Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Do You Link Dope or Incestuously Link?

Holy cow. Did you know the practice of link doping and incestuous linking are bona fide methods of link building?

Honest. Says so in the Wikipedia.

As I was trolling around today I stumbled on a page in Wikipedia titled "Methods of website linking". I found it after searching on the term "link popularity".

Clicking through I was taken to a page describing methods of website linking I've never heard of like - "Link doping" and "Incestuous linking". Incest and doping and links - oh my!

(click the images if you want to see them more clearly)

Keep in mind I searched on the term "link popularity" and came to the page expecting to see just that. Instead, I found terminology used to describe outdated , incomplete and irrelevant link methods sitting under a title that lead me to believe I was going to read about hyperlinks. Say huh?

Ok, so I backed up and decided the page was really trying to talk about link building methods. Where's the disclaimer and link to search engine guidelines on link exchanges and paid links? Those changes to the guidelines happened last year and were significant. Looks like paid links are on another section but this one talks about recip links so I assumed I'd find updated info. Well you know what they say about assumptions.

I couldn't find any information on link popularity per se, there's a little paragraph there but it's not accurate and far from complete. (The page was redirected from the "link popularity" page which is empty). There are calls on the main page for "cleanup" but they're from November of last year and the revision history shows edits made to the page February 18, 2008. Which means this page has been touched recently and it still contains outdated and irrelevant information.

It amazes me that link popularity, one of the most fundamentally important concepts to understand when talking about search engines and online marketing is on a page with "Link doping" and "Incestuous linking". Where exactly is the tie-in? Everyone (including me) says the Wikipedia is an authority source, but what I found for the term "link popularity" is anything but.

If I get over the fact I didn't get what I was searching for (link popularity) and focus on the page I was led to, I'm still left shaking my head. The page is titled "Methods of Website Linking" and yet - what's being showcased doesn't have anything to do with website linking. Most of the linking building tactics mentioned aren't really tactics and the one key concept on the page - link popularity- doesn't even talk about anchor text. How can you talk about link pop and not mention anchor text?

It appears the people taking care of this page definitely aren't authorities or even moderately versed in current SEO, they've mistakenly jumbled two concepts and stuck them under a generic banner. I'd roll my eyes and let it go if the page wasn't redirecting from one titled "link popularity" and 3/4 of the info on the page wasn't SEO related. Nope, this is a case of someone not knowing what they're doing - and others letting it sit that way for months.

And yet, when I publicly suggest knowledgable people with good content should contribute to the Wikipedia, I'm spoken down to, told to read the conflict of interest guidelines and criticized. Yeah that's right, I can't let go of that little incident, and don't think I should after seeing this.

And if you come back and say - "why don't you help clean it up instead of bitching about it Debra" -- forget it. It will be a cold day in Wiki hell before that happens.

People new to SEO and who want to learn about link popularity and/or link building methods shouldn't give this page on the Wikipedia a second glance. It's inaccurate, outdated, uses terminology no one in the business uses and is mis-matched for the title. This one's a dud.

Maybe Wikipedia should change the tactic "Link doping" to link dropping dope. It fits.

p.s. Pope image is the cover of an old album produced by John Lennon and Yoko Ono.

Fetch / Sphinn
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