What is the effect of WEBRINGS on SEO?

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What is the effect of WEBRINGS on SEO?

Postby taracrooks on Mon Feb 16, 2004 11:25 am

Sharon and Roy,
Alice wanted me to post this question as to see your answers.
I have a site www.advertisingmoms.com that JUST opened and I'd love to see what you say about this. Someone offered advice to take a look at my site. NOT an SEO expert just a successful WAHM. She wrote me back the following:
Your site is great! Nice layout...appealing. I do think you are gonna get
dropped from Google eventually because of all the link farms (like I alwasys
say: good intentions but google will kick your butt for it).

So I got worried and emailed Alice VERY QUICKLY! My question is do webrings hurt your SEO and will you be eventually DROPPED from Google for this?

We were planning on having the Mompack webring, our webring we created, and three to five others on a page called FREE WEBRINGS for people to view. I was worried b/c this person said that would get me dropped as well as "link farms" which I think was in reference to my pages called FREE ADVERTISING and TEXT LINK MOMS.

I'd love to see what you think. Thanks!!
Tara E Crooks, Proud military wife and WAHM!
$5.00 gets you one MONTH rotation on EVERY PAGE of www.advertisingmoms.com AND rotation on 25 member HOME PAGES!
http://www.AdvertisingMoms.com/buttonswap.html
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Postby Alice Seba on Mon Feb 16, 2004 12:54 pm

I'll add my opinion to the thread because I think a lot of moms use web rings.

As far as I know webrings predate the days of Google and aren't known to be used for increasing link popularity/ PageRank. You get one link in and one link out in a web ring. That's not a "link farm".

One thing I noted is that your web rings are powered by "Ring Surf" and they enjoy a nice healthy PR of 7 on Google...doesn't look like they're suffering from doing web rings.

As far as Text Link Moms goes...the Mom Pack has been doing this forever and, as far as I know, there haven't been any problems. As long as everyone has other content on their site, the text links are really no different than any other links page.

Of course, search engines can't really understand "motive", but the purpose of Text Link Moms and webrings is to bring traffic to your site...it's not to mess with link popularity and PageRank.

I'm very interested to hear Sharon & Roy's take on this as well.

Alice
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Postby Sharon & Roy on Tue Feb 17, 2004 4:09 pm

taracrooks wrote:Sharon and Roy,

Alice wanted me to post this question as to see your answers.

I have a site www.advertisingmoms.com that JUST opened and I'd love to see what you say about this. Someone offered advice to take a look at my site. NOT an SEO expert just a successful WAHM. She wrote me back the following:

Your site is great! Nice layout...appealing. I do think you are gonna get dropped from Google eventually because of all the link farms (like I always say: good intentions but google will kick your butt for it).

So I got worried and emailed Alice VERY QUICKLY! My question is do webrings hurt your SEO and will you be eventually DROPPED from Google for this?

We were planning on having the Mompack webring, our webring we created, and three to five others on a page called FREE WEBRINGS for people to view. I was worried b/c this person said that would get me dropped as well as "link farms" which I think was in reference to my pages called FREE ADVERTISING and TEXT LINK MOMS.

I'd love to see what you think. Thanks!!


Hi Tara,

Alice's understanding about Web Rings is right on the money. There is not much more that we can add to what Alice has already said, other than to just give you some visual proof that Web Rings are perfectly fine as far as Google is concerned.

For those who will read this thread, we'd like to offer up the definition of a "Link Farm" so that we can all be on the same page when discussion turn to this topic.

This is the definition of a link farm.

Details vary, but generally you will receive a list of Web pages which simply contain links to other pages (usually unrelated to each other) participating in a link exchange program.

As a participant you must upload these Web pages to your own domain (usually once a month) and link to them from your Home Page so that the search engines will follow the link and spider these pages, which in turn will end up as mirror pages (AKA duplicate content pages) which is against the guidelines of the search engines.

At the same time all of the other site owners (usually numbering in the hundreds) are doing the same thing with their domains.

The motive is to boost the ranking of each Web page that participates by increasing the amount of links that point to the Web page's of these participants, which will more than likely be their Home pages.

