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Link Popularity Basics

By JC Anderl
Posted Thursday, July 8, 2004

Link popularity has recently become an important aspect to consider when promoting a website. Many search engines have started to use link popularity to help determine ranking in their listings. Gaining links from other sites is also very beneficial because you gain added traffic when users follow the link from another site to your site.

What Is Link Popularity?

Link popularity is basically the number and quality of links that point towards your site. A link from a very important site is worth more than a link from a smaller site. The search engine companies think that an important site would only link to your site if your site was important, and it makes sense too. Try getting the main page of Yahoo! to link to you and you'll fail, but if you did get a link, then your site must be worth something. You couldn't even get a link to your site from a medium size site unless your site was important enough and had something to offer. Both of which are important aspects in determining relevancy - a search engines main goal.

The number of links is also important for the same reason. Your site must be important if many sites link to you. Search engines know these things, and that is the basis for link popularity.

Linking Strategy Rules

The most basic way of gather and exchanging links is to simply visit websites and email the webmaster asking for a link exchange. However, there are a few rules to keep in mind.

1. Related, Not Competitive - You should try to focus your linking strategy on sites related to yours, but not in direct competition. For example, a search engine submission company site wouldn't want to link with a competitor. They would be better off linking with a website that teaches
various ways of promotion. The object is not to lose business to competitors, but to gain business from similar sites.

2. Offer A Link - Most sites won't just give out a link for nothing in return. Have a link to their site setup and then email them asking for an exchange. Even go as far as to give them the URL of where their link is located. This basically just makes the offer more serious because you
already have a link setup.

3. Be Selective - You shouldn't just fire off an email to every website you find asking for a link exchange. Be selective based on the importance of your site. If you have a large site that has been around a while, you can be more selective with your linking. You just want to be sure that you aren't wasting your time with sites that will benefit greatly from your link, but won't do much for you at all.

4. Mini Yahoo! - When I created my links page, I had in my mind a picture of a small directory. Yahoo uses actual people to decide where and if a site gets added. Although my link page is obviously much smaller than Yahoo, I try to keep the same idea. I set up a page with different categories that relate to my site. This makes your links page professional and also offers another free service for my visitors to use. They can use my links page as a
targeted directory where they can easily find specific, relevant information.

Best of luck to you,

JC Anderl
(www.Redlionbooks.com), JC@Redlionbooks.com

Visit my site or email me if you have any questions about
marketing or website promotion.

About the Author

JC's website, Redlionbooks.com, specializes in advice about Internet marketing and web site promotion. Free access to articles and ebooks, learn how to market your product or service online at (http://www.Redlionbooks.com)