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SEO Beginners Guide

Welcome to LinkSmile -helping you learn -for Free!- how to market online effectively

If you have a question about LinkSmile not answered here, then you should check out the FAQ or the LinkSmile SEO forum. There are also several more articles in the LinkSmile University -which you may access for free by creating a free account and logging in.

First, a few basic terms and buzz-words

SEO - An acronym for "Search Engine Optimization." Search engine optimization is the art of creating pages that attempt to meet the criteria of search engines. The goal is to create pages that are full of quality content and rank high in search engines for specific keywords.

SEM - An acronym for "Search Engine Marketing." You may see this from time to time, and it is just a variation of the term SEO. Search Engine Marketing is more of a generalization of any marketing tactics used to rank well in search engines.

PageRank - This term is a term trademarked by Google, Inc., a well-known search engine. PageRank is a proprietary method of determining a site's value based upon incoming links, link text, link importance, and other various factors.

Text Links - A text link is simply a word or group of words that is linked to a page or site. If one site decides to link to another site, it may help the site being linked to. This is because the link is viewed as a "vote." Therefore, it is essential to have as many quality links as possible for your site to rank well and to receive traffic from those links. The key is to have relevant and quality links.

Banner Ads - A banner is an image/picture of various sizes that attempts to attract a user's attention and generate enough interest for them to click the banner. The user will then be taken to the site linked to by the banner. LinkSmile allows webmasters to buy and sell banner space in a number of ways.



Putting it all together

The criteria of search engines varies from search engine to search engine and no one -except the search engine programmers- knows exactly what search engines are looking for. However, there are many basics that all search engines look for.

These are things like:

- Quality content
- Lots of pages of content
- Matching terms or relevant words in the title, description, keywords (ignored by some), etc
- Number of incoming links
- Link text of incoming links
- Variation of link text of incoming links
- Quality of site linking to site in question

There are numerous other factors as well, but most of them must be speculated because search engines purposely do not tell everyone exactly what they are looking for. This is done to prevent "cheaters" from getting their sites in to the top ranks for various terms.

However, the true effect is that "cheaters" still figure out unscrupulous tactics for earning high rankings; all while legitimate webmasters are finding it tougher and tougher to get or keep decent rankings. This is why it is a necessity to employ a sound, honest marketing campaign based on several factors. Over time, the "cheaters" will come and go; but the honest sites (should) find themselves in the top spots.


The rules of the "PageRank" game are changing (...again), and we have always maintained that it is better to buy for "traffic" rather than "PageRank." However, buying for PageRank has been a huge boom in the online marketing arena of late. This is because PageRank does offer an idea of how important a site is viewed. Having links from more "important" sites can help your search rankings.


Years ago, webmasters would link to sites they found valuable. Now, that is a thing of the past. In today's Internet, webmasters have collectively monetized links in such a way that you will rarely find anyone linking to your site for free --regardless of how valuable it may be. Therefore, unfortunately, links must be purchased for the most part.

The good thing -now that you've found LinkSmile- is that there is a measurable way to boost your sites' traffic (and most likely PageRank) by buying from quality sites offering quality ad space.

If you are looking to make money from your web site and your site has decent traffic and/or decent PageRank, then you will be able to use LinkSmile's system to generate an extra revenue stream!

At LinkSmile, text links come in two flavors:

First, there are Direct / SEO / Paid Text Links that link directly to your site. These links will provide a direct traffic boost and will help to boost your sites ranking in the search engines.

Second, there are -what we call- Traffic-Only Links. These are delivered by a method known as "javascript-delivered", and these links will provide traffic to your site. However, the search engines will not recognize the link to your site, so there is no search engine (SE) benefit.


We encourage sellers to place Text Links higher up on the page (known as above-the-fold) to generate more traffic and more value to the customer. In some cases, these links may bring more traffic to your site than increased search rankings! (examples)


Although banner ads have fallen off considerably in popularity, there has been a renewed interest recently. This is because the cost of banner design has fallen, and people have realized that putting good text and mixing nicely with images will still yield a decent clickthrough-rate (CTR).


Discuss with others in our Forum (go now)

Read about common online advertising mistakes...


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Last Modified: 2007-09-15

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