For example if there are 5000 participants, then each Web page will increase its link popularity by 5000 links as soon as all these Web pages have been spidered and indexed.

Google refers to this (unethical) SEO technique as artificially inflating the link popularity (AKA PageRank) of a Web page and will penalize (or ban) the Web pages (or sites) that participate in such schemes.

For example, we bring to your attention one of the more well know Link Farms, < linkstoyou.com > which has been banned by Google.

Compare This Link Farm With Web Ring and Ring Surf For Link Popularity

URL: linkstoyou.com
Alltheweb: 156,028
AltaVista: 21,107
Google/ AOL: 0
HotBot/ Inktomi: 7,260
MSN: 7,611

......

URL: www.ringsurf.com
Alltheweb: 2,990,118
AltaVista: 387,022
Google/ AOL: 20,600
HotBot/ Inktomi: 545,421
MSN: 545,635

......

URL: www.webring.org

Alltheweb: 2,295,058
AltaVista: 259,813
Google/ AOL: 7,300
HotBot/ Inktomi: 842,118
MSN: 840,569

Source: http://tools.marketleap.com/publinkpop/



Indexed In Google?

http://www.google.com/search?q=www.linkstoyou.com

Sorry, no information is available for the URL linkstoyou.com



http://www.google.com/search?q=www.ringsurf.com

Showing web page information for www.ringsurf.com

RingSurf
Ring Management. Ring Owner Login, Ring Member Login. Ring ID: Password:
Ring ID: Site ID: Password: Forgotten password. Community Status. ...
Description: Growing webring service. Navigate related websites organized by areas of interest. Join a Ring or...
Category: Computers > Internet > ... > Web Ring Systems



http://www.google.com/search?q=www.webring.org

Showing web page information for www.webring.org

WebRing:
Welcome, Guest - Webring Home - Help/Support - Sign In. WebRing: We
Bring the Internet Together! Not a WebRing Member? WebRing Member? ...


PLEASE NOTE: Google Directory < http://directory.google.com/ > has a listing for < ringsurf.com > and < webring.com> but not for < linkstoyou.com >.


http://search.dmoz.org/cgi-bin/search?search=webring

http://search.dmoz.org/cgi-bin/search?search=web+ring




7,330 Backward Links
http://www.google.com/search?q=link:webring.com

60 Backward Links
http://www.google.com/search?q=link:ringsurf.com


::: For Your Information :::

How Google treats pages that participate in Web Rings ...

http://www.google.com/search?q=http://v ... g=wahmring

Total number of pages indexed by Google (176) for this particular Web Ring ...

http://www.google.com/search?q=%22WAHM. ... 22&num=100

Searched the web for "WAHM.Com Web Ring". Results 1 - 100 of about 176


The following page, currently (02/17/04) PageRank4, with 28 displayed Backward Links is thriving in Google.

http://www.dotcommommies.com/webrings.html

http://www.google.com/search?q=link:htt ... 0&filter=0

... The above page is currently ranked #3 for the term ...

work at home web rings

http://www.google.com/search?q=work+at+ ... gs&num=100

Searched the web for work at home web rings. Results 1 - 100 of about 2,420,000

... Right behind this page, currently (02/17/04) PageRank4, with 18 displayed Backward Links which is #1 ...

http://www.mothersworkathome.com/webrings.htm


http://www.google.com/search?q=site:dot ... 0&filter=0

Searched pages from dotcommommies.com for "Web Rings". Results 1 - 79 of 79


http://www.google.com/search?q=link:htt ... 0&filter=0

Total number of pages indexed by Google (9) for this particular Web Ring ...

http://www.google.com/search?q=%22Mothe ... 0&filter=0

Searched the web for "Mothers Work At Home - Online Resource Webring". Results 1 - 9 of 9


As new as your domain is, you already have a dispalyed Backward Link in Google and guess where that link originates?

Yep, RingSurf.com is correct.

