[Ken Kifer's Bike Pages]

ARTICLE: For Webmasters Only

How to link to Ken Kifer's Bike Pages, how to get me to link to you, good web design policy, how to get your own site, how to submit a site, and how to find out who is linking to you.


Bike Pages Home Page

The Cyclist Lifestyle

Bike Commuting and Transportation

Bicycle Camping and Touring

Cycling Health and Fitness

Bicycling Advocacy

Bicycle Traffic Safety

Basic Skills for Cyclists

Cycling Humor and Tales

Bicycling Surveys and Statistics

Links to Other Cycling Sites

Comments on This Page

For Webmasters Only - Linking and Search Engine Information

New Logos for KKBP

For those who want to have an icon to use to link you my site, you are welcome to use the following logos, provided you copy them to your site:

This logo is 157 pixels wide, 53 pixels high, and 2,170 bytes.

This logo is 158 pixels wide, 98 pixels high, and 1,812 bytes.

This logo is 383 pixels wide, 224 pixels high, and 17,442 bytes.

Information on Linking to Me

The best way to link to my site (as far as I am concerned) is by adding a link to one of my pages from a page on a similar topic. There is a list of all the pages, with a description, on my sitemap page. If you wish to add a more general link, I would prefer a link to the directory most related to your site. They include:

Bicycling Advocacy
Issues involving cyclists' rights and the environment. Should cyclists have to pay to use the road or be paid for using them? What is the effect of global warming? How much do bicycles pollute? How do automobile costs compare with bicycle costs?

Bicycle Camping and Touring
A complete guide to bicycle touring, including bicycle gearing, planning a trip, selecting gear, chosing a tent, making touring bags, carrying a laptop, camping in the woods, reading maps, predicting weather, and cooking meals. In addition, this directory includes accounts of 35,000 miles of long and short bicycle camping trips all over Eastern and Central United States and Canada.

Bicycle Traffic Safety
How to ride in traffic, avoid accidents, cope with fear, use assertiveness, interpret the traffic code, and handle dogs. Also, a look at cyclists' traffic behavior and a discussion of wrong-way bicycling.

Bicycling Surveys and Statistics
The results of surveys made on this site, the first a general and safety survey, the second on politics, and the third will be on touring.

Bike Commuting and Transportation
Information on how to get started bicycle commuting, such as what kind of bike to buy, necessary equipment, solutions to problems, and useful tricks.

The Cyclist Lifestyle
A look into the cyclist's psychology, sociology, interests, preferences, and attitudes. Includes articles on bicycles, the selling of bikes and equipment, and the cyclist's behavior and beliefs. Includes the True Cyclist®.

Cycling Health and Fitness
The health benefits of cycling, risks vs. benefits, some cycling problems to watch out for, and a healthy diet for cyclists.

Cycling Humor and Tales
Both humor articles and odd stories, with the humor mainly on the frustrations of cyclists, and the stories showing alternate possibilities. The stories include "I Never Shift Twice," and "Beneath the Valley of the Planet of the Bicycles."

Basic Skills for Cyclists
Includes mechanical skills -- bike repair, fixing a flat, and truing a wheel, plus basic skills that every newbie should know and how to climb and descend hills.

For Those Wishing Me to Link to Them

The quickest way to get a link from my site is to add a link to my site first. If you link to my site, and I find out about it (or you tell me), I will add a link back within a week or so on my Cycling Sites Which Link to Mine page.

If you have some interesting articles or other materials on your site that you think will be useful to my readers, be sure to let me know, as my web time is rather limited. I am especially interested in linking to articles similar to mine. On the other hand, if you are trying to sell something and expect a free endorsement of your product, you can forget it. I do, on rare occasions, endorse a product, but not because anyone asked me (or offered me a commission) to do so, but because I have a good bit of experience with it, and/or it is hard to find. This does not mean that I have a hostile attitude towards commerical sites, just that selling stuff is not my purpose.

Many cyclists write to me wanting me to list their travelogues on my tourlinks page. Unfortunately, it takes me a very long time to read a travelogue, and my web time is rather limited. I have to read the travelogs because of the requirements for acceptance on the page (the travelog must be an interesting and detailed account of a non-sagged trip over a week in length). I have added only one new page since 2000. Whenever I do have the time to add new pages, I am going to start with those sites that have already linked to mine.

How to Improve Traffic to Your Site

I decided to cut this part of the page down to a few words, as no one was listening. Webmasters want to apply lots of pressure, pay a lot of money, add lots of music and graphics, make the site complicated with plug-ins and Java required, provide short pages with little information, and avoid linking to other sites. All of these methods are harmful.

The best way to have a great site is to do some really hard thinking and to write each page about some topic which everyone is interested in, providing some details no one else has mentioned. Make each page informative and useful to your reader, and especially, make sure it's interesting. Then link to other related pages, and see if you can get those authors to link back to you. Be sure to apply to the search engines and directories listed in the right-hand column, but write some good pages and exchange some links first.

