Over past two years, "link popularity" has definitely become new buzz word of search engine promotion arena.
With virtually all of major engines now incorporating this criteria into their ranking algorithms to at least some extent, many Webmasters have found their once high-ranking sites have fallen to less than spectacular levels.
Achieving that number one ranking now requires not only perfect mix of content and keywords, but also a site that is deemed "popular" in eyes of all knowing search engines.
This brings us to question -- "What is best way to increase my site's link popularity?"
Many systems have sprung up that are geared toward helping Webmasters increase their site's link popularity. Let's take a look at some of them.
1) Link Farms
Link Farms sprang up rather quickly. With link farms you generally agree to upload a number of pages to your site that link to a random list of other sites. In return, your link is added to this list of sites and are uploaded to other sites creating instant link popularity. Sounds good and it worked for a while, but search engines soon caught on to this. Now most search engines either ignore pages that are members of these link farms, or in some cases (such as Google), they will simply ban you for being a member of such a system.
2) FFA Pages
FFA Pages or Free For All Link Pages are sites that allow you to submit your link to them free. All it costs you is a bunch of junk mail in your inbox. FFA pages have a preset number of links that can be on page at any given time. As newer links are added, older links are pushed off. Theoretically, these could definitely help your link popularity. Unfortunately, your link rarely stays on list long enough to be of any real help. Numerous programs have sprung up, both PC and Web-based, that will submit your site to a large number of FFA pages. The problem here? So many Webmasters have become a member of these programs that you would need to submit your site every hour for it to be of any real benefit to you.
3) Reciprocal links
Reciprocal links are link exchanges between Webmasters. These are by far most productive types of links you can get. Not only will they increase your link popularity, but you will generally get a good amount of traffic from them as well. There is one big problem with reciprocal links and that's time. It can take a GREAT deal of time to hunt down other Webmasters willing to trade links with you, email them asking for exchange, then deal with actual adding of links for Webmasters who agree. Then you have to keep track of who has your link, their contact information, etc. The solution... a wonderful piece of software I ran across about a year ago called Zeus.