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Frequently Asked Questions
Browse these FAQs for answers to common questions about the GreatLynx Network. If you still have a question, please feel free to drop us a line by email.
Why does a site have to qualify?
Why does a site have to qualify?
There are several reasons actually. On the one hand, we want to make sure we are not forcing our other sites to link to sites with objectionable content (see below), which of course, you will appreciate as well. So we review each site on an individual basis prior to accepting it into the network. Also, because our system is proprietary (and somewhat technical), we want to make sure that it will actually function with your site. Finally, because we offer a variery of guarantees, we want an opportunity to see what kind of a guarantee will work best for your site. In all of this, it is our desire to take care of these things prior to accepting any payment. From an accountability standpoint, we also want to be confident in our ability to help each site, and we're of the opinion that it doesn't really do anyone any good if we accept a site only to have to provide a refund later. The qualifying process addresses all of these concerns in a single step.
How do I know I won't be linking to objectionable sites?
Well, there's no way to guarantee this with 100% certainty. After all, some people just don't like Chevys. :-) However, our primary emphasis is on helping individual, non-controversial businesses; i.e., companies that represent a particular mainstream service and/or product line (car dealers, realtors, Internet services, etc.). However, there is still a lot of room for flexibility here. So, a better way to understand what we allow is to understand what we don't. On that note, understand that all of the following are prohibited:
What makes GreatLynx better than other link management systems?
Well, for starters, it's less expensive. Some web development companies literally charge thousands of dollars to establish and manage links for their clients. This is not as outrageous as it may seem. There's typically quite a bit of work involved in negotiating and maintaining a link management system; and, when it's done right, it is highly effective. On the other end, there are those who charge a negligible amount for their service. Unfortunately, they provide a negligible service as well . . . or worse, their service turns out to be counter-productive, getting your site black-listed by the major search engines.
Enter GreatLynx. Our proprietary system combines all of the positive aspects that have proven effective with our web development clients, sending them to the top of the results on the major search engines (for relevant queries, of course) and assuring that they maintain a solid position without the fear of having their sites black-listed. Of equal importance, however, is the fact that we have discovered and developed a way to make the "heavy work" lighter, while maintaining all of the integrity of a sound link management system. Thus, you can now get the real deal for a great deal less. In short, you get MORE for LESS.
Finally, the GreatLynx system is adaptable. As need arises, the system can be modified to accommodate new ideas and technologies and, most important, adjust to any new standards or guidelines within the search industry.
What is the secret to your proprietary system?
Well, if we told you that it would no longer be proprietary . . . and it certainly wouldn't be secret. Suffice it to say that we combine up to five separate web technologies to assure that your site will get the full promotional benefit that a links management system can offer, without any of the drawbacks.
Why are reciprocal links so important?
Technically speaking, reciprocal links are not important. What is important is incoming links to your site. It just so happens that one of the best ways to get these is by agreeing to link back to sites that are linking to you (i.e., reciprocating). But it is the links coming in that matter. To that end, the GreatLynx system employs the reciprocal link concept, without being bound by it.
Now, the answer to the question about incoming links is quite simple. It begins with an understanding of how the search engines work. In short, search engines typically base their ranking system on a combination of two factors: relevancy and popularity.
"Relevancy" simply refers to how well your site can be expected to address the issue that the person doing the search has indicated with his search query. So, there's no substitute for relevant content; if the particular search engine thinks your site will do a good job in this area, satisfying the person that is doing the search, then they will give you good marks for relevancy.
The second factor -- "popularity" -- is based on the search engine trying to determine what the rest of the people on the planet think of your site. Some search engines will go to unnecessary lengths to try and explain this, when all it really boils down to is this: "How many other sites are linking to yours?" (and a corollary: "How popular are those sites?") So, in simple terms, having more sites linking to your site will increase your site's popularity.
Again, the combination of these two factors will dictate how well your site pulls up on the search engines. You or your webmaster can take care of relevancy by simply focusing on the content of your site, while following good search engine optimization practices (i.e., good titles, keywords, headers, etc.). Taking care of the popularity aspect is something you could take care of yourself, if you're willing to spend the time, energy and money to negotiate, manage and nurture the link relationships. But why bother? This is precisely what GreatLynx was designed to do, and we can do it effectively and affordably, with the experience, stability and guarantee to back it up. It is -- both in principle and in fact -- our specialty.
Is there a way to see how my site is doing . . . promotionally?
Until several years ago, there wasn't. At least not easily. You could do searches for other sites to see how many are linking to your site; but again, that's only part of the equation. In truth, each search engine has it's own highly sophisticated algorithm for determining where a certain site will "pull up" in a given search.
