How can Link Popularity Improve Your Search Engine Rankings?
If you have decided to try some search engine optimization strategies, then you should take a closer look at link popularity building, because it’s one of the most important elements in SEO campaign. Without any incoming links to your website you won’t get to the top of SERPs, no matter how good your on-page search engine optimization is.
Simply stated, link popularity refers to the number of incoming links pointing to your given web page. These days, it plays a major role in search engine optimization world. If your keywords are competitive, then don’t even think about ranking high without lots of incoming links pointing to your website.
Website Linking Schemes
There are three types of links. Incoming, outgoing and reciprocal.
- Incoming links. When a site “A” links to site “B”, site “B” gets a one-way incoming link. This type of links is highly valued by major search engines. It means that your website provides good information and people link to you naturally.
- Outgoing links. When a site “A” links to site “B”, site “A” gives outbound link to site “B”. If you give lots of outbound links to other sites, search engines will see you as a directory website and give you better rankings.
- Reciprocal links. When site “A” links to site “B” and site “B” links back to site “A”, it’s called a reciprocal link. If you reciprocate links with other webmasters, search engines will see that as an agreement between you and the other webmaster and tend to little disvalue both of your links. But they’re still useful for search engine rankings.
The most powerful links are one-way incoming links to your website. Search engines value them more than any other type of links, because they think you’ve gained them naturally, by providing useful content to your visitors. However there’s also value in reciprocal and outbound links too.
Triangular Reciprocal Linking Scheme
There’s another reciprocal linking scheme that webmasters use. Let’s say a webmaster has two websites, “A” and “B”. He contacts another site owner who’s got a site “C”, and asks him to link to his site “A”, while giving a link back from site “B”. So the scheme goes like this:
“B” links to “C” and “C” links to “A”.
If all websites are related in nature, then that kind of scheme is much better than a simple reciprocal link. For instance, if you have a website that exchanges links, you can ask people to link to your new website and give them a link back from your old website. This way you can push your new site to an authority status much faster.
Search engines don’t see a reciprocal linking scheme this way. It becomes natural linking, although it’s still an agreement.
Google Pagerank (PR)
As long as Google gives huge emphasis on incoming links, it has created a system, which is a part of their ranking algorithm. Google pagerank system refers to quality and quantity of incoming links to your web page. It measures web pages in a scale from 1 to 10, where 10 is the highest.
If you want to rank highly in Google search engine, you should have the highest pagerank possible. You’ll get higher pagerank if you get links from high PR pages. For example, 10 links from PR-8 pages may benefit you much more than 300 links from PR-2 or PR-3 pages.
In order to see what page rank your website has or what are PR’s of other websites, you have to download Google toolbar:
Building Your Link Popularity
As long as link popularity is a major key in search engine optimization industry, it’s time to find out how you can get those desired links to your website.
- Reciprocal Link Exchanges – It’s the easiest method for getting links to your site. You link to another site and get a link back from that site as well. However, be careful, don’t reciprocate with link farms, because they’ll bring you more harm than good. Be selective. Get only related links to your industry. If your site is about car waxing, don’t seek for links from gardening. A good idea would be making a directory, where you list related sites by relative categories.
- Directories – Directories are perfect way of getting one-way incoming links to your site. Try to get listed in major directory DMOZ – Open Directory Project, because its content is used by Google, Netscape and hundreds or even thousands of other directories and websites. Also consider being listed in Yahoo and Looksmart directories, although they require additional payment. Some directories will require you to link back to them. You can create a separate category in your “links page” called “Directories” and try to get listed.
- Hire a Link Building Firm or a Freelance SEO – Link popularity building is a frustrating and extremely time consuming work. If you don’t have time to seek for links, then hire someone else to do that for you. This way you’ll have plenty of time doing other important tasks for your business, such as internet marketing. But be careful and don’t hire a link spam firm. Discuss link building methods before you choose them and make sure they’re using ethical linking practices.
- Provide Valuable Content – Everyone is just talking about content. But it’s true. Nothing is better than a good content on your website. Every popular website has got tons of links, because of good content they provide to their visitors. Try to make your site as best as it can be in your niche market. Think of what you can provide to your visitors that will make them to link to you. Constantly updated content, useful and niche specific tools like free software or ebooks, anything that comes in your head. Try to be creative.
- Writing Articles – This is not the easiest way, but it’s achievable. If you have a website, that’s probably because you’re interested in that topic your site is about and it’s always easier to write about something you know well. Research the topic that you’re planning to write about and write. Then try to submit your article to as many websites and newsletters and article directories as possible. At the bottom of your article you’ll be able to insert the “resource box” with active links to your website. Many people have gained not only tons of one-way inbound links to their sites, but also lots of online sales, subscribers, and most important trust.
Link popularity is a major factor, which determines your website’s rankings. If you want to get to the top of search engines, then it’s a must thing to do. The more competitive your keywords are, the more quality links you’ll have to get in order to be placed first in SERPs.
If you’ve decided to do search engine optimization as your internet marketing campaign, then you must remember that the most important aspect of any SEO is link popularity. Building link popularity is very time consuming, but it’s definitely worth the investment.