Link Popularity

URL: www.advertisingmoms.com

Alltheweb: 1
AltaVista: 2
Google/ AOL: 2
HotBot/ Inktomi: 6
MSN: 6

Source: http://tools.marketleap.com/publinkpop/


http://www.google.com/search?q=link:htt ... gmoms.com/

RingSurf: MomPack
Ring Management. mompack. ! MomPack. RING DESCRIPTION. A group of moms
in business who work together to build our businesses. We invite ...
www.ringsurf.com/netring?action=info&ring=mompack - 27k - Cached - Similar pages


Happy SEOing And We'll See You At The Top!

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Thanks

Postby taracrooks on Tue Feb 17, 2004 4:41 pm

Sharon and Roy,
What a great analysis! Gosh you guys are good. I will FWD the information to Julie who is currently running www.mompack.com and I think we will simply put the code and information on our site. Whether or not we can change what mompack does is one thing, but we can tell people how to change it on OUR site. :)

Thank you for the information. I am going to repost it on www.advertisingmoms.com in our forum where I posted the response from Alice too.

Tara
Tara E Crooks, Proud military wife and WAHM!
$5.00 gets you one MONTH rotation on EVERY PAGE of www.advertisingmoms.com AND rotation on 25 member HOME PAGES!
http://www.AdvertisingMoms.com/buttonswap.html
________________________________

New! NO STARTUP COST! Start your candle business today!
http://www.TheCandleCoop.com/

________________________________

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Postby Alice Seba on Tue Feb 17, 2004 4:46 pm

Thank you so much Sharon & Roy. I must admit that I never truly understood that this was like a link farm. I haven't participated in such a program, so I never really thought about it.

TARA - Did you notice that the woman who emailed you the advice is actually listed within text link moms? Yikes!

SHARON & ROY: Just curious...if this could be seen as a link farm...why are so many sites allowed to "clone" DMOZ content by creating specialty directories without penalty?

Alice
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Postby taracrooks on Tue Feb 17, 2004 4:50 pm

I did notice this. I am FWD her the response as well as Julie at the mompack. I probably should prepare myself for a little "chewing" b/c I know they aren't going to be happy. :)
Tara E Crooks, Proud military wife and WAHM!
$5.00 gets you one MONTH rotation on EVERY PAGE of www.advertisingmoms.com AND rotation on 25 member HOME PAGES!
http://www.AdvertisingMoms.com/buttonswap.html
________________________________

New! NO STARTUP COST! Start your candle business today!
http://www.TheCandleCoop.com/

________________________________

Visit our family webpage http://www.WeRCrooks.com/
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taracrooks
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Where do I put this?

Postby taracrooks on Tue Feb 17, 2004 5:01 pm

Alice, Sharon, or Roy,
Okay I saw that you put this:
This is what the robots.txt file will look like ...

User-agent: *
Disallow: /mompack.html

... And this is what the Meta Robots Tag will look like ...

<meta name="robots" content="noindex,nofollow">

To tell the robot not to spider the page.
Where exactly do these go?

I need to know for my OWN benefit as well as a better description to explain to the users that visit the page on my site as to do it on their site. :) Thanks
Tara E Crooks, Proud military wife and WAHM!
$5.00 gets you one MONTH rotation on EVERY PAGE of www.advertisingmoms.com AND rotation on 25 member HOME PAGES!
http://www.AdvertisingMoms.com/buttonswap.html
________________________________

New! NO STARTUP COST! Start your candle business today!
http://www.TheCandleCoop.com/

________________________________

Visit our family webpage http://www.WeRCrooks.com/
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taracrooks
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Postby Sharon & Roy on Wed Feb 18, 2004 1:32 pm

taracrooks wrote:Sharon and Roy,

What a great analysis! Gosh you guys are good.


Hi Tara,

Okay, you just made our day! Thank you so much for your very nice compliment. :oops:

taracrooks wrote:I will FWD the information to Julie who is currently running www.mompack.com and I think we will simply put the code and information on our site. Whether or not we can change what mompack does is one thing, but we can tell people how to change it on OUR site. :)


We're so happy to hear that you're going take the necessary precautions for yourself and for your visitors and participants by simply excluding the link program pages from the search engines.

That way, you completely eliminate the risk of banishment.
taracrooks wrote:Thank you for the information. I am going to repost it on www.advertisingmoms.com in our forum where I posted the response from Alice too.


