Link Popularity - Your Key to a Page #1 Listing

Written by Michael Southon

Last week I was doing a search in Google under 'ezine advertising' and was amazed to find one of my own websites onrepparttar first page of results (position #4 out of 271,000).

So then I went to Yahoo and got another shock - there it was again at position #4 out of 274,000 results.

If you're wondering how I did it,repparttar 119386 answer is I'm not entirely sure.

But my guess is *link popularity*.

What is link popularity?

Some years agorepparttar 119387 major search engines realized thatrepparttar 119388 best way to decide if your website has valuable content (and is therefore worth a high ranking) is to see how many other websites link to your site.

Link popularity was pioneered by Google but has now become a key factor inrepparttar 119389 algorithms used by most ofrepparttar 119390 major search engines.

Would you like to know your current link popularity?

Here's a free tool that will check your link popularity in Alltheweb, AltaVista, AOL, Google, HotBot and MSN. This tool will also compare your link popularity with your competitors':

Now that you know your link popularity, you may be wondering how you can increase it.

Here are some commonly used strategies - some effective and some not:

==> FFA Sites

Free For All sites are websites that collect your email address (and send you a lot of junk email) and in return allow you to post a link on a website.

FFA sites are rather like a conveyor belt - new links are constantly being added and old links being pushed off. On Many FFA sites your link will last an hour or two atrepparttar 119391 most.

Even if your link stayed on an FFA site long enough to be indexed by a search engine, it is unlikely it would increase your link popularity. Search engines regard FFA sites as spam and they'll either ignore your link or penalize your site.

==> Link Exchange Programs

As with FFA sites, you need to ask yourselfrepparttar 119392 same questionrepparttar 119393 search engines ask.

Did someone link to your site because you have valuable content? Or did they link to your site as part of a mutual ploy to artificially raise each other's link popularity?

The search engines know how to tellrepparttar 119394 difference and some of them (Google for example) will actually ban your site for engaging in 'link farming'.

Building Link Popularity

Written by Scott Buresh

What is Link Popularity? Link popularity is a criterion that many search engines use when ranking web pages within their index. Simply put, most search engines give a ranking boost to sites that have incoming links from quality, related sites. This method of establishing importance, pioneered byrepparttar increasingly popular Google, is now used in some form by 19 ofrepparttar 119385 top 20 search engines. While it is still possible to achieve high rankings for non-competitive terms without a great deal of link popularity, it is unlikely your site will rank well for very popular terms without it.

Directories It is important to note thatrepparttar 119386 sheer number of incoming links is not as important asrepparttar 119387 quality ofrepparttar 119388 sites that are doingrepparttar 119389 linking. The fastest way to get some quality incoming links is to get listings inrepparttar 119390 popular directories, such as Yahoo andrepparttar 119391 Open Directory Project. For business sites, Yahoo costs $299 per year (it is free for non-commercial sites, although it takes a while to get listed). The Open Directory is free for all sites that meet certain quality standards, but it sometimes takes a lot of follow-up inquiries to make sure your site gets listed. When listing your sites, try to get them inrepparttar 119392 highest-level category that is applicable to your site. For instance, if your company in Podunk Ohio ships wind chimes to consumers nationwide, make sure you submit torepparttar 119393 national "Wind Chime Dealers" category, notrepparttar 119394 "Retailers in Podunk, Ohio" category.

Finding Partners Once you have submitted your directory listings, you should look for other sites that might link to yours. Ideally,repparttar 119395 businesses that run these sites will be related to yours but will not be direct competitors. For example, if you had a site that sold supplies for swimming pools, it could be useful to your visitors if your site had a link to a swimming pool installer, and useful to his visitors to have a link back to your site. Since your offerings complement each other, neither of you are likely to lose business by exchanging links. You also have to find sites that show a propensity to link to others. Google is an excellent engine to use when looking for potential linking partners. Typing in keywords that you think your customers might use to find you, look for quality, well-ranked, non-competing sites that have "links" or "resources" pages, and objectively look to see if your site would fit withrepparttar 119396 other sites listed. If you think it is a possibility, make a note ofrepparttar 119397 site, includingrepparttar 119398 webmaster's address and something specific aboutrepparttar 119399 site you particularly liked. It is also very useful to look at each ofrepparttar 119400 sites on these "links" pages, as many of them might also be potential link partners. When you have found a good number of sites, add a link to each of them from a "links" page on your own site. It is important to do this before contactingrepparttar 119401 site owners, as they are much more likely to reciprocate if they see that you have already takenrepparttar 119402 trouble to link to them.

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