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No Follow Illustrates Need For Good Linking Plan

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The blog explosion created a great opportunity for savvy marketers--they could post their URL's in the comments of blogs and reap the benefits of links back to their sites as the search engines crawled through.

Some undertook blog-marketing responsibly. They found blogs legitimately related to their sites and offered insightful, relevant commentary on issues. In exchange for adding to discussion, they were rewarded with a link.

Others found more nefarious ways to take advantage of the link opportunity, and "blog spam" became a concern. Comment sections of blogs were bombarded with URL's that were not even tangentially related to their content. Incidents became increasingly common and obvious.

Google and the other major search engines determined this blog spam was undermining their efforts to create search engine rankings that accurately reflected the quality and utility of web sites.

And now, as a result, we have the "nofollow" tag. Inclusion of the tag tells search engine robots to ignore a link, rather than cataloging it. The command will automatically become a part of many blogs, as Blogger (a Google enterprise) and several other major blog hosts have announced their intention to build the feature into their offerings.

There is some question as to the efficacy of "nofollow." Already, some bloggers who are not enamored with the concept are protesting the move and establishing "nofollow free zones." A quick look through the forums demonstrates a desire on the part of many to discover workarounds for the tag. Some argue that implementation of the technique will not be universal, and its overall impact will not be quite as severe as some believed.

There is no question, however, that "nofollow" will reduce the effectiveness of link-building strategies utilizing blog commentary. As "nofollow" is implemented, site owners who have relied on these techniques will undoubtedly see a drop in their incoming link totals.

Recent "nofollow" events are another chapter in a growing saga regarding linking tactics and the search engines.

Link free-for-all pages were once the promoter's way to create traffic. Now they are overlooked by the engines--if not banned outright. Partner pages and other mass link dumps have gradually declined in importance.

Link trading is dying due to its cumbersome nature and limited effectiveness. Totally organic link accumulation is slow and gets even slower as the market crowds.

Cross-linking techniques are risky and are generally only available to those who own a myriad of sites.

Where will new links be found? One option offering serious potential is actually building off-site links in the form of freely distributed content. Authoring a valuable, informative article and distributing it with a byline (resource box) containing a link back to one's site, offers a splendid opportunity to increase links. The results are tremendous and are generally felt relatively quickly.

Though effective, article authoring and distribution is not a simple process. The supplier must have appropriate information regarding submission locations. The content must be good enough to result in acceptance at those sites. The supplier must be prepared to embark on the tedious process of submitting articles to site after site.

It does require a significant investment of time, energy and expertise and corner-cutting is not a good option. A low-quality article or an ineffective submission plan will produce no tangible result and could actually decrease a site's credibility and marketability.

Article Staff writes custom content for the internet and the leverages that content to maximize its value through viral marketing distribution tactics. Article Staff provides content solutions of all types, including editing services.

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