Jon’s In Waikiki (AKA The Waikiki Marketer)

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How Many Links Do You Really Have?

August 25th, 2006 · No Comments

The answer to the question is that you never truly know. Of course, you can count all the directories/search engines you’ve submitted to; you can even count up all the places that have a link to you – if you have the time to check them all. But there’s a difference between the links you have around the Internet to your site and what links the search engines give you credit for.

Here’s what I mean: Go to Google. In the search box, type “link:www.YourDomainName.com”, using your site’s domain name instead and without the quotes. What will come back is some of the links that Google is giving you credit for in their formula for ranking. If this is the first time you do it, you may be shocked at how few links you see there. You’re thinking, “I KNOW I have a lot more links than this”. And you’re right. But this is the search engine world where things aren’t so simple.

What you’re seeing is only some of the links you’re credited for by Google. Why don’t they show you all your links? It’s all part of their secret formula for how they rank websites. They consider information such as the exact number of links they count for you, how much credit you get for each individual link and why to be proprietary information. It makes sense because that ranking formula basically is Google. It’s that formula that has given them the reputation as the best search engine, which in turn brings the people, and the eyeballs, that make their ad program so lucrative.

That formula is altered from time to time, so when you check your links, you might see more, or less, links to your site than you did before. Are you confused yet? None of the search engines will show you all the links to you that they count toward your ranking. Without fail, though, Google always shows the least amount of links out of all of them. Is it because they have a tougher standard? Or do they just hide more of the links they have for you? That’s not entirely clear. Again, this is the world of search engines and why SEO is not a simple task.

So what can you do? Keep moving forward with your link campaign(s). Your attitude toward Google should be like the well known Serenity Prayer, which says:

” God, grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change,
courage to change the things we can
and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Speaking from experience, trying react and overcome every change in Googles’ formula is a losing battle. Trust me. You must press on, adding good content to your site, working on links and doing other things that will bring you back up in the rankings. Expect to see your site drop due to ranking formula changes – it is just a fact of online life. It’s okay to be frustrated, just don’t let it get completely under your skin. Everybody goes through it. That’s life in the search engines.

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