Link Development - URI Discovery

2010-03-01 - This document on URI Discovery is part of a larger collection of documents discussing Link Development. I'm currently preparing an article that will contain references to this document which will become part of the collection once completed.

Back in 2009 April, Brett Tabke (@btabke on Twitter) posted a topic at WebmasterWorld titled Top 20 Stealth Links which was spawned by an earlier topic on Virtual PageRank™ (see references below).

I've extracted pertinent information from the Top 20 Stealth Links topic at WebmasterWorld and have summarized the methods of URI discovery as I understand them.

The below list is in alphabetical order. It would be somewhat difficult to assign weighting values to each of these as their surrounding environments have a major influence over the outcome which you have very little, if any, control over.

My approach in these areas is to follow protocol and not fret too much about the outcomes. For every action there is a reaction and in this case, protocols clearly spell out what the reaction SHOULD be.

Note: There are longstanding protocols that define how User-Agents (UA) SHOULD handle machine readable content.

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Methods of URI Discovery

  1. 301/302 Domains
  2. Advertising Links (AdWords/Yahoo!/Bing)
  3. Analytics Data (Toolbars, JavaScript data collection, etc.)
  4. Bookmarking Services
  5. Browser History
  6. Documents with META noindex and/or nofollow and/or noarchive directives
  7. Google products and services including but not limited to; AdSense, AdWords, Analytics, Buzz, Chrome, Earth, Gadgets, Gmail, Groups, Maps, Reader, Webmaster Tools, etc.
  8. Hotlinking of Images, JavaScript, CSS
  9. Links in Contextual Ads
  10. Links in Desktop Widgets e.g. Vista Sidebar
  11. Links in Email
  12. Links in Form Data
  13. OCR
  14. Raw URIs (no a href)
  15. Referrer information passed through outbound links (OBLs)
  16. Robots.txt Directives
  17. RSS/XML Feeds
  18. Social Media Mentions
  19. URIs in Alternative Text Representations e.g. <iframe></iframe>
  20. URIs in CSS
  21. URIs in Documents e.g. .doc, .pdf, .txt, .xls, etc.
  22. URIs in <head></head>
  23. URIs in HTML Attributes e.g. <q cite="">
  24. URIs in HTML Comments e.g. <!-- -->
  25. URIs in JavaScript (including obfuscated destination URIs)
  26. URIs in Media e.g. Flash Movies, Games, Quizzes, etc.
  27. URIs in Metadata of Graphics and/or Media Files (Hypermedia)
  28. URIs discovered by spidering forms
  29. URIs displayed on Billboards, Vehicles (OCR, Google Maps)
  30. URIs inferred by Parentage e.g. (/uris/ is Parent)
  31. URIs set as your Browser Home Page
  32. WhoIs and DNS Data (Domain Registrations)

Now that we've expanded the thought process and are thinking outside the anchor, view the above as laying the groundwork, the foundation, for an effective long-term link development campaign.

Stay tuned, there is much more forthcoming in this collection of documents. Did you catch the earlier article on Link Development in 140 Characters?

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  1. 2009-04-16 WebmasterWorld: Top 20 Stealth Links
  2. 2009-04-04 WebmasterWorld: PageRank™ with no links (how)? Virtual PageRank?
  3. 1992-04-01 W3: Hypertext Terms
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