It can seem overwhelming to be in charge of getting your site listed and linked in the many search engines and directories. You hear about “thousands” of search engines and “hundreds” of directories. But then you glance at your server logs, see the big names in the referrer list, and convince yourself that it’s only the top 10 or so search engines and directories that matter anyway.
The irony of the missed opportunity is that you can’t lose what you never had, especially if you don’t even know it exists.
For deep-content sites, the biggest missed opportunity I see from a linking perspective is focusing only on the site’s main URL, or home page. Depending on your site’s content and features, you may have many linkable content elements beyond your home-page URL.
Here’s just a sample of the content types that are themselves linkable and for which there are content-specific search engines, directories, and Web guides. The goal is not to get millions of new visitors, but rather to integrate all of your content throughout the Net, maximizing links where they can have a strategic value for you.
If your site hosts a live event, such as a chat, streaming audio or video, or temporary content like a contest, there are tons of Web guides that will give you a link to it. Click here for an example.
If your site offers downloads of software or other applications like plug-ins or games, you can get links to them at the many software search engines.
If the majority of your site is made up of images (e.g., if you sell artwork or other products requiring users to view large images on your site), then submit your image files to places like Ditto.com.
Your site has e-books? There are search engines just for e-books. One example is Electric Book.
If you run a niche search engine where you have indexed sites just in that niche, you should make sure your engine itself is linked at sites that catalog topical search engines, like CNET’s Search.com.
Got ‘zines? Submit them to Ezine-Universe.com.
Are you a zoo site that has Web cams set up? Submit the Web-cam links to cam link guides like WebCam Central.
Do you have an editor who runs daily news items? Sites like Moreover want to know about you.
The above offers only a taste of linking possibilities. Each of these types of content can be promoted and linked, separately and in addition to your standard basic search engine and directory listings at Yahoo or AltaVista.
The key is that you must look beyond the main URL of your site. Elements of your site could be linkworthy, depending on what they are. Every site has a different holistic linking potential. When I research and write linking plans, I find that some clients’ sites have the potential for hundreds of links, others the potential for fewer. But almost every site has linkable content beyond the home page.
Until next time, I remain,
Eric Ward, the Link Mensch
There is of course a lot of discussion about content and what does and doesn't work online. Is long-form the key? Does short-form content have a role to play? Are there other factors at play?
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