The Value of WebRing:
An Untapped Goldmine for SEO Entrepreneurs
By Charles Moffat - June 2011.
I have been a member of WebRing.com since the late 1990s. Before it was taken over by Yahoo! Incorporated, long before they sold it to a handful of developers who have been running it ever since.
The concept of WebRing is simple: Websites on similar topics linked together in "rings" using a code (often at the bottom of the website) which links them all together. Visitors can browse the individual ring topic by clicking Next, Previous, Random, and so forth. Participants submit their website to the webrings of their choice, place the webring code (which comes in HTML or SSNB variety) on their website and wait to be approved by the "Ring Master" or "Ring Mistress" who controls/monitors that webring.
Within WebRing there is a myriad number of topics, often multiple webrings on the same or similar topic. ie. There is 171 webrings containing the word "Canada" and 39 webrings containing the word "Toronto". There is 174 on "website design". Suffice to say there is a lot of topics someone could submit their website to.
I myself manage over 300 webrings on topics like Architecture, Business, Journalism, Writing and more. What is more, if I don't own a webring on a particular topic I can often just "buy" it using WebRing Activity Points (the points are awarded based upon being active members of the community, but you can also get points by donating to WebRing). Owning webrings means I can submit and approve sites to my own webrings, although it is equally beneficial to submit your site to other webrings owned/monitored by other Ring Masters.
Submitting your site to WebRing is fairly simple. Anyone can do it and the only real requirement is that you put the webring code on your website. You can't be sneaky about it either. The code is mandatory and a bot spiders your website to make sure the code is there linking back to WebRing. Some people prefer to put the webring code on their "links" page or some other similar section of their website. It has to be easy to find and within 1 click of the website you submitted. On designSEO.ca we've opted to place the webring code on this website in which we actually talk about the benefits of WebRing.
Once you get past the whole webring code bit the real benefits from WebRing are not from the random people who visit your website. Hardly. The real benefit comes from what WebRing does for your Search Engine Optimization. Good quality webrings will have a PageRank of 1. If you consult the PageRank Chart on the right you will see it only takes fifteen PageRank 1 websites to link to your site to attain a PageRank of 1 yourself.
Sounds easy right? Yes, it can be.
But the added benefit is that on WebRing your site will be listed in rings that are "on topic", and using keywords that link to your site. These add up to some nice benefits to your business, regardless of whether you are selling "Toronto real estate" or "collectible Elvis memorabilia". These keywords then boost your visibility in search engines, helping you get your website closer to the top of the list.
So why aren't all the SEO experts using WebRing?
The sad truth is that many SEO people out there are complete amateurs and haven't been doing this that very long. They're all competing over new websites like Facebook and Twitter, without realizing that older websites are definitely better because they have better PageRanks and not as much competition. Everyone is posting links on Facebook and Twitter, myself included, but any experienced SEO expert will tell you that Facebook and Twitter have been flooded with links and most of those links are downright useless in terms of SEO.
Thus we come back to my original statement: That WebRing is an "Untapped Goldmine" for Search Engine Optimization. Very few people are using it, but as a website it is an extremely useful place to promote your business and boost your search engine rankings.