Your rankings in the search engines are determined by both ‘on-page’ and ‘off-page’ factors. Search engines perceive website with lots of incoming links to be ‘popular’ and deserving of higher rankings. They believe that if a lot of people have chosen to link to you then you must have a good website that other people will want to find.
Link Popularity is described by Search Engine Google like this:
“Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote, by page A, for page B. But, Google looks at more than the sheer volume of votes, or links a page receives; it also analyzes the page that casts the vote. Votes cast by pages that are themselves “important” weigh more heavily and help to make other pages “important.”
“Important, high-quality sites receive a higher PageRank, which Google remembers each time it conducts a search. Of course, important pages mean nothing to you if they don’t match your query. So, Google combines PageRank with sophisticated text-matching techniques to find pages that are both important and relevant to your search.”
Link Popularity is described by Search Engine Teoma like this:
“Instead of ranking results based upon the sites with the most links leading to them, Teoma analyzes the Web as it is organically organized—in naturally occurring communities that are about or related to the same subject—to determine which sites are most relevant. To determine the authority—and thus the overall quality and relevance—of a site’s content, Teoma uses Subject-Specific PopularitySM ranks a site based on the number of same-subject pages that reference it, not just general popularity.”
Good Link Popularity
Links are judged by their theme, page rank, and popularity. That means that you want links from website within your industry, that rank well themselves, and are considered popular for your industry.
Where to find Links
- Industry Websites/Associations/Magazines – Find out if any organizations or business groups that you belong to offers links to its members. This is an excellent source of links within your theme.
- Vendors – Ask all you vendors to link to your website. They may already have a page that let’s people find resellers in their area.
- Directories – Human reviewed directories are often spidered by other search engines as a source of high quality links. you can use free directories like aussieadvertising.com
- Press Releases – If you plan on doing offline press releases, plan on using online as well. Beyond their branding and advertising value, sites that pick up the release will provide a link back to your website. Be sure to use the name and URL of the website somewhere in the article to insure a link. Press release links are generally temporary, but these sites do get re-indexed almost daily by the search engines to keep content up-to-date.
- Online Articles – There are thousands of websites that offer newsletters and articles to there visitors. They are always looking for new writers to provide content. By submitting articles you are setting yourself up as an expert, providing good information, and creating a link that search engines and people will follow. All the articles will have a small bio at the end with a link to your website.
- Content link – The best links are from other websites who feel that your content is worth sharing with other people. If you have good information about your topic then people will link to you as a reference. Not only will you increase link popularity but you’ll have a good chance of attracting people interested in your products.
- Reciprocal Links – Reciprocal links used to be the best way to build up link popularity. Recently however, they have been demoted due to reciprocal link campaigns that involved hundreds of websites, but none of which were relevant to each other. It’s much harder to get links to quality websites because webmasters have been inundated with requests.
With that said, if you have relationships with other website owners you should definitely set up links to each other. Not only are you building link popularity but you may pass visitors on to people who deserve the business.
Quality vs. Quantity Links
Link Popularity Programs generally focus on quality or quantity, but not both. Quality link building can be a time consuming process. Why would someone want to link to your website? It’s probably a small pool of people that already know you and realize your value. Large quantities of low-value links are easier to come by. There are two popular methods.
- Free Directories – There are hundreds of free directories that let anyone add their URL to their website. Software allows anyone to create their own directory or dozens of directories for a specific industry. Links are then put on those directories pointing to the client’s website. Many of these directories are created by the marketers themselves so they fit the clients ‘theme’.
- Links from unknown websites – Marketers will ‘crawl’ the internet looking for email addresses. They then send out offers of reciprocal links. They often offer 10 incoming links for 1 outbound. The incoming links will come from the marketer’s link farms and will do them little good.