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Link Popularity - Your Key to a Page #1 Listing

By Michael Southon
Posted Thursday, July 8, 2004

Last week I was doing a search in Google under 'ezine advertising' and was amazed to find one of my own websites on the first page of results (position #4 out of 271,000).

So then I went to Yahoo and got another shock - there it was again at position #4 out of 274,000 results.

If you're wondering how I did it, the answer is I'm not entirely sure.

But my guess is *link popularity*.

What is link popularity?

Some years ago the major search engines realized that the best way to decide if your website has valuable content (and is therefore worth a high ranking) is to see how many other websites link to your site.

Link popularity was pioneered by Google but has now become a key factor in the algorithms used by most of the major search engines.

Would you like to know your current link popularity?

Here's a free tool that will check your link popularity in Alltheweb, AltaVista, AOL, Google, HotBot and MSN. This tool will also compare your link
popularity with your competitors': (http://www.marketleap.com/publinkpop/)

Now that you know your link popularity, you may be wondering how you can increase it.

Here are some commonly used strategies - some effective and some not:

==> FFA Sites

Free For All sites are websites that collect your email address (and send you a lot of junk email) and in return allow you to post a link on a website.

FFA sites are rather like a conveyor belt - new links are constantly being added and old links being pushed off. On Many FFA sites your link will last an hour or two at the most.

Even if your link stayed on an FFA site long enough to be indexed by a search engine, it is unlikely it would increase your link popularity. Search engines regard FFA sites as spam and they'll either ignore your link or penalize your site.

==> Link Exchange Programs

As with FFA sites, you need to ask yourself the same question the search engines ask.

Did someone link to your site because you have valuable content? Or did they link to your site as part of a mutual ploy to artificially raise each other's link popularity?

The search engines know how to tell the difference and some of them (Google for example) will actually ban your site for engaging in 'link farming'.

Another problem with this method is *link relevancy*. If the sites linking to you have content that is not related to your content, the search engines will not give much weight to those links.

==> Reciprocal Links with Individual Webmasters

This will definitely increase your link popularity, especially if you seek out link partners whose websites share the same theme as yours.

But this approach is time consuming - first you have to surf around looking for potential link partners, then you have to email them, then you have to confirm that they added your link and so on.

==> Writing Articles

This is the technique I use for increasing link popularity and it works very well.

Write short articles of 300 - 800 words and then submit them to the article announcement lists and the online article banks.

There are thousands of webmasters out there who need free content for their websites and you'll soon find your articles appearing on dozens, even hundreds, of different websites.

At the bottom of your article is your Resource Box containing a link to your website. It might look something like this:

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John Doe is the webmaster of yourdomain.com where he offers cutting-edge tips on all aspects of web marketing. To find more advice, tools and resources to help you succeed in online business, visit: (http://www.yourdomain.com)
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Most webmasters will make the URL in your Resource Box an active link. If they don't, you should insist on it because it's part of the deal - they get free content for their website and you get a free link.

This technique has two important advantages over other methods of raising link popularity:

(1) You don't have to clutter up your website with reciprocal links

(2) You don't have to invest huge amounts of time searching for link partners and then emailing them to request a link. If they like your article, they just add it to their website.

Happy writing!

(c) 2002 by Michael Southon

About the Author
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Michael Southon has been writing for the internet for over 3 years. He has shown hundreds of webmasters how to dramatically increase traffic and sales. You can read more articles like this by joining his EPT Newsletter (FREE 3 Day Mini-Course when you join): ept-subscribe@aweber.com
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