09 Dec 2005

Webrings – A look at an old forgotten Traffic Tool.

Webrings – an old traffic tool for future SEO?

Google defines webrings

under these definations, I like the one from Dreamstalker the best, which defines webrings as:

A WebRing is a group of similar sites that are grouped together in a circular ring and each site is linked to another by a simple navigation bar. Generally, users can navigate forwards, backwards, skipping a certain number of sites, visit sites randomly, or see a list of all the sites on the ring.

If you’re unfamiliar with webrings let me point out an example site which has a webring:

Go here for an example webring page

if you scroll down a little you’ll see a box that looks like this


This is a very common "look" of a webring.  Most webrings have links for "Previous site, Next 5 sites, Random site, and next site". As well as a link to the founder of the webring.

Under this banner the author has a link for "see all the members of this webring" which leads to this page which is run by webring.com, and we can see the 33 sites that are a member of this Titanic webring (all sites having a Titanic theme behind them).

In the 90’s, webrings were in thier heyday. Search Engines weren’t that good (Remember that Yahoo ruled then, and it was a directory, it wasn’t a search engine), and webrings were a great way to find other related websites within a topic, and webrings were also a good way of gaining click through traffic as people who were interested in one site, would start clicking through the ring to find other related websites.

It’s been a few years since I’ve heard anything about webrings, but this morning I was thinking….hum…if each of my clients started a webring, and we made the code so that the links "counted"…wouldn’t this be a good SEO thing?   I don’t think this would be considered spam as you’d literally be helping to create the neighborhood of your sites topic so everything would be related.

Is a webring spam?…..or genius? What benefits or pitfalls do you see?