Increasing Link Popularity to Increase Organic Search Listings

Search engines are the primary way people find websites. True, social media sites are taking over some portions of this, but the engines still hold the major share… in particular, for business websites. Google has led the way emphasizing inbound links from other sites. Matter of fact, today it is one of the most important parts of their algorithm. If you don not have other sites linking to you, you will not do well at getting listed and getting traffic on any of the major engines. This is very important as without traffic… you will be without business.What exactly is link popularity. Well, there are some conflicting reports on this but all in all, think of it as the overall number of links pointing back to your site. To take it a step further, think of it as the overall number of highly relevant links, and, the overall number of links from other important, read this as high PageRank, and authority sites. Authority sites are those that are very popular and rank high in the listings. An authority site will get first page listings for all its keywords because it holds a lot of importance.One you have your site ranked as having a high link popularity it will show up high in the listings for whatever search terms are relevant to your site, i.e., whatever keywords you have on your pages. It is this overall importance that will make your site pop up in the listings, over and over again, for the keywords that define your market.Think about, let’s say, They have a lot of links pointing at them simply because of what the site is. The very nature of the site makes people link to it, in particular to help define and bring credibility to a sites content. Using as a reference within your body content is a good idea because people put trust in Wikipedia and think of it as an authority. Consequently, comes up a lot in searches. It comes up because it has a very high link popularity, which is scored in the algorithm, and in turn places them among the top sites before anything else in the algorithm is even considered.When building your link popularity be careful about who you link out to. Google terms some sites as “bad neighborhoods” and if you link to one you will probably be penalized. Porn and gambling sites are among those termed as “bad neighborhoods”. Having a link coming in from a bad neighborhood is not as bad as linking out to one. The engines do realize that you have no control over who links to you, so you do not get penalized for another site linking to you. You want to stay away from sites that are nothing more than lists of links. These are called “link farms” and they serve no real purpose for anyone. Reciprocal linking really does not pay off like it used to, as the engines caught on to everyone “exchanging” links. I still support doing so, when the other site is very relevant and has something of value my users can benefit from. This is key to everything to do with websites. If it holds value… do it!I do recommend submitting to all of the directory sites you can find. Some are paid, and I will leave this up to you. If your wallet can support it go for it. The Yahoo! directory is a paid directory and, at this writing, costs $300 to get listed. Again, if you have the bucks go for it, it will not hurt, but will it help you? Well, I would not put a lot of stock in getting much traffic from it. It is however an important site and you will have a link from within it. I think Yahoo! still has a free slot for non-commercial sites, but do not hold me to that.The Open Directory Project, ODP for short, is another good place to get listed. They used to be a really important place. Matter of fact, once upon a time Google took their results from ODP. Today, I seldom use them and never find a good search result when I search there. I have no basic use for ODP. You should however submit to them… just don not expect the snobby editors who run the place to list your site. Chances are 9 out of 10 that they will not! Be thorough on where you ask to get listed, their categories run deep and duplicate themselves a lot. Do some searches and see where the searches send you, and then pick a good category.Other sites that are have high importance and are relevant to your site are also great place to search for links. Find these places by searching Google and then dig through the sites to find the contact information. Email them and request a link. Now, it just ain’t that easy… of course. You will need to have some really good reason for that site to link back to you… and remember, you are looking for a one way link back from them. So do your due diligence ahead of time. Perhaps writing up a good page that really targets their market closely will get them to want to link back to you. Provide something that will be of use and value to their users and they may just link back to you.Relevance is key. If you sell sneakers sites that sell shoe laces would be a good match. Socks, boots, hiking shoes, all could be good relevant sites that could compliment your site. These all make good places to request links from. Just be sure to give that webmaster some good reason to link back to you.This will not come easy and it will not come quickly, but if you keep plugging away and keep searching for other sites and writing more and more good content and other valuable pages, you will eventually increase your link popularity and experience good high listings on the engines.

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