Posted Tuesday, October 19, 2004
Many of the major search engines now factor link popularity into their rankings so it is important to get as many quality Web sites linking to your site as possible.
What is Link Popularity?
Link popularity is the total number of Web sites that link to your site. As a result, increasing the number of relevant Web sites which link to your site can improve your search engine rankings and generate more traffic to your site.
The type of Web site linking to yours is very important. Exchange links with Web sites that have a similar theme or content as yours. A link from a similar Web site will count more towards your link popularity then a link from a Web site with content which is not relevant to yours. For example, if you have a real estate Web site, you should request link exchanges from other sites that have content pertaining to the real estate industry.
Avoid being Banned from Search Engines
Do not participate in link exchange programs or link farms. Although this seems like an easy way to exchange links with other Web sites, Google and many other search engines may ban sites that participate in link exchange programs.
Create a Links Page
Before you request reciprocal linking with other Web sites, you should set up a ‘Links’ page on your site. You can also add your contact information so other Webmasters can request link exchanges with you.
Once you are ready to start exchanging links with other Web sites, it is best to look for sites that are in the same general category as your site. The accepted method of obtaining reciprocal links is to use the search engines and directories to find sites that you would like to link to. Create a list of Web sites and send an email to each Webmaster, complimenting their site, and asking politely if they would like to trade links with you. You should also include the URL of your ‘Links’ page so they can see where their link will be listed. Once you have agreed to exchange links, you should also send each other brief descriptions of your Web sites to be included with the link.
Free Link Popularity Check
Knowing how many Web sites link to you is a key factor in monitoring your link popularity. Sencia's Internet Marketing team uses 'Link Popularity Check' on a monthly basis to check the number of Web sites linking to (www.sencia.ca) as well as our clients Web sites.
There are several freeware programs available that check the link popularity of your Web site. You can quickly find out how many people link to your site, how many sites link to your competitors and how you compare to other popular sites.
To find Link Popularity software, simply go to your favourite search engine and use "Free Link Popularity Software" as your keyphrase.
About the Author
Jason Bruce has been involved with Search Engine Optimization, Internet Marketing, Web development and Graphic design since 1998. Jason is the Manager of Creative and Marketing Services for Sencia Canada Ltd., a Web development firm located in Thunder Bay, Ontario. For more information about Jason Bruce and Sencia Canada Ltd., please visit (www.sencia.ca)