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Do links still work? Google publishes a Webmaster Guidelines document intended to give web site owners clues as to what they should do to rank well in its search engine. There has been some commotion in the online marketing industry about the removal of some copy that suggested submitting your web site to directories like Yahoo! and DMOZ. So…is this a sign that
links are no longer important?

Absolutely not. I think it is more a continuation of Google’s attempt to eliminate paid links as a way of improving rankings.

For instance, Google is fully aware that Yahoo! charges a fee for inclusion in its directory. So how is this different from buying a link on any other web site?

What this means for you is that you just need to continue seeking links from lots of different locations. Add your web pages to social bookmarking sites. Set up pages on social networking sites. Post responses on blogs (preferably blogs that allow “dofollow” links. Keep writing and distributing articles. These are all still effective techniques for generating lots of links that do not fall into the category of paid links.

As for straight-up paid links, I still think the technique is valid, but it should be used in moderation. If you are going to buy links, buy a small package of links from very high quality sites. Avoid the temptation to buy thousands of low cost links on low quality sites.

Today’s Squidoo lens is about running ads on MSN. MSN definitely has its own quirks, so this Squidoo lens discusses some of the things you need to watch out for, and features a number of videos on the subject of pay per click marketing.