How To Improve Your Link Popularity

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What Is Link Popularity?

Link Popularity is a phrase used to describe how popular your web site is by examining how many links point to it from other web sites. For example, if this was the only web site to link to then Google would have only a link popularity of one. In reality, hundreds and thousands of web pages link to Google so they actually have a very high link popularity.

Is Link Popularity Important?

Yes. Search engines have a hard job when it comes to providing your search results. They attempt to give you the best and most relevant links that are contained in their database. The problem that the search engines have is how to decide which web sites are best, which they basically do by contrasting relevancy with popularity. To determine relevancy they look at a number of factors, such as your title tag. To determine the popularity of your web site they look at how many links point to you. Most search engines work on the assumption that the more links a web site has pointing towards it, the better it must be. A link pointing towards you can be seen as a vote in favour of your web site.

Link popularity is important for most search engines. Google, however, appears to place extra value on link popularity when providing its results. You did know that Google is the most popular search engine on the Web, right?

How Do I Check My Link Popularity

You can check your link popularity in a number of ways. You can use the link: command in Google. For example you can type the following in to the Google search box to check which web sites are linking to you:

The problem with this command is that it only shows web site that have a certain PageRank. This doesn't, however, mean that the links which haven't been shown don't count towards your link popularity, because they do.

You can also use the following command in the Google search box:

Again this command is far from perfect. What it will show is any matches for the phrase '' - which may or may not be actual hyperlinks. Another problem is that this command doesn't show you links that use anchor text other than '' to link back to you.

An excellent resource that you can use is the Marketleap Link Popularity Check Tool. This allows you to check your link popularity as seen through the eyes of different search engines.

How Do I Improve Link Popularity?

Increasing your link popularity is, in theory, simple. All you have to do is increase the number of links that point to your web site. One way of doing this is submitting your web sites to directories like Yahoo!, JoeAnt, Gimpsy and The Open Directory. Another way is through a link exchange.

Link exchanges are the 'you scratch my back and I'll scratch your back' method of increasing your link popularity. In exchange for a web site providing a link to you, you agree to link back to them. Usually both web sites will place their link on some sort of resource page. As a result both web sites each receive a vote.

Who Should I Exchange Links With?

There are a few guidelines that you can follow when exchanging links:

  • Only link to web sites that will benefit your visitors - otherwise you are foregoing the needs of your visitors at the expense of link popularity
  • Make sure that you only link to web sites that share a common theme - if you don't do this then the value of the vote will be diluted
  • Don't link to sites that look 'dodgy' or questionable - if you don't think it looks or feels right then you're probably right
  • Beware of link farms - link farms are web sites that are created with the only intention of reciprocal linking. Search engine don't like these so don't become associated with these "bad neighbourhoods"

How Do I Find Relevant Web Sites?

Usually you will want to increase your link popularity to improve your search engine rankings over your competitors. Write down the web site address of three of your competitors and visit the Marketleap Link Popularity Check Tool.

When you visit the home page enter your URL and that of your competitors. This will then show you what their link popularity is and give you the opportunity to view exactly who is linking to them using a variety of search engines. If these web sites link to your competition, why won't they link to you?

Relevant Link Popularity Resources

Publication Date: Thursday 3rd June, 2004
Author: James Wellburn View profile

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