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If an email is required to have your site listed, be sure to write a short, but descriptive letter to their site. Include what site specifies, and it always helps to add a paragraph stating that you already have a link to their site on yours. Don't forget to include a link to exact page you placed their link on, so that it is easy to find. With a reciprocal link placed already, most sites will not have any problem with linking back to you as soon as they get your email. Don't be discouraged if your site is not within top 10 on their site after just submitting it. With a little bit of time and effort you can always raise your ranking on an awards site.
Also, be sure to keep a list of which sites did link back to you, and delete links for ones that did not. This will keep your links page clean and neat, increasing your chances of getting a higher listing in award sites you have linked to.
Getting Higher Rankings on Award Sites
Now that you are listed in a few award sites, it's time to start focusing on getting a higher ranking in them. Always keep fresh content on your site. This will help your ranking not only on award sites, but on search engines and directories as well. With new, unique content and constant updates to your site, you will stand a much better chance of being seen as an "expert" in your field, and your site will never grow stagnant or outdated.
Periodically send an email to award sites you are listed on, informing them of updates since your last email. If sites see that you are updating and improving your site daily, they will be much more apt to rank you higher on their list.
Another good tip is to keep links to award sites toward top of your link page, or on a separate page altogether, linked from your main page. This will increase traffic to award sites, further improving your relations with them. If you are sending three times as much traffic to their site than current #1 listing, chances are good that #1 will soon be #2 on their list.
Always keep in mind that there is lots of competition on internet, regardless of which product or service you are promoting. The important thing is to remember that "you get what you pay for." In other words, harder you work at something, better results are going to be.
You can see other articles by Claude Beavers on this topic at: Search Engine Optimization Articles at Superfaster.com