Remember that popular kid back in high school? Remember how he exuded such an aura of coolness, that if he acknowledged your presence by so much as nodding at you, his coolness would envelop you, and you’d enjoy the fruits of his popularity? Well search engines work this way as well.
Search engine algorithms now use link popularity for relevancy. The rationale is that if your site has links from other popular sites, it must contain unique, relevant content.
Be warned, the reverse is also true. Just like having a bunch of geeks hanging about you would be bad for your reputation, linking to low-quality sites can actually hurt your search engine positioning rather than improve it. FFA (Free For All) pages are a good example – most search engine submission software that claims to submit to over 500 engines actually submits your site to a large number of FFA pages – basically pages full of links and no content. These pages get minimal traffic and rarely, if ever, produce a single site visitor let alone a qualified lead or sale.
A good way to increase link popularity is to get listed in directories. These can boost your search engine positioning because they use human editors who only accept sites with unique, relevant content. Moreover, they also seed many other databases. Ask popular sites to link to you. Search for your top keywords, and then review the sites that come up. Visit each site and ask those that are non-competitive to exchange links with your site, giving them reasons why your site is valuable and suggesting a page where a link to you might be advantageous.
Another way to increase link popularity is to start a referral or affiliate program. Of course, this must be done with proper content and not just a page of affiliate links. It takes time, research and planning, but is an excellent source of quality links.
Social media sites are another potential source of links, as is getting your articles or content published on blogs, ezines and industry websites.
Here are a few easy steps to follow to improve your link popularity:
Content: Put good content on your website. If people find it to be a high quality site with valuable information, they will link to it.
Get Listed: Directories like Yahoo and ODP can dramatically increase your website’s popularity. Don’t forget about yellow pages, business directories and award sites.
Make it easy to link to: Put HTML code and link buttons on your site so visitors can link to your site easily.
Reciprocal links: Do a search for websites similar to your own on major search engines. Find out who is linking to your competitors and suggest they put up a link to you too. Reciprocal links from sites related to your site will benefit both parties.