You're welcome, Tara, and yes, it is a good idea to inform as many people of the possible risks as you can. We hear from folks all too often that their pages have been penalized or banned through no fault of their own. They just were misinformed about certain SEO techniques or they innocently followed advice that they had no idea could put them at risk.


alice wrote:Thank you so much Sharon & Roy. I must admit that I never truly understood that this was like a link farm. I haven't participated in such a program, so I never really thought about it.


Alice, it is always our pleasure to help provide insights to SEO that may not be common knowledge and especially if it has the potential to adversely affect one's bottom line.

alice wrote:SHARON & ROY: Just curious...if this could be seen as a link farm...why are so many sites allowed to "clone" DMOZ content by creating specialty directories without penalty?


Alice, what a great question!

First, we'd like to explain that placing a clone of a DMOZ topic or even the complete DMOZ directory on your Website is really no different from having an article that you wrote placed on various Web pages throughout the Net.

Next, we'd like to explain that what would make it a Link Farm situation is if every Website listed on a single DMOZ clone page were to place a copy of that page on their Website.

While there are certainly thousands of Websites that have DMOZ clones listed within their pages, the likelihood that all of the linked pages listed on a single DMOZ clone page will have that page listed on their Website is extremely low.

Therefore, in order for such a situation (AKA Link Farm) to become a reality, there would need to be forethought and someone to organize and to construct such a situation.

And lastly, have you thought about the fact that Google itself, actually has the largest DMOZ clone of them all?

They refer to their DMOZ clone as their ... Google Directory < http://directory.google.com/ > ... and Google is certainly not about to penalize the own DMOZ clone, but in fact it is quite the opposite as they have rewarded it with a PageRank of 10.


taracrooks wrote:Alice, Sharon, or Roy,
Okay I saw that you put this:
This is what the robots.txt file will look like ...

User-agent: *
Disallow: /mompack.html

... And this is what the Meta Robots Tag will look like ...

<meta name="robots" content="noindex,nofollow">

To tell the robot not to spider the page.
Where exactly do these go?

I need to know for my OWN benefit as well as a better description to explain to the users that visit the page on my site as to do it on their site. :) Thanks


Tara, the robots.txt will go in your root directory, like this ...

http://www.advertisingmoms.com/robots.txt

... And the Meta Robots Tag will go in the Head Element <HEAD></HEAD> of your ...

http://www.advertisingmoms.com/mompack.html

... Page, like this ...

<HTML>
<HEAD>
<meta name="robots" content="noindex,nofollow">
</HEAD>
<BODY>

</BODY>
</HTML>

Tara, if you need our help with writing out the instructions for your page, just give us a holler and we'll be more than happy to help you with it.

Tara, one thing that we'd like to point out for you to consider would be that in your instructions, it would be EASIER for everyone to be on the SAME PAGE if you simply have them link to the SUBDIRECTORY rather than to a page.

The reason why we say this is so that in your instructions you can simply say something like this ...

What is expected of me if I join?

By submitting your site to become part of Text Link Moms, you will be expected to add a page to your Website that contains the master HTML code for the text link page (you'll be given this file later).

• Create a subdirectory named ...

mompack

... Then upload the file with the master HTML code into your newly created subdirectory, so that your new URL will look like this ...

http://www.your-domain.com/mompack/

PLEASE NOTE: Simply name your file with your server's default setting. In most cases it will be ... index.html ... but in other cases it will be ... default.asp ... or ... index.php. Then, when you create a link to this page from your Home Page, simply link to the subdirectory and NOT to the actual page. In other words, your link must look like this ...

http://www.your-domain.com/mompack/

... And not like this ...

http://www.your-domain.com/mompack/index.html

... Or this ...

http://www.your-domain.com/mompack/default.asp


(Using a common subsdirectory, as we suggest, for every participant will keep things uniform for all LINKS and that way there is no need to for participants to create an index.html page if their default page has another name and/or extension.)


Below is what the current instructions say.

What is expected of me if I join?