The Selfishness Principle

Many of those with bicycling websites have adopted a self-defeating policy which I call "the selfishness principle." According to this scheme, they want all other cycling sites to link to them, but they are not going to recognize that other website exist, except for the sites of the various bicycle manufactures. They think that by following this policy, that those cruising the web will be captured within their sites and then unable to leave. Actually, the exact opposite happens. The search engines don't rate the site as high because there are no outgoing links, and the casual visitor quickly discovers that there is nowhere to go on the site, and never returns. Adopting the opposite policy, that is, linking to as many good sites as possible is a much better plan. If you don't think so, look at what the professional sites do. Spread the good word around.

If You Are Looking for a Web Location

There are three different ways of owning a web site. First, when your site is small, you can just use the free web space provided by your ISP at no extra cost. This is a great way to get started, and I recommend when getting a new ISP to make sure this space is available (and to find out how much space it actually is). However, one cyclist told me that he started receiving bills after his site started getting a great deal of traffic.

Second, many elect to put their web sites on "free" web space, such as Geocities, Tripod, and Xoom. I say "free" because these sites place advertisements on the page, over which you will have absolutely no control. Also, be sure to read the fine print, as there is some disagreement as to who actually owns your material once it is placed on their web sites. An additional penality with these web sites is that they are somewhat less likely to be visited by the search engines.

Third, one can get a domain name, a web host, and pay a monthly or yearly bill for the site. While your site will be on someone else's server, you will have absolute control and responsibility for your site. Domain names (such as KenKifer.com) have been $70 for two years, but some companies are now charging as little as $15 a year. If you decide to change web hosts, you take your domain name with you. You will also have to pay the web host a monthly, quarterly, or sometimes yearly fee, and the features, costs, and dependability will vary from web host to web host. I have been with Simple-Hosting since 1997, and I have stayed with this company due to its dependable service, so I will use it as an example. This host for Ken Kifer's Bike Pages now has web sites for as little as $9.95 a month. The packages can include lots of extra goodies, such as your own personal, configurable pop3 and browser-based e-mail service; forms, Perl, SSI and cgi; and daily stats plus acess to raw logs. If you do use Simple-Hosting, tell them that I sent you, as they sometimes give me a month's fee traffic for recommendations. To learn more about Simple-Hosting (or any other web host), browse the web site, and talk with others using the service (if possible). CNET offers a good guide to web hosts.

Be sure to note the search engine information in the right column.

NOTE: I formerly had some other material here on how to make the site more attractive. I have decided to remove this material and to add it into a longer article on building a bicycling web site which is in progress.


Registering with Search Engines and Directories

With search engines, give your home page url to the site's add url page. A link to Google gets you into Netscape and Yahoo (the search engine part) at the same time. Google is the best search engine on the web and is used more than Yahoo and MSN combined. AOL will soon be using Google for its search.

Hotbot is a good place to apply to get into the Inktomi seach engine, also used by iWon, MSN, AOL, and LookSmart (the search engine part), and others.

Altavista is a good source of traffic, declining in value.

Fast is an excellent search engine with a small volume of traffic, also used by Lycos.

With directories, dig down to the page where you think your page ought to be listed and then use the addurl link on that page. Don't submit a site to a directory until you have a lot of articles. Write descriptions carefully.

Yahoo! is supposed to get 55% of the traffic on the web, but Google sends me more hits. Nonetheless, this is the second best site. It took five months for this site to get accepted. Submit once a month, no more no less, apply carefully, and don't hesitate to complain politely after a few attempts.

The Open Directory is used by Google, Netscape, Lycos, Hotbot, AOL, and lots of minor search engines and directories. Submissions get accepted more easily than at Yahoo.

Other sites: LookSmart and Overture ask you to pay for each hit, Excite, Infoseek, Go, and Northern Light are no longer independent search engines. Teoma.com is a newcomer, used by Ask (Ask Jeaves), but I have almost no information about it.

Searching for Links to Your Site

Note: in all the examples below, "yoursite.com" means the url of the base of your website. It probably won't work well if "yoursite.com" is "xyz.com/~yourname".

To find out who is linked to you, submit "link:yoursite.com -url:yoursite.com" (without the www.) to Altavista.

With Google, placing "link:www.yoursite.com" in front of a url shows just the pages linked to that specific page. For links to your entire site, just use the title of your site within quotes (it should have a distinctive title). Also, using "yoursite -site:yoursite.com" picks up a number of links. None of these methods gets them all.

With Fast, go to the advanced search page and choose "must include yoursite.com in the link to url" and "must not include yoursite.com in the url." This is the best site for finding links.

Hotbot has the best site for checking Inktomi links. Use "linkdomain:yoursite.com -domain:yoursite.com."

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http://www.kenkifer.com/bikepages/webmaster.htm | Copyright © 2000 Ken Kifer | Updated: June 6, 2002