page Rank

Google does not rank links from all websites equally! Google gives more weight to links from some websites than from others. Google calls this score "Page Rank", and Google assigns every website on the Internet their own Page Rank. The PR score is from 0 to 10. Google reserves the highest ranks for what they deem the most important sites on the Web. For example Yahoo has a PR of 10, and the Open Directory Project has a PR of 9. Most other web directories on the web have ranks of 7 and higher. Google considers these links among the most highly valued when calculating your link popularity, and thus these websites have the highest "Page Rank". Getting other websites with high PR to link to you is critical to improving your own site's PR. Ultimately for a commercial website a PR of 6 is about as good as you could ever hope to get, with a PR of at least 5 being your minimum goal. When you achieve a PR of 5 you will find that many other websites begin to request link trades from you more often, because they value a link from you. The bottom line is that your own PR affects a lot of your overall marketing and site promotion. If and when you achieve a PR of 5 or 6, your search engine rankings will go up and you will be able to more easily trade links.
Other websites vary widely in terms of how much Google values them with respect to link popularity. Vertical portals are typically more highly valued than other simple websites. Free hosted sites, are ranked lower than paid hosted sites. Free-For-All link pages receive zero credit. Link Farms (like, and who link to you will actually penalize your link popularity, because they are a blatant attempt to hijack Google's link popularity algorithms.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Emailing Link Trade Partners

Subject: Link Trade Request
"Greetings, my name is_________, and I'm the webmaster for (name your web site). I came across your (name their web site) while surfing and I think we could both benefit by trading links. I have found that trading links is one of the best sources for increasing qualified traffic to my site.
If you have any interest in exchanging links with me here is my information:
Title: The Title of Your Website (no more 4-8 words)
Description: The total description of your website. (no more than 25 words)

Just email me back with your info, and let's make it happen. I look forward to hearing from you.
Your name

Finding Link Partners

There are countless other who are interested in trading links. Finding them is not hard, but does take some time and effort. Below are several techniques for finding good link trade partners.
  • Surf- this is very straight forward. Go to Yahoo or your favorite directory, and start looking for relevant sites.
  • Competitor Link Pages- Go to the link pages of your competitors and look at the sites they are trading links with. If they are linking with your competitors, they are probably willing to trade links with you.
  • Do a competitor "link" check on Google- if you type in "link:" in Google (remember the space between the colon and the url) and do a search, it will give you a list of websites that link with your competitor. If they will trade with a competitor, they are likely to trade with you too.
  • Use Link Trade Directories- There are a handful of directories of websites willing to trade links on the Internet. (Read Link Trade Vertical Portals). These include:,
  • Advertise- Use some leverage strategies to promote your desire to trade links with other relevant websites. Advertise your link trade request in the Usenet and free classifieds. Use your permission marketing mailings to mention that you would like to trade links with other relevant websites. Trade newsletter ads with other relevant newsletters and use that space to mention link trading. There are lots of possibilities here.
  • Thursday, April 24, 2008

    Link Building, a Continual Process

    This is a continual ongoing promotion program. With literally millions and millions of web sites on the Internet, the possibilities for reciprocal link exchanges are endless. Never be content to stop after sending an initial batch of link exchange proposals. The more links you trade the more traffic you get, and the higher your link popularity goes.

    Creating an Effective Links Page

    The link page for your commercial web site should be an automatic extension of the design of the entire electronic storefront, and should contain the following elements:
    1. Header- The "header" of the link page should be designed as a headline / title for the section. Use strong advertising copy and create emotion and a desire for other merchants to participate.
    2. Reciprocal Link Invitation- Near the top of your link page, you should invite other relevant websites to trade links with you. You should provide instructions to execute this, including which types of sites are eligible, what your link should look like on their page (URL, Title / Headline, Opening Statement / Description), and a contact email address where you can be reached regarding link trade requests.
    3. Style- The style of the link exchange page should be clear and easy-to-understand. Consider using a standard directory style where website links are listed by (relevant) topics and subtopics.

    Wednesday, April 23, 2008

    Local Market Linking

    Remember that the secret to making link-trading work, is to trade links with other websites that share your target market. So as a dentist in Dubuque Iowa, who should you trade links with? Other dentist websites all over the Web? No. You should trade with any and every local website, regardless of what the content of the website is, as long as it is of interest to local residents. Trade with local carpet cleaning websites, trade with local accountant websites, and especially trade with local candy store websites! These websites don't have anything to do with dentistry. But they share your target market of local people, most of whom probably have teeth.