By submitting your site to become part of Text Link Moms, you will be expected to add a page to your web site that contains the master html for the text link page (you'll be given this file later). This page should:

• Be in a non protected directory that is accessible to anyone who visits your site. Ideally, it MUST be named yourdomain.com/mompack.htm OR yourdomain.com/mompack.html - NO EXCEPTIONS PLEASE. If you have a problem with this or don't understand, please let us know!

Source: http://www.mompack.com/textlinkmoms/


Your Friends,

Sharon and Roy Montero
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Postby taracrooks on Wed Feb 18, 2004 2:00 pm

Thanks guys! :) You're very welcome for the compliment it was well deserved!

Okay two things.

First, explain the root directory? What is this? What does it contain? This is not something I have heard of before.

Second, I can't change what mompack says on their page but I did FWD the information to Julie just in case she might change it.
However, this is the note I put on my page. If asked, I will supply them with the information that they need to exlude the SE's from spidering the page as per your instructions.

The note:
*IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER FROM ADVERTISING MOMS: Please be aware that some search engines may consider Text Links Moms to be a "link farm" and could, at some point in the future, ban sites that use this technique from their seach engine. The risk is small, but it is a risk. We want you to be informed, web savvy, advertising moms! Use this information to weigh the great benefit of Text Links Moms with the possibility of the problem and decide for yourself. For more information on protecting your site while still using Text Links Moms email us!

Does that sound okay?
Tara E Crooks, Proud military wife and WAHM!
$5.00 gets you one MONTH rotation on EVERY PAGE of www.advertisingmoms.com AND rotation on 25 member HOME PAGES!
http://www.AdvertisingMoms.com/buttonswap.html
________________________________

New! NO STARTUP COST! Start your candle business today!
http://www.TheCandleCoop.com/

________________________________

Visit our family webpage http://www.WeRCrooks.com/
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Postby Sharon & Roy on Thu Feb 19, 2004 9:31 am

taracrooks wrote:First, explain the root directory? What is this? What does it contain? This is not something I have heard of before.


When one refers to the "root" directory, they are referring to the directory where the default page of the domain is found.

It is located here ...

http://www.domain.com/

... And any and all pages located in this directory are located in the root directory.

In a computer file system that is organized as a hierarchy or tree, the root directory is the directory that includes all other directories. The root directory will also contain files.

The slash < / > character represents the root directory. The root directory is simply represented as ...

/

... And all other directories (AKA subdirectories) are represented as ...

/subdirectory-name1/
/subdirectory-name2/
/subdirectory-name3/
etc.,

taracrooks wrote:Second, I can't change what mompack says on their page but I did FWD the information to Julie just in case she might change it.

However, this is the note I put on my page. If asked, I will supply them with the information that they need to exlude the SE's from spidering the page as per your instructions.

The note:

*IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER FROM ADVERTISING MOMS: Please be aware that some search engines may consider Text Links Moms to be a "link farm" and could, at some point in the future, ban sites that use this technique from their seach engine. The risk is small, but it is a risk. We want you to be informed, web savvy, advertising moms! Use this information to weigh the great benefit of Text Links Moms with the possibility of the problem and decide for yourself. For more information on protecting your site while still using Text Links Moms email us!

Does that sound okay?


Yes, it does sound OK, BUT, there are a few things that we would change. Here is what we would change in light of what you wrote.

*IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER FROM ADVERTISING MOMS: Please be aware that some search engines consider Text Links Moms to be a "link farm" and therefore ban sites that use this technique from their seach engine. We want you to be informed, web savvy, advertising moms! For more information on protecting your site from being banned while still using Text Links Moms email us!


