Case In Point: What You Need To Know About Link Popularity

Written by Karon Thackston

by Karon Thackston © 2003

Link popularity. The term has floodedrepparttar ‘Net overrepparttar 108156 last year, and everybody is in a buzz trying to build link popularity for their sites. But do we really understand what link popularity is, and how it works best? If not, you’re about to find out.

Debra O’Neil-Mastaler of Alliance Link ( is here to give usrepparttar 108157 ins and outs of link popularity and how to ensure your linking strategies accomplish your goals.

KARON: Hi, Debra! It was such a pleasure to meet you in Atlanta for Jill Whalen’s Search Engine Conference. Thanks for agreeing to give us some link popularity tips today.

DEBRA: Thanks, Karon… you, too! It’s my pleasure to be here.

KARON: Here’srepparttar 108158 way I see it. While those who work professionally inrepparttar 108159 search engine optimization field understandrepparttar 108160 importance of link popularity, many small business owners are just now coming intorepparttar 108161 "know." Tell me why link popularity is so vital to success with SEO.

DEBRA: The short answer is because search engines, especially Google, use link popularity in their algorithms to determine a Web site’s ranking.

Web sites are given a link popularity score based onrepparttar 108162 quality and number of external links pointing to them. Generally, when someone says he wants to increase his site’s link popularity, he is referring torepparttar 108163 number of quality links pointing at his site. While this is a good strategy and an important step, it is just that -- a step inrepparttar 108164 overall SEO process.

KARON: You mentioned link quality. There seems to be some controversy between those who say links don't have to be relevant, they just have to exist, and those who say that links must be from sites that could somehow be associated with your own site. Tell usrepparttar 108165 truth, Debra... which one is it?

DEBRA: The truth is, if I hadrepparttar 108166 answer to link relevancy, I’d be basking inrepparttar 108167 sun somewhere with Buff Boy on an extended first class vacation, countingrepparttar 108168 zillions I made from my tell-all link popularity e-book instead of working…

KARON: I likerepparttar 108169 sound of that! So, tell us what you see asrepparttar 108170 truth. : )

DEBRA: The most truthful answer is -- I don’t know if links have to be relevant. I don’t have any definitive answers or truths to tell, and I don’t know anyone that can, exceptrepparttar 108171 search engines of course.

KARON: So, what should people do about trading links or adding one-way links off their sites?

DEBRA: Here’s my two cents: If it makes sense for you to link to a site in a complementary industry, then do it. Your visitors will appreciaterepparttar 108172 helpful content, andrepparttar 108173 other site may link back to you. People return to sites with products they want and resources they can use; if it makes sense to have links to pages that complement your products, then do it!

While I don’t advocate linking to a bunch of non-related sites, I don’t believe there’s a penalty involved for linking to a couple of quality sites outside your niche. Most people/businesses have sites they like or a cause they want to support. Promoting these sites shows community spirit and establishes corporate personality.

Add these hyperlinks to a “links we like” section on your resource page. Separatingrepparttar 108174 non-related links is helpful because it wouldn’t dilute your sales message or confuse your visitors.

Data Delivers Credibility

Written by Robert F. Abbott

Data Delivers Credibility

By: Robert F. Abbott

Overrepparttar past couple of days I've been setting up visitor counters, so people in another organization can accurately countrepparttar 108155 number of people who visit their event.

They gotrepparttar 108156 idea (andrepparttar 108157 counters) from an association I belong to, and they, too, are learning how data delivers credibility.

I'm always impressed by how much respect I get when speaking or writing with specific, solid numbers. For example, when I talk aboutrepparttar 108158 number of visitors who came throughrepparttar 108159 gates of my association's event on a specific night, I don't talk about "a lot" or "a few" or "more thanrepparttar 108160 night before."

Instead, I can say something like, "2,348 visitors came through last night, compared to 1,852repparttar 108161 evening before." That specificity makes a difference when it comes to credibility, and if I propose a certain course of action based on those numbers, I'm likely to getrepparttar 108162 support I need from other members ofrepparttar 108163 board.

Data, you see, represents very specific information, and often,repparttar 108164 more specific you can be,repparttar 108165 more credibility you have.

Similarly, direct marketing gurus encourage their clients to use specific numbers in headlines, rather than generalizations. That's why effective direct mail, and now online advertising, uses claims like "Learn how one sales rep earned $2,216.78 last week..." rather than "Learn how one sales rep earned more than $2,000 last week..."

By being specific,repparttar 108166 headline writer converts a boast ("more than $2,000") into a conceivably credible claim. What's implied is that it must be true orrepparttar 108167 writer wouldn't use that specific figure.

Cont'd on page 2 ==> © 2005
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