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Link Popularity
The single most important factor in positioning
In recent years, more and more search engines have started to heavily rely on a link popularity measurement in order to determine ranking for your site. This is actually a good way for them to get more accurate ranking, while minimizing the irrelevant pages that are optimized for irrelevant keywords. In other words, it makes your job much harder, because just optimizing your site isn't enough.


In this way they don't just look at the content on each page. Most also analyze link structures and clicks to determine the best results to show in a search.


In a nutshell, link popularity is measured by the number of links between websites. So, if you have many outbound links on your site, and there are many links TO your site, your value increases.


Example:


Site A is linked to by 1,000 other web pages that are indexed in a certain search engine.
Site B is only linked to by 50 other web pages that are index by the same engine.
Site A will likely have a much better link popularity rating, and even if Site B has a better-optimized site, it is likely that Site A will have better ranking.


All Links were not created equal
There is an added catch to the link popularity issue. Not only are the quantity of links considered, but also the quality of links. If a site that links to you is considered by the engine to be important, it will carry much more weight than some random site. Furthermore, most search engines assign themes to websites they index no, and if you have a higher inbound link count from websites of the same theme, you will be better off than having links from unrelated sites.


For these reasons, you should attempt to trade links with sites that are similar to yours in some way, and really try with very popular sites.


See it for yourself
Google uses a system called Page Rank, which is actually Link Popularity. If you go to Google and download the Google Toolbar, you will be able to see Google's Page Rank calculation on a scale of one to ten for every page you visit. Do some searches, and you will see that pages with a higher Page Rank tend to get much better positioning than pages with a lower rank. While Google does not tell you exactly how they rank pages, they do admit that it a based heavily on how many sites link to you, and that 'quality' sites linking to you are given more weight in the calculation.


Where to start
So you have a new website, and don't want to wait years to build link popularity, right? Well, time is certainly the cure, as sites naturally grow more popular over time. But, to get you a head start, try the following:


1. Submit to Yahoo and DMOZ
Submit your site to Yahoo and DMOZ as soon as possible. These are popular directories and will help your link popularity. Submit to other directories, of course.


2. Trade links with other webmasters
Find other people that are willing to exchange links with you. Not only will you benefit in link popularity, but you are more likely to get more traffic from them, as well. If possible, trade with larger companies, and companies in a similar business.... even your competition if you dare. Do searches with keywords that you want to target, as well as similar, complimentary keywords. E-Mail the webmasters of the sites that have high ranking and offer to trade links with them. These sites are more likely to be considered higher quality for your popularity.


3. Find trade-related websites
Trade with sites that have directories of businesses in your industry, and make sure they add your link.


4. Encourage your customers to put a link to you on their website.
Never underestimate your customers. They are some of the most likely people around to link to you. Ask.


Outbound links and internal links
Add to the link puzzle links you have going beyond your website. This helps. Also consider that the more internal links (between pages on your own site) you have, the easier it will be for a spider to crawl your web.


Behind a myth
FFA Sites. The reality is that FFA sites did once serve a good purpose, but this is really no longer the case. The links on such sites are unlikely to help you, and they really are not worth the spam you receive as a result. So, you may ask, why do we support hundreds of thousands of FFA sites in AddWeb? The huge link directory list in AddWeb is a legacy feature from the days that it did, in fact, help. We actually removed them from a version of AddWeb, and got an enormous flood of customer complaints as a result, demanding that we return them to the program. We did return them, as we many customers elected not to listen to our advice, and after all, they are the customer. However, we added in tons of warnings for people that select such engines. We suggest that you avoid selecting the FFA sites in AddWeb, and only submit to real engines (including the smaller ones).


Do it in AddWeb...

Yahoo and DMOZ
AddWeb can perform free submissions to DMOZ, though it's custom category browsing feature. Do it right away, as it takes forever to get listed. As for Yahoo, AddWeb can submit to Yahoo in the same way it does DMOZ, but Yahoo only accepts free submissions for non-business sites. To get your business site listed with Yahoo, you must pay them a fee. You can access the paid submissions for Yahoo through AddWeb's Pay Engines section. It is highly advised that you do so.


Link Trader
This is possibly the most important feature of AddWeb. The newer versions of AddWeb have an exciting feature called LinkTrader. It is a managed network of thousands of other webmasters using AddWeb, that want to trade links with you. It is a free service for all registered AddWeb customers, which lets you browse through thousands of websites with whom you can request trades. When two potential trading partners accept a trade, AddWeb builds a link page for you to place in your site. From time to time, you can use AddWeb to verify that your trading partners are, in fact linking to you. Remember, if their page is indexed on a search engine, and your link is on it, it can boost your link popularity.


Link Trader also helps you get indexed. If a link page has your link on it, and it gets spidered, chances are that the spider will naturally find your site and list it!


Keep all of the above in mind when selecting trading partners in LinkTrader. Look at their websites before you trade with them, and try to trade with sites that are relevant.

 

 

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