Your Friends,

Sharon and Roy Montero
Sharon and Roy Montero - FREE Consultation 760-378-2539 (Pacific Time)
Want To Learn All About Search Engine Optimization? We Teach A 6 Week
Online SEO Class - Learn SEO The Write Way - There Is So Much More To
SEO Than Just Meta Tags ::: http://www.iwon.net/seo/class-description/
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Postby taracrooks on Thu Feb 19, 2004 11:26 am

Thanks! Sick of me yet? LOL! :)
Okay one more question.....
Do I just create a blank robot.txt file and upload it to the root directory?
Curious as to what this robot.txt file looks like and what it should include. Thanks!
Tara E Crooks, Proud military wife and WAHM!
$5.00 gets you one MONTH rotation on EVERY PAGE of www.advertisingmoms.com AND rotation on 25 member HOME PAGES!
http://www.AdvertisingMoms.com/buttonswap.html
________________________________

New! NO STARTUP COST! Start your candle business today!
http://www.TheCandleCoop.com/

________________________________

Visit our family webpage http://www.WeRCrooks.com/
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taracrooks
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Postby Alice Seba on Thu Feb 19, 2004 11:54 am

It's a blank text file, Tara and it is robots.txt...rather than robot.txt

Here's mine:
http://www.internetbasedmoms.com/robots.txt

Alice
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Thanks

Postby taracrooks on Thu Feb 19, 2004 12:32 pm

Thanks Alice..I'll get Michelle (my web designer) on that one PDQ! :) You guys are the best!!
Tara E Crooks, Proud military wife and WAHM!
$5.00 gets you one MONTH rotation on EVERY PAGE of www.advertisingmoms.com AND rotation on 25 member HOME PAGES!
http://www.AdvertisingMoms.com/buttonswap.html
________________________________

New! NO STARTUP COST! Start your candle business today!
http://www.TheCandleCoop.com/

________________________________

Visit our family webpage http://www.WeRCrooks.com/
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taracrooks
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Postby Sharon & Roy on Thu Feb 19, 2004 11:34 pm

taracrooks wrote:Thanks! Sick of me yet? LOL! :)


Hi Tara,

ABSOLUTELY NOT!

We love your questions, and we're more than happy to answer as many questions as we can.

In fact, we believe that most folks don't ask enough questions when it comes to SEO and because they don't, they may end up following the wrong advice or outdated advice and that's what get's them into trouble and/or not achieving their desired results.

taracrooks wrote:Okay one more question.....

Do I just create a blank robot.txt file and upload it to the root directory?

Curious as to what this robot.txt file looks like and what it should include. Thanks!


Here is what we suggest you do.

1.) Open your text editor.

2.) Type in the following code ...

User-agent: *
Disallow: /mompack.html

3.) Save the file and name it ...

robots.txt

4.) Upload it to your root directory like this ...

http://www.advertisingmoms.com/robots.txt


For Your Information:

Currently (02/19/04) Google does not have your mompack.html page indexed yet. You can keep an eye on this page by using the following query ...

http://www.google.com/q=www.advertising ... mpack.html

Sorry, no information is available for the URL advertisingmoms.com/mompack.html

Hopefully, Google will not index your page before you get an opportunity to include your robots.txt file, but if they do, don't fret, as they will honor your request to not have this page indexed on the next update or two.


Also, you can easily view which pages Google currently has indexed that have named their page either mompack.html or mompack.htm or by any other extension, by using the following queries ...


http://www.google.com/search?q=allinurl ... 0&filter=0

Searched the web for allinurl:mompack.html. Results 1 - 34 of 34


http://www.google.com/search?q=allinurl ... 0&filter=0

Searched the web for allinurl:mompack.htm. Results 1 - 44 of 44


http://www.google.com/search?q=allinurl ... 0&filter=0

Searched the web for allinurl:mompack.php. Results 1 - 2 of 2


http://www.google.com/search?q=allinurl ... 0&filter=0

Searched the web for allinurl:mompack.shtml. Results 1 - 3 of 3



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Sharon & Roy
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Thanks

Postby taracrooks on Fri Feb 20, 2004 12:28 am

Thanks!
I sent this on to my web designer. She'll get it done in the next two days so I think we'll make it! :)
So...here's my next question. I have had these links on www.TheCandleCoop.com for two years and never had a problem. They aren't on a page called www.thecandlecoop.com/mompack.html though...they are on a page www.thecandlecoop.com/HenHouse.htm is that why they haven't been noticed? When we redo our site I am going to do the same as I have done with Advertising Moms but just curious as to why nothing ever happened on The Coop. Did I just get lucky?
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