Thanks to Google, however, we now have an objective standard for seeing how our sites measure up . . . at least in the eyes of Google. Of course, most search engines employ something similar, so this new objective measure can give you a pretty good idea of how your site is doing across the board. The tool we're referring to is the Google Toolbar and the standard that we're referring to is Google PageRank. Google has invested a lot in their PageRank technology and their search engine relies on PageRank to deliver quality results to web surfers. Or, as the Google website itself explains:
Interpreting the display can get a little tricky, but you'll soon get the hang of it. A solid gray bar means that Google doesn't know the site exists (at least that's the prevailing opinion in the industry). A solid white bar means that they know the site exists, but don't deem it worthy of any significant PageRank; or worse, that it has been blacklisted (this too is somewhat speculative, but almost everyone in the industry holds to this "theory"). In any event, it's clear that Google does not consider the site "important" . . . at all . . . for anything. We refer to this kind of ranking as a PR0 (that's "zero", not "O").
Every other page on the Internet will show up with some measure of green, from PR1 (just a little bit of green at the left, with the rest of the bar white) to PR10 (a solid green bar). You can see exactly what the bar represents by holding your mouse over it. The popup will show something like 3/10 (meaning a PageRank of 3 out of a possible 10). Again, in the SEO industry, we simply refer to this as a PR3.
Don't be too discouraged if your site has a PR4 or less. For one thing, the higher rankings are pretty much reserved for sites that get millions of visitors per day. For example, at the time of this writing, both the Drudge Report and Amazon have ranks of only PR7 (7/10). For business sites, particularly those that have a somewhat limited geographical market, a PR3 can be quite good, a PR4 can be very good and a PR5 can be considered phenomenal. The second thing to consider is that this is precisely what GreatLynx is designed to help you with.
So, if you would like to improve your PageRank (and who wouldn't), you should quit reading these FAQs and go directly to our qualifying page to see if your site is eligible for this extraordinary new system.
Will this have any adverse effect on my existing site?
For starters, the only existing file on your site that we even modify is your home page, and the only thing we do there is to add a link to the new links page that we create. For that matter, you have the option of adding this link yourself. As long as it correctly points to the new links page, it makes no difference to us who establishes the link on the home page. The only thing we would want to point out here is that if we are the ones modifying the home page to establish the link, you need to be sure to download the modified home page to your local site before making any additional changes yourself; after all, if you overwrite the page with an old page that doesn't include the new link, it will get you kicked off the system . . . and you wouldn't want that.
The new links page that we create on your site is a stand-alone page that does not require any other links to it (other than the one from the home page). Following the design of your existing site, it will merely link to other pages on your site in the same manner that your other pages do. We do not modify that part of the HTML code in any way.
Will this affect my existing link strategies?
No. If you already have a link management system in place, adding the GreatLynx system will in no way affect that system. It is completely independent of any other content management you may need or promotional strategies you may be employing. However, the additional good news here is that if you don't already have a links system established and you would like to add separate, independent links of your own, you will now have a convenient location already set up in which to do it. The links page we create can be manipulated by you or your webmaster to add, for example, industry-related links (see below). As long as you avoid overwriting the HTML that is necessary for activating our system, you can do whatever else you want with that page.
Aren't industry-related links better than generic links?
There is a lot of debate about this within the SEO industry. In fact, if you ask three SEO-experts this question, you're likely to get at least seven different answers. :-)
Our opinion -- based on the experience of our client sites and ongoing research since 1995 -- is that, while industry-related (or "relevant") links may offer some slight advantage over generic links, this is by no means a good reason to neglect generic links, which work extremely well in their own right.
Consider the fact that Yahoo has a PR9 rating with Google. Can you imagine for one moment that this is because all of the other web portals are linking to Yahoo? Of course not. On the contrary, it's because millions of other sites out there are; sites that have absolutely no relevancy to portals, forums, auctions, search technology, or any of the other things that Yahoo specializes in. A better example might be The Drudge Report. They have a PR7 at the time of this writing, and VERY FEW news-oriented sites are willing to link to them. The fact is, lots of links from lots of sites equals "popularity" in the "eyes" of the search engines.
Consider also the difficulty that search engines must have in determining what is relevant and what isn't. One thing is certain: the English language doesn't help! After all, a word like "book" can have so many meanings that one could never know how relevant that word might be to, say, gambling. :-)
On the other hand, a site with lots of incoming links from sites that clearly are relevant certainly won't be hurt and probably will be helped . . . to some degree. The good news here is that our system has a built-in mechanism that will allow it to expand and adapt. In the future, we foresee the possibility of relevant links having their place within the GreatLynx network. The mechanism is already in place. This just isn't our focus at this time.
Don't the incoming links need to be from sites that are themselves popular?
This is a two-edged sword. On the one hand, there seems to be some evidence that a site will be given more "weight" if the links pointing to that site are coming from sites which themselves have decent ranking. How valid this is, or to what extent it matters, remains a matter of much debate within the SEO industry. On the other hand, opportunities missed don't help either. What we mean by this is that you don't want to pass up a chance of getting linked from a site which will eventually achieve high ranking. And the very fact that that site is pursuing an aggressive link strategy is a pretty good indication that it will. Add to this the fact that the sites that will be linking to your site from within the GreatLynx network are themselves part of the network, obtaining up to fifty incoming links for their own sites. By definition, such sites are pursuing an aggressive link management strategy (the best, in fact), and therefore will improve in ranking. Thus, if the theory of higher ranked sites transferring higher link popularity is accurate, this will in fact translate to higher ranking for your own site.
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