    Tuesday, April 22, 2008

    Link Trade Partners

    Before you begin, you should consider your strategy with respect to the websites to which you plan to link. The key here is to trade links ONLY with relevant websites. A relevant website is a website that shares your target audience. If the website would be of interest to visitors to your site, and vice-versa. Then it is a good prospective link trade partner. Trading links with irrelevant websites is a waste of time, mainly because irrelevant sites that link to you don't share your target audience. As such the chances of getting qualified traffic from them is slim indeed. Your time is much better spent linking with relevant sites.
    You should be trading links with relevant websites all over the Internet. Not just other commercial websites, or other SOL websites. The entire Internet is open for link trades, regardless of the type of site, or where they are hosted.
    Give careful consideration to whether or not you want to trade links with direct competitors. In many cases, you may not want to do that, though there are other times when this might be appropriate. For the most part you want to trade links with other websites that share your target audience, but are not your direct competitor. For example, if you sell office supplies, you might want to trade a link with a graphic design website, but not with another office supply website. Remember that people who buy office supplies (businesses) also buy graphic design services. The possibilities are virtually limitless.

    Link Trading Slang

    Throughout the next few posts we will cover several different link building techniques. Link building is still one of the best ways to get your site ranking higher in the search results. We will kick it off by listing some of the Slang terms associated with Link Trading:
    • Surf-n-Swap- This is a term that summarizes the overall process of basic link trading, in that you surf the net looking for partners, and swap links with them by sending an email request.
    • Link Poaching- A strategy for finding link trade partners. Link Poaching involves using a variety of techniques (listed below) for finding which websites are trading with your competitors and requesting link trades with them. The theory here is that since they are already trading links with your competitor they are probably very likely to be willing to trade with you too.
    • Dead Link- A term for a link that points to nowhere. Occasionally when you trade links, a particular site with whom you have traded a link will cease to exist for a variety of reasons, but the link on your website is still there. Clicking on it now generates an error. You should check for dead links periodically-maybe once or twice a year.

    Monday, April 21, 2008

    Trade Magazines

    Use a Trade Magazine- Some small suppliers are unwilling to pay the high expense to be listed in the Thomas Register. These smaller suppliers often advertise in different ways such as in Trade Magazines. Trade Magazines, or Trade Journals, are magazines that are subscribed to by companies and people in a particular industry. Typically, there are at least one or more trade magazines for each industry. These magazines usually have news and articles of interest to business owners in a particular industry. These types of magazines are usually jam packed with advertisements from suppliers in the industry from huge major suppliers, down to the smallest mom-and-pop suppliers, who don't advertise in the Thomas Family of Web Directories. Most good trade journals also have an online website that complements their print magazine. These companion websites would typically be classified as "Vertical Portals". Here are a few examples of industry trade magazines, and their websites:
    a. C-Store News: Convenience Store Trade Journal-
    b. Equipment World: Heavy Equipment Trade Journal
    c. Scrapbook Retailer Magazine: Scrapbook Trade Journal-
    Finding Trade Magazines is pretty easy, but it sometimes takes a bit of footwork. There are two pretty good techniques that will allow you to find any trade journals you might be looking for:
    1. Do a Google search for the broadest industry keywords you can find, with the words "trade magazine" or "trade journal" in the phrase.
    a. "craft trade magazine"
    b. "dvd rental trade magazine"
    c. "scuba trade journal"
    d. "etc…"

    Possible Joint Ventures

    Use a Company You Already Know- You may already know a small "Mom-and-Pop" type shop that sells products of their own manufacture. This might be anything from Jerky to Tie-Dyed Clothing. Approach them for a drop shipping arrangement.

    Friday, April 18, 2008

    Blind Dropshipping

    Does Your Supplier Offer Blind Drop Shipping?
    Drop Shipping allows you to become a "virtual warehouse" or a "virtual company." When you get an order from your customer you forward that order information to your supplier (by email typically). Your supplier then ships the order directly from his warehouse to your customer. Your customer pays you the retail price, you pay your supplier the wholesale price, and you pocket the difference.

    Suppliers From Trade Shows

    Trade Show/Convention Strategy- This strategy can really work well in finding products and services to add to your existing website, as well as finding drop shippers. Call your local Chamber of Commerce or Local Convention/Event Bureau (or the same organizations for nearby cities) and ask for a calendar of local trade shows. Attend these shows and browse the booths. Talk to the sales people at the booths, and tell them you are looking for suppliers for your Internet Website. You should have little trouble identifying one or more good suppliers. - this is a directory of tradeshows across the globe. You can browse to and chose an industry and find any upcoming tradeshows in your area or close by.

    Thursday, April 17, 2008

    Finding Suppliers Online

    Finding suppliers is often the most difficult part of getting your online business started. Over the next several blog posts we will cover several options when it comes to finding a supplier.

    Use the Go online to There you can do a search by "product or service", "brand name" or "company name". The Thomas Register is a gigantic index that lists tens of thousands of suppliers, manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors. These companies pay the Thomas Register for a listing. This means they want you to find them! The Thomas Register is FREE for you to use and search. You should have no trouble finding several potential suppliers that carry what you want to add and sell in you business. Typically you will get basic contact information from the Thomas Register like address, phone number, email, fax, web address, etc…

    A Word To The Wise From Thrive Learning Institute

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