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Hyperlinking for Online Marketing (part 1)


This article outlines the history of the web link, how search engines have evolved through the use of link based algorithms, and tips to help the user cope within a multi billion dollar marketing business. This article is not intended to provide a definitive solution to online success, as there are many factors which comprise overall online marketing needs. The intent of this article is, however; to outline some important facts of web based links, and how to maximize these links for your own online marketing benefit.

Because of the very nature of Hyperlinking, this article will cover many areas all of which are necessary and relevant to a clear understanding of how a link can function correctly for you.

History of the Hyperlink

I thought this would be a great place to start an article on Hyperlinking, as most web users have no knowledge on the history of the hyperlink, nor its inception to the web.

Wikipedia's description on the History of the Hyperlink ( is as follows:

The term "hyperlink" was coined in 1965 (or possibly 1964) by Theodore Nelson at the start of Project Xanadu. Nelson had been inspired by "As We May Think," a popular essay by Vannevar Bush. In the essay, Bush described a microfilm-based machine in which one could link any two pages of information into a "trail" of related information, and then scroll back and forth among pages in a trail as if they were on a single microfilm reel. The closest contemporary analogy would be to build a list of bookmarks to topically related Web pages and then allow the user to scroll forward and backward through the list.

In a series of books and articles published from 1964 through 1980, Nelson transposed Bush's concept of automated cross-referencing into the computer context, made it applicable to specific text strings rather than whole pages, generalized it from a local desk-sized machine to a theoretical worldwide computer network, and advocated the creation of such a network. Meanwhile, working independently, a team led by Douglas Engelbart (with Jeff Rulifson as chief programmer) was the first to implement the hyperlink concept for scrolling within a single document (1966), and soon after for connecting between paragraphs within separate documents (1968).

Moving With The Times

The creation of backlinks, internal links and outgoing links are a constant problem for the web. The primary reason behind this is the three major competitive search engines (Google, Yahoo and MSN), all of whom analyse links differently for ranking purposes, particularly if you’re targeting more specific niche engines. This article will clarify some of those barriers for you, although there is no definitive solution to cover all three.

Whilst the technique of linking has never changed from its inception, the importance of the link has grown since Google partly introduced their PageRank algorithm in 1998, initially giving much value to a webpage through the use of links, also referred to as “backlinks”. The market was in need of this shift, as AltaVista had lost focus on search relevancy, for the distinction of becoming a portal.

All major search engines have used link based algorithms as a major component of their overall system. It is the use of this type of system that has provided a “cause and effect” for links being used to manipulate and artificially inflate Search Engine Result Pages (SERP’s). Saying that, the current system of link based algorithms far surpasses the existing system of word density vectors that were more widely exploited for vulnerabilities within AltaVista, in its prime.

Google’s shift, ultimately forced its competitors to alter how they operate with links and consequently how they provide relevant results to their end user through the Search Engine Results Pages (SERP’s). This market shift resulted in major changes for website owners and marketers. All three major search engines now use link based algorithms in one form or another, as a major factor for determining relevance.

Anthony Parsons is a semi-retired profesional SEO consultant and lives happily in Melbourne, Australia. Where he runs a successful network of web directories. Most notably the APN Directory that features quality and hard to find submissions worldwide.

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