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Posted: 2005-04-11 / Author: Salihu Ibrahim

How To Build Link Popularity

Link popularity is very important with regards to search engine
placement or ranking. Most Search Engines including Google,
place much importance in a Website's link popularity.¬ They use
the number of outgoing and incoming links to a Website to
determine the importance ( relevance ) of the Website for a
particular keyword or keyword phrase.¬ However, incoming links
are more important than outgoing links.

The Search Engine Google, uses its PagerRank (PR) as a measure
of the link popularly of a Website.¬ If you have the Google tool
bar installed on your browser, you can easily see the PR of any
site you visit on the Web. You can download it here.
http://toolbar.google.com . The PR of a site ranges from 0 to
10.¬ The higher the number, the better. A grey PR bar means the
site has not been indexed, been dropped or has been banned.

WHY LINK POPULARITY

Search Engine builders, continuously research ways to make their
search engine result pages (SERPs) relevant to users.¬ Different
methods have been employed to determine most relevant pages.¬
Methods such as keywords in title, keywords in metatags, keywords
in filename, keywords in headings, keywords in links, keywords
in content of pages etc.

Webmasters have found ways to manipulate these, thereby improving
their ranking in the Serps. The latest method is link popularity.
Obtaining quality links from good Websites is not easy.¬ A good
Website would only link to you if convinced there are some
benefits for his site or his site visitors. However, Webmasters
have again found a way of beating this latest hurdle. They do
this through reciprocal linking. I see search engines rejecting
reciprocal linking in future because this is an artificial way
of boosting link popularity.¬ The only sure way for the search
engine to ascertain link popularity will have to be one way
incoming links.

DOs AND DON'Ts OF SITE LINKING

1. Don't do reciprocal linking with sites that spam.¬ Your
outgoing links to unethical sites could get you into trouble with
the search engine.

2. Don't link to FFA link farms. You might be penalized by the
search engines.

3. Keep a close watch on your link partners always. Link to
relevant and¬ complimentary sites.¬ The higher the PR of the site,
the better.

4. Obtain one-way incoming links when possible. It's the best.
Use anchor text in links.

5. Most important of all, create good original and unique content
and one way incoming links will come naturally.



RECIPROCAL LINKING

Reciprocal linking is simply exchanging links with other
webmasters in order to boost link popularity. It involves sending
e-mails to webmasters of sites with relevant and complementary
content

HOW TO DO RECIPROCAL LINKING.

Write a nice and polite e-mail to the Webmaster you wish to
exchange links with. However, take note of the following points.

1. Visit the sites you want to exchange links with. So that you
can have an idea of what the site is about.

2. Before visiting the sites, download the Google and Alexa tool
bars. The Google tool bar gives you the PR of the sites. The
Alexa tool bar gives you an approximation of the site's traffic
and sites that are linking to it. Alexa tool bar download here.
www.alexa.com

3. Mention one or two things about the site in your e-mail.
Explain how beneficial link exchange will be for both sites and
site visitors. You can put a link to the site before sending
your e-mail. Tell the Webmaster where to locate the link. Provide
the keywords or keyword phrase with which you want to be linked.

4. Make it known on your site that you are willing to exchange
links. you can use¬ a "link to us" or "reciprocal linking" link.
You can also use a web form so that potential link partners can
fill in their details.

POINTS TO NOTE.

Most site do not have their contact email on their sites because
of spammers or email harvester software. You can contact
webmasters through their "contact us" form or use¬ www.whois.com
to obtain information on how to contact the webmaster. You can
run your link popularity campaign through third parties such as
www.linkexchange.com .¬ Their prices seem a little bit on the
high side. You could also use software such as Zeus and Arelis.
These software automate most of the manual tasks that go into
building link popularity. However, care must be taken when using
them. One could be labeled a spammer when used wrongly.


ONE WAY INCOMING LINKING

One way incoming links, are the best type of links to have
for your site. They increase your PR and link popularity. They
indicate to the search engines that your site is an authority on
the keyword or keyword phrase used to link to you. However, it
is the most difficult to acquire. You can build your one way
incoming links using the
following strategies.

1. Build good quality websites or web pages with original,
unique content. With great content, other webmasters will
naturally refer visitors through links to your site.

2. Provide a free, useful service or tool on your site. For
example, a link popularity check tool. This will bring
repeat visitors and other webmasters will refer visitors to
your site.

3. Give away something for free at your site. It could be a
quality e-book, a useful software, software trial download,
or a gift in exchange for links. You may give out the gifts
after ascertaining that they have linked to your site. Some
webmasters might bring down the links after collecting the
gift. But many sites will still retain your links. Though
you might not get many high PR sites linking to you, Lots
of low PR sites will enhance your link popularity.

4. You can organize an award so that winners will link to
you before claiming their prices. Be sure to make your
policy on this clear enough.

5. Pay to be listed in niche directories. Provide good
topical articles on your site with links to your home page.
Give permission to other webmasters to use at their sites .

TO CAP IT

As you go through the web, running your e-business everyday,
you will discover that the most successful sites are those
that give something away for free. Sites that are authority
in their segment of their market are those that provide
useful content, or free tools, or free service, or software.
Building such sites takes a lot of patience
and perseverance. But in the end the reward is immense.¬


Salihu Ibrahim is the author of many internet marketing
articles. For example, "Google adwords made easy" and "How
to improve conversion rate" and owner of free autoresponder
site
http://www.autoresponders4all.com.



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