Top 10 Strategies for Boosting Link Popularity
By Paul J. Bruemmer © Web-Ignite Corporation
since Google started analyzing backward links with PageRank
(PR), link popularity has become an important criterion in most
search engine algorithms. There are a number of strategies you
can use for improving your link popularity, and some will work
better than others, depending on the nature of your site.
How Many Links Do You Need?
number of reciprocal links needed to get high rankings depends
on the number of links shown for your higher-ranking competitors
by PR. If your competitors display only 20 links to their sites,
you can ensure a higher PR score by creating 25 links to yours.
But if your competitors have hundreds of links, then you have
to beat that number for top rankings.
software engineer Matt Cutts says, "Google will find a
site as soon as it finds one or two links to the main Web page.
We usually recommend getting at least one link from the Open
for Quality and Relevance
aware that it's not just the number of links that's important,
it's the quality of the sites linking to you (popular, respected
sites) and the relevance of their content to your audience that
for Improving Link Popularity
Start With Directory Listings:Ensure that your site is listed
in ODP (free) and also include Yahoo! Express ($299 yearly).
Directory listings boost link popularity because human editors
screen for relevancy. Seek listings in industry-specific directories.
Search Engine Guide has a Search Engines Directory providing
a searchable database of over 3,000 specialty search engines
where you can find search engines dedicated to almost any topic.
Request Reciprocal Links:When looking for possible link candidates,
start by searching your strategic keywords at major search portals.
You'll see a lot of competitors, but look for non-competing,
complementary sites. Screen these sites, selecting those likely
to be receptive to your link request. Give them a compelling
reason to link to your site. Show them where a link might be
advantageous. A good strategy is to link to them first, which
might help get a link back. Target respected and popular sites
of relevance to your target audience.
way to find reciprocal links is to identify a well-established
site with good content that targets the same audience you want
to reach. Then perform a link analysis from that site, noting
the incoming links and soliciting the best non-competing sites.
Promote Linkability Within Your Site: Provide quality resources
and appropriate outgoing links, including links to search engines,
news hubs, weather reports, industry resources, industry professional
groups, etc. Outgoing links are important for two reasons: they
provide incentive for other quality sites to link to yours,
and they can improve your PR score if internal linkage is done
Publish Articles: Employees with industry expertise can write
business articles for your target audience, submitting the articles
to appropriate online publications. Include your Web site URL
in the bio and make it a condition for publication that the
article appear with bio and company link. This can generate
many links and can also help promote future business.
Create Testimonials: Start a testimonial page of products and
services you recommend. If you admire a marketing or publishing
site, contact the publisher explaining why you value the content.
Be earnest and concise. You may get a request for permission
to display your comments on their Web site. Grant permission
provided they agree to link to your site. It can help to post
the testimonial on your site, referring them to it.
Supplement Your Campaign With Reciprocal Link Software: Programs
like Arelis and Zeus can help locate additional reciprocal links.
These robots will search the Web, looking for reciprocal linking
partners, ranking potential sites by relevance. You can review
the sites, decide which companies to solicit, request a link
through a built-in email client with custom templates for requesting
a link exchange, track the status of your requests, and check
the viability of existing links.
Avoid link-building programs that query or visit search engines
for finding potential link partners because this overloads the
search engine servers, and your site can be penalized.
Post to Discussion Forums: This is an easy way to get a link
from industry discussion forum sites if you have the time and
expertise to participate. Include your URL in your sig file.
Link Multiple Sites: If you have a number of sites with unique
content, be sure to link them to your main site. Content must
be related. Don't duplicate content or you'll get penalized
Awards and Contests: You can create an awards program for related
sites, placing winner logo links on an awards page they can
link back to. Or you can run a links contest, awarding prizes
for linking to your site. Promotions must remain ongoing to
maintain the links, and prizes should be of value but not too
costly (e.g., a free ad from your unsold inventory).
Affiliate Programs: This can be a good source of links, depending
on your site goals, budget and time availability. However, the
affiliate program must be administered from your site to improve
link popularity because outsourcing requires linking to a third-party
site. Affiliate software should generate static HTML pages for
affiliates links to enable indexing.
strategies hyped in the past should be avoided because they're
now worthless or can get you penalized in search engines.
Link Farms: A link farm is a network of sites linking to other
sites for the sole purpose of increasing link popularity. Search
engines consider this spamming and will delist sites associated
with link farms.
Reciprocal Link Exchange Services: Networks consisting of hundreds
of webmasters with sites on numerous topics are linked to one
another. The service requires linking to all sites in network,
making content unrelated. Search engines consider this spamming.
FFA Listings: Free for All listings appear and disappear rather
quickly. Few people search through the listings except for spammers
collecting email addresses. These sites are not indexed by search
a link campaign can take a little time, but is well worth the
effort as these links establish relevancy, a top priority for
search engines and consumers alike.
About The Author
Paul J. Bruemmer firstname.lastname@example.org is the CEO of Web Ignite,
a search engine marketing company founded in 1995. Web-Ignite
earned a top grade in the Buyers' Guide to Search Engine Optimization
Firms and has helped promote over 15,000 Web sites. Client testimonials
report traffic increases of 150 to 500 percent. Bruemmer's articles
have appeared on ClickZ and other publications.