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"I coulda' been a contenda"

By Jim Daniels
Posted Monday, October 11, 2004

Is your site a "contender"? Or do you have a "limited presence" online?

Maybe your site is a "900 lb. gorilla?"

What's with all the jargon today?

Glad you asked.

A slick new "Visibility Index" opened recently that you should try. It measures your website's visibility on the web by counting up all the links to your site. But rather than simply telling you how many links you have across the world wide web, this one rates you from "limited presence," to "contender", "player" and even "900 lb. gorilla."

The site also lets you enter up to four other URLs so you can compare yours to them. What's more, the results show your URL among lots of popular sites on the web.

Not only is this free tool fun to try, it can reveal important information about your web presence.

Give it a go at: (http://www.marketleap.com/publinkpop/)

I just ran my (http://www.bizweb2000.com) site through and it was interesting to see it wedged between (www.Coke.com) and (www.SouthWest.com), but a bit shy of (www.MarthaStewart.com) and (www.GeorgeWBush.com). (See, I told you it was fun!)

But all fun aside, whether you find your site in the limited presence category, or even "Contender" or "Player", you should always be working toward one goal -- getting more links.

Not only do lots of links bring the obvious --- lots of traffic, they also help you in another important race; search engine ranking. Major search engines have been relying more and more on link popularity as a deciding factor in where they rank sites in their results pages.

- Could you become a gorilla?

OK, so how many links can you really get? Well, let's be honest. A lot has to do with your overall business budget and specifically, your marketing budget. If you think you can get to 900 lb. gorilla - that's half a million links - you could be setting yourself up for disappointment.

Take a look at the "gorilla sites". Every last one is a giant company with big marketing dollars, including presence on television, radio, and the like.

So how about the next category down, "player" - with 100,000 links or more? Is it doable with a small or home business budget?

Why not! Sure, it would be quite an accomplishment on a limited budget, but it is possible. You just have to have a plan. And I'd like to help you with that right now...

- Put a powerful "get links" plan in place.

So how does a site start moving up the list?

Simple. Get links. Or better yet, have a powerful plan to continually get links.

But getting other sites to link to yours takes a bit of originality. You can't just slap up a "link to us" page and hope the job gets done. (Well, you can, but don't expect too many quality links!)

Here are three link strategies you should consider. They are not used at too many sites, they work well and they can put you ahead of most of the pack...

1. Pre-license all your best stuff.

If you ever create your own tips, articles or content for the web or email newsletters, consider pre-licensing it to others.

If it's content you write, pre-licensing it for others is as simple as including a short footer after your work. It looks something like this:

"You have permission to reprint what you just read. Use it in your ezine, at your website or in your newsletter. The only requirement is including the following footer..."

*Article by Your Name.
Visit (www.YourWebsiteUrl.com) for more original content like this.

If you're a web designer you can use this strategy too! Simply put a statement like that one above in your terms of use page. Something like this...

"These images can be used freely. Please include the following at your site..."

*Some images at this site, courtesy of Your Name. For more original artwork for your website, visit (www.YourWebsiteUrl.com).

Getting the idea? See how this continually works to get you links? There are lots of websites in need of decent content. Supply it and you can benefit greatly - if you do it right!

2. Bribe webmasters into linking up.

Another strategy that can work very well is the "bribe". In a nutshell, you simply give something of value away to anyone who links to your site.

There are lots of ways to do this, and you are limited only by your imagination. Here's an example...

Just a few days ago I set up a new niche directory at my site called the Internet Marketer's Resource Directory. But rather than a run-of-the-mill directory, it's actually a link generation tool that bribes my visitors into linking to my site. It does this by offering two distinct rewards:

a. Marketers can get a free listing in the directory - a link from my site to THEIR best Internet Marketing Resources.

b. When they reciprocate with a link back to my site, they get a free book.

If you want to have a peek at how this works, see: (http://linksmanager.com/bizweb2000/)

Now I'm not telling you about my directory to get you into it. That's already happening by itself. (My little niche directory has generated 100 new links in just three days.)

The message I want to get across today is this:

- Never stop looking for links

I've been marketing online for five years. But I never stop looking for ways to grow links into my site. And there are endless opportunities for ANY webmaster to do just that. You just have to use your imagination then ACT on your linking ideas.

And there are lots tools available for you to use. Heck, I found 69 indexing scripts just today at: (http://cgi.resourceindex.com/Programs_and_Scripts/Perl/) Pick one and run with it!

And if you're not cgi inclined, there are also web services that can automate your link growth ideas. The one that runs my own little niche directory is called LinksManager and it does everything from directory creation, URL submission handling, email confirmations, and reciprocal link checking. The system even gives away the free eBook when reciprocal links are verified.

No matter how you do it, start growing your links. And remember... the last thing you want is NO strategy. That may leave you looking back a few years from now thinking, "If only I'd had a link strategy, I coulda' been a contenda." Start a solid strategy now and who knows, maybe someday your site will be a 900 lb. gorilla!

About the Author
Article by Jim Daniels of JDD Publishing Jim's site is packed with free help for anyone trying to start or grow a business online. Get your free help today at: (http://www.bizweb2000.com)