A Guide to Better Link Popularity
© 2001 By John Buchanan
Over the past year or two, one thing has become extremely
clear...the need for link popularity. Every major engine weighs
the link popularity of sites heavily when ranking sites. At least
one major engine even claims they won't index sites that don't
have at least one link pointing to them from another site.
Unfortunately, building link popularity can be one of the
most challenging aspects of search engine promotion. It's
tedious, boring, extremely time consuming, and ABSOLUTELY
That being said, let's go over some things you should and
shouldn't do when beginning your link popularity campaign.
We'll start first with the "shouldn't" list so we can get those
out of the way and focus on what will actually work.
*Don't bother with FFA pages. They worked at one time but now
most engines have learned to filter out FFA pages, and even if
they don't your link will most probably rotate off the results
page in a matter of minutes, but you can guarantee that your
email address will remain in their database for YEARS.
*Don't join link farms. These were a good idea once as well,
but have come under heavy fire by the engines over the past year.
*Don't use hidden links with the goal of building your link
popularity. I'm of the opinion that one or two throughout a
site is no big deal, but don't go overboard with them.
*Don't use free classifieds to get your URL out there. You are
just asking to receive mass amounts of junk mail.
Ok...now that we know some of the things NOT to do, let's get
down to some things that you can do to build your link
*The first thing you should do is to get your site listed in
the "Big 3" directories. Those are Yahoo, LookSmart, and the
ODP. Yes, Yahoo and LookSmart are expensive (even more so since
their recent price increases), but one link from each of them
can go a long way in boosting your link popularity.
*Next you should concentrate on finding sites that are of a
similar nature to yours and approach them about linking to you.
Stay away from off-topic sites. Links from sites of the same
theme as yours help to reinforce your theme and further help
in boosting your search engine rankings. Be creative in your
thinking. Attempt to develop a list of all the different types
of sites that relate to yours. Once you have this list you can
then begin to search for those specific types of sites.
*Create a link page listing all of the sites that you wish to
link to you. By linking to the sites you are going to be
contacting first, they will be more likely to link back to
you when you contact them.
*Search for smaller vertical directories to submit your site
to. There are thousands of these directories out there. A good
place to start is at:
*One often overlooked trick is to find similar sites that
use guestbooks and forums. If you can find these you will often
be able to post a message and include your URL. Be careful with
this. Some forums don't allow the posting of URL's so check out
their rules of etiquette first.
*Testimonials of products can also be a good way to get your
URL out. Consider writing a testimonial of a product you've
used. Include your name and URL at the bottom. Email the
testimonial to the site owner. Site owner's are ALWAYS looking
for testimonials as it increases buyer confidence and most likely
they will be happy to post your testimonial.
*Writing articles on your topic can also be a great way to
get your URL out. Write an article and include your URL in the
bio at the end of the article. Once written submit it to related
areas around the web such as E-zines etc. Most of these publications
also keep web-based archive of articles that the search engines
will eventually spider.
*One product I have personally used is a program called
Zeus. This program can dramatically reduce the time involved
in finding sites similar to yours. There is a bit of a learning
curve to it, but once you understand it and have it up and running,
it is a definite time saver. The program is designed to automate
the entire task of finding sites, contacting them, and building
a link system for those sites, but many people use it just to
help them locate the sites so they can personally contact them.
For more information on Zeus, visit the following URL:
*If you don't think you have the time to devote to this
consider hiring a professional to do the work for you. I
have personally worked with a company called LinkageXpress and
had great results. They have different price plans depending
on the number of links you want. For more information on them
visit the following URL
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