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Link popularity

Link popularity is a term you'll often hear online among marketers, and for good reason. Google in particular, relies on link popularity as an important element of page rank. Page rank is another whole and diverse topic, and page rank is not the end-all of your success factor, but it does weigh in heavily.

Submitting your website to the major search engines isn't necessary anymore, and could even slow the process down. Currently it is better to be found through links by search engine spiders who will follow those links to your website.

This is the first reason to increase link popularity. You need your website found and indexed by the search engines. The next order of the day is to get lots of links from quality websites, preferably ones that relate to your website. This helps the search engines determine what your website is about.


Recent Changes in Linking Strategies

This is not the newest of news about linking, but it is not overwhelming accepted by all online marketers at this point in time.

Much of SEO is an observe and see what happens situation. Since the major search engines keep much of the criteria they use in valuing websites a secret, a successful marketer needs to keep in touch with what is happening with websites across the internet, study carefully and make changes as they arise. And the internet is ever-changing.

Linking between websites on the internet started just as a natural course of events by websites sharing information back and forth. In it's origins linking was not done with SEO in mind.

At some point the search engines began giving more weight to websites that had more incoming links than others. If you go to Google now, you will find that they include this as a part of their evaluation process. In their own words!

Reciprocal linking became very popular and a major part of SEO efforts, to the degree that webmasters acquired hundreds and some times many thousands of links, many of them unrelated to their content, just to score with the search engines.

Now we seem to be in a catch-22 situation. The search engines created a monster, and they seem to be out to tame it. It would seem that the search engines are doing a U-turn and wanting to go back to the 'good old days' when links were only exchanged to give value to site visitors.

The catch-22 is that they still include links as one of their main criteria for valuing websites. For webmasters this creates a real dilemma! What's a webmaster to do? Those who are making a living online need links to maintain rank and search engine positioning.

What I see is that rather than posting pages of categorized links one after another, other methods will have to be used. This will make more work for webmasters because where automation has helped to streamline this process, we may have to go back to adding links manually and in different ways.

While using automated programs to handle and categorize links is easy and efficient, it is easy for the search engines to spot.

Here is an informative site if you want to discover more about the changing face of reciprocal linking.

Link popularity has many definitions, depending on who you listen to. I believe that both anchor text, and the quality of the website linked to are factors in link popularity.

When you exchange links with other websites consider the anchor text that you use, and make it relevant to your content. Study up a little on anchor text. Using the right anchor text can benefit you greatly.

If you plan to exchange links do so with sites that are relevant to yours, and will add benefit to your visitors.

Personally I am not seeking reciprocal links anymore. It is too labor intensive for the benefit received. I feel compelled to honor those who are still linking back to me, but I don't actively seek link exchanges anymore.

With web 2.0 (social networking sites, blogs etc.) there are many better ways to get links than reciprocal linking.


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