Link Popularity and Why You Still Need It

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Link Popularity and Why You Still Need It

by Kevin Hass

Link popularity is still one of the main ways to get good search engine placement or ranking. Most search engines use link poplularity in their algorithums that determine rankings to some extent. Some of the well-known search engines that still favor this method include Google, Hotbot, & MSN, just to name a few.

Google uses its PagerRank (PR) as a measure of the link popularly of a Website (PR takes in to account several other factors as well). To determine the PR of a website, simply install the Google tool bar (http://toolbar.google.com) on your browser. You will be able to view the PR ranking on any site you visit on the Web. This PR ranking is on a scale from 0 to 10...of course, 10 having the highest PR ranking.

You gain link popularity by using Reciprocal Links or Link Exchanges, as a means of promoting your website resulting in a very effective and free way to help your website grow and gain higher search engine rankings. You will INCREASE YOUR TRAFFIC!

Your Link Popularity Rating is a combination of:

  • The Number Of Sites Linking To You (Inbound Links)
  • The Words (text) Used To Describe Your Site In The Links To You
  • The Relevance Of Those Sites As They Relate To Your Subject Matter
  • The Link Popularity Of The Sites That Link To You
  • The Search Engine Rankings Of The Sites That Link To You
Developing quality inbound links is critical for search engine rankings, yet most webmasters do not really understand the basics behind good link building strategies.

Why you should worry about link exchanges and link popularity...
Being successful on the Internet means having people find your website, SO it has to be "visible" in the major search engines and directories.

Building link popularity through reciprocal link exchanges is a simple, free yet very powerful website promotional tool. If done correctly, increasing your link popularity will:

  • Increase your traffic significantly!
  • Improve your ranking in the search engines by raising your link popularity!
  • Provide an added valuable resource to your website! (If you have more to offer, more visitors will come back!)
  • Save you a ton of advertising money!
What You Need To Know to Get Your Link Exchange Campaign Going...
First, please know that gaining link popularity properly takes TIME. You'll need to:
  • Find websites to link with that are similar and relevant to yours
  • Send email asking for a link exchange
  • Process, organize, and manage the links
  • Have the search engines find or "spider" you and your link partners by submitting to search engines
Important Tips for Legitimately Building Link Popularity
  • Don't trade links with sites that spam. Outgoing links to unethical sites can get you banned from search engines.
  • Don't link to FFA link farms. You might be penalized by the search engines. Link farms are simply websites that provide only links to all kinds of unrelated sites.
  • Link to relevant and complementary sites.
  • Obtain one-way incoming links when possible.
  • Use anchor text in links with keyphrases that you are wanting to get ranked high on search engines.
7 Simple Steps To Build A Powerful, Reciprocal Links Directory

No matter how good your product or service is, if you are not receiving targeted visitors to your site or if your web site is not well ranked by the Search engines you will not find much success.

A solid, reciprocal linking strategy, properly executed will deliver both targeted visitors and improve your web site rank for your chosen keywords and all for little or no out of pocket expenses.

STEP #1 - SPECIFIC KEYWORD SEARCH

It is important that your chosen keyword phrases are as specific as possible.

This step involves effort and a capacity to brainstorm because you need a minimum of 100 keyword phrases for good results. Good search engine optimizers build lists of 300 specific or more keyword phrases.

The following resources will be of use as you build your keyword phrase list
* Overture Suggestion Tool - http://inventory.overture.com/d/searchinventory/suggestion/
* Good Keywords by Softnik Technologies - http://www.goodkeywords.com
* Use a search engine to research "Keyword Phrases" and learn more practical details on this critical task.

STEP #2 - FIND SUITABLE LINK PARTNERS

Your ideal link partners are web sites based on

* High quality content - Ideally the material (articles, reviews, reports, e-books etc) should be original, fresh and informative to visitors.
* Tight web site themes - The content addresses a specific business, product or service type.
* Tight directory themes - A link to the link directory should be prominently shown on main pages and the directory must be tightly themed and not just a "link farm" of general, non-related web sites.
* Complimentary themes - While you may not want direct competitors to feature in your directory, complimentary sites that fulfill the above features will provide great value to your visitors.

STEP # 3 - FIND AND REVIEW LINK PARTNERS

Now, find web sites who may be "good" link partners.

Using a search engine or directory, go through each keyword phrase in your list and visit as many of the web sites that are returned as you can.

Evaluate each site on the basis of the criteria set in step #2. Decide on the categories you want in your directory.

For a Home Based Business these would typically be "Home Business", "Work at Home", "Make Money Online" and so on.

Qualifying web sites, may of course fall into more than one category depending on their business, product or service offerings.

Use the Google Toolbar to determine the prospective link partners PR ranking. I suggest that you don't pursue a link partner with a site that has no PR ranking.

STEP # 4 - BUILD YOUR PARTNER LINK DIRECTORY

Build your Partner Links directory using a separate HTML page for each distinct category. Start with one page until you start generating a larger number of link partners.

Add the URL link and comment for each qualified site into the relevant category page(s).

Make your directory is professional looking, where visitors find information quickly and easily.

Ensure the directory is easily found and reached from your main web pages.

STEP 5 - E-MAIL THE WEBMASTER

Using the e-mail addresses or Contact form, write to each Webmaster you have linked to.

Tell them :

* The URL address of the page where their link can be found
* Your own web site link information (URL and descriptive comments)

Finish by asking for a reciprocal link in their directory. Make the e-mail personal.

STEP #6 - MAINTAIN YOUR DIRECTORY

A partner directory is a work in constant progress.

It must change quickly to reflect obsolete, dead, new, and modified links and web sites.

This maintains its usefulness to your visitors.

Maintenance also means giving added prominence to entries for other webmasters who respond to your mail and tell you that they have added your link and web site information to their own directories.

Remember your directory exists to provide useful content to your visitors. Do not immediately remove a non reciprocating web site, if it adds value to your visitors.

STEP #7 - REPEAT

Go through the six steps above regularly and over a period of 3 - 6 months you should notice a significant rise in targeted traffic from complimentary sites as well as a gain in search engine rankings for your specific keyword phrases.

This can be a slow process. Below are some tools that may be used to help you perform this task faster and more efficient:

Link Exchange Directory Software
Easily check and track the positions of your web site in hundreds of search engines
Search Engine Facts Newsletter
MarketLeap.com
SearchEngineWatch.com

Conclusion

Building a useful, themed, partner directory is a "FREE" traffic and ranking builder.

Can you devote 15-30 minutes everyday to make this happen?


Kevin Hass, owner of http://www.work-at-home-business.com is a successful Internet marketer. He provides free home business websites and training through his "Wealth Online System" system at: http://www.work-at-home-business.com/wow.html


Disclaimer: The information presented and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of Work-at-Home-Business.com and/or its partners.
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