Jill -

Thank you for your wonderful newsletter! I am new to the world of Website design and SEO and have learned quite a lot from your site.

I have some SEO questions if you don't mind:

1st -- In your most recent article you discuss hidden links. I am not sure what they are and I am afraid I am employing them (I link almost exclusively from images) -- Is this a problem?

2nd -- I have a new URL -- what should I do with it? I have set up a single page that describes the site and links to my old URL - is this ok or considered some sort of spamming?

3rd -- I also purchased a domain name that contains my keyword phrase because Google in particular seems to reward sites with keywords in the name. Again -- what can I do with this to see if it is more effective than my other URL without running the risk of spamming?

Thank you in advance for your help and your wonderful site.

Kara Brooks

~~~Jill's Response~~~

Hi Kara,

Glad you like the newsletter!

Hidden Links

Linking from images is fine and not considered invisible links. They're links for your human visitors, right? The visitors know they're there? Hidden links are ones that real people aren't supposed to actually notice or click on. They generally link to doorway pages built strictly for the search engines. They are links purposely created to be invisible, unlike regular graphical links.

Image links are a standard way of linking Web pages, and they're not a problem. As long as you don't go making transparent images into links, or teeny-tiny graphical links, you should be fine and dandy.


You should simply "park" both domain names on your one site server (same IP address if possible). It's fine to have 2 or more domain names with one site. I've got about 10 domain names for my site. Your Web host should be able to show you how to safely park them.

Of course, you'll want to only promote your main domain to the Internet directories and the like. Extra domains are fine for things like making sure you have both the .com and the .net domain for your brand, or for using a shorter URL in your print ads, and that sort of thing.

Extra domains are definitely not something you should be using for search engine promotion efforts. DO NOT buy domain names thinking you'll use them to fool the search engines or anything like that.

Don't submit more than one of the domains to directories such as DMOZ or Yahoo or whatever. Once you start doing stuff like that you're pretty much spamming the search engines and will be walking on thin ice!

Keyworded Domain

You don't need keywords in your domain name. You can park that one also if you want, but again, don't go promoting it in the engines or directories. Choose one domain name and stick with it! Your domain name (and the keywords in it) is not what is going to get you high rankings. What will are the words you put on the page, the Title tags and the links that point to your site.

Good luck!


June 20, 2003

CEO and founder of High Rankings®, Jill Whalen has been performing search engine optimization since 1995 and is the host of the free High Rankings Advisor search engine marketing newsletter, author of "The Nitty-gritty of Writing for the Search Engines" and founder/administrator of the popular High Rankings Search Engine Optimization Forum. In 2006, Jill co-founded SEMNE, a local search engine marketing networking organization for people and companies in New England.

High Rankings is an internationally recognized search engine optimization firm located in Framingham, MA specializing in search engine optimization, SEO consultations, in-house training, site audit reports, search marketing seminars and workshops. High Rankings has a 100% success rate for substantially improving client rankings and targeted traffic.

Jill speaks at national and international conferences and has been writing about SEO and search marketing since 2000. She's been quoted in such publications as The Wall Street Journal, U.S. News & World Report and The Washington Post. Her articles have appeared in numerous print magazines and online websites including CIO Magazine, CMS Focus, The Internet Marketing Report, ClickZ, WorkZ, Inc.com, Entrepreneur, Lycos Small Business, WebProNews, SiteProNews and others. Jill has also appeared on many online and offline radio programs such as Entrepreneur Magazine's E-Biz Radio Show, SearchEngineRadio and the eMarketing Talkshow.

Search Engine Guide > Jill Whalen > Hidden Links and Extra Domains