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How to Improve Link Popularity

By Ron Hollingsworth
Posted Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Link Popularity importance

With the every increasingly popularity of Google, web site owners marketing efforts have had to change to accommodate what Google is looking for in a quality site. One way to prove that you have a quality site has been with link popularity. Good quality incoming links coupled with good quality page content will bring highly targeted traffic, and a lot of it. Just keep in mind that quality is key. The saying less is more really applies here. Just because your website has five hundred incoming links doesn't mean that they are all relevant. Ensure that the links you are getting are relevant to the content that your page is offering. This is extremely important.

Tips to Improving link Popularity

1. Directory Listings: Ensure your site is listed in the Open Directory Project (ODP) and also in Yahoo's Business Express ($299 yearly) and LookSmart Express Submit ($299) or Basic Submit ($149). Directory listings boost popularity because they rely on human editors, known to only select relevant websites. You may also try searching for other directories to submit to. Do a search for "search engine directories".

2. Cross Linking: Or you may hear it referred to as internal linking. Make sure you cross link your important related pages. This technique tells the search engines that these are the more important pages within your website therefore they will increase in ranking. Cross linking your pages also helps the search engines find and index your most important pages quicker, especially if you have hundreds of pages and some of them are four and five levels deep. Internal linking is a great way to increase the amount of keywords in your visual text links.

3. Publish articles: Write up some informative articles your audience is interested in, then submit these articles to online publications in your industry. Provide a brief bio which includes your web sites URL and make a condition that the article must be published intact with your bio. Over a short period of time you should gather some quality links.

4. Request Links: Open up an Excel spreadsheet and list all of the possible linking partners that you have gathered. Now that you have a list of possible link partners put a link on your site to their site and then email each site owner telling them that you've linked to them and respectfully ask them to link back to you in return. You would be surprised by the amount of response you get. Make it as easy as possible for the other site to link to you. I've found a that actually providing a form so the site owner can just copy and paste your link code into their site makes linking to you extremely easy. This can save a lot email-tag for the both of you.

Two Important Factors

There are essentially two important factors in increasing your webpage's link popularity. Studies have shown that the quality of the link is just as important as the number of incoming links to your site.

1. Quality of link - Link popularity will skyrocket when popular sites link you such as Yahoo and the Open Directory Project (ODP). These sites are considered authoritive sites and receive a high amount of traffic. Also, you should concentrate on getting links from major search engines such as Google, MSN, and also sites that relate to your sites theme/content. Most search engines will see your website in a much higher light if you have a incoming link from a major search engine, thus greatly increasing free search engine traffic.

Try to find websites that link to your competition. This does a couple of things for you. First and utmost you know that links to your competition usually will be relevant and on topic. Also, this will greatly reduce the amount of time you have to invest in finding incoming links. Finding sites that link to your competition is actually quit easy. Try typing "link" and then the competitors domain name like this:

"link:(www.competitors-domain.com)."

Another technique in finding quality links is by finding sites that offer site submissions. Go to Google and type in:

"add url" "your keyword phrase"

Also try replacing, "add url" with any other these search phrases::

add site, add link, add a url, add a site, add a link, submit url, submit site, submit link, submit a url, submit a site, submit a link.

2. Keywords in Link

Another very important factor is the keyword being used to link to your site. When asking a site owner to link to your site make sure that you ask them to link with the keyword that you are optimizing that page for. Keywords are very important in determining the relevancy of your webpage so ensure that they are sprinkled throughout them as well.

Nearly 25 percent of the #1 web pages on Google result pages used the queried keyword in <A> link texts. For example, if the keyword is "computers", the following <A> link text contains the keyword once:

<A HREF="(http://www.yourdomain.com/yourpage.com)">Computers</A>

Nearly one out of four web pages is a very high number so it looks like Google ranks web pages higher if they contain keywords in their <A> link texts.

BONUS:

Search engines especially Google pay very close attention to the title of a webpage. Therefore it is imperative that you name the pages title using the same keyword phrase that you are optimizing it for. Example: Let's say you have a page dedicated to "Norman Rockwell". You would not only want visual keyword links within the page, but also as the title of the page.

Conclusion

Link popularity should be a vital part of your search engine optimization strategies. Ensure that you follow your link popularity plan and never waver from it. You will be thanking yourself when you do and so will the search engines!

If you would like to automate your link building efforts, I recommend using a link management tool such as Arelis. It will save much time, I know it has for me :)

About the Author:
Ron Hollingsworth is an Internet Entrepreneur and Internet Marketing professional and has been involved with e-commerce in one way or another for over five year. You can find many reviews of software marketing tools and marketing tips at his website.