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How to Strategize Your Link Popularity Campaign

By Gerrick W

Link popularity is the number of links pointing to a website. It is an important factor that major search engines like Google, Yahoo and MSN use to rank web pages.

Webmasters figure out that in order for their web pages to rank well at the search engines for certain keywords, they need a lot of incoming links with these targeted key words. Linking schemes of all kinds were hatched…mini-sites, site networks, link farms and reciprocal linking, just to mention a few. Some schemes like link farms were clear indication of manipulating the search engines.

Google has clamped down on such practices and further fine-tuned its SERP algorithm to stop manipulation by anyone as evidenced by ‘Jagger’.

Focus on the long term. Build a site that is credible to the search engines and your website visitors.

Here are 7 ethical link-building strategies for you work with…

1. Internal linking. Having a well organized internal linking structure insures that your website gets ‘spidered’ and that all pages of your website gets indexed by the search engines. This in turn increases the chances of the number of phrases that your website has the potential to rank for. And I have had website traffic from key phrases that I never thought of.

2. One-way links. Human edited directories look like a thing of the past. With Google being more efficient and accurate as ever there’s no need to turn to human edited directories. A directory may get you a few click-throughs in a month or none at all. However, to be listed in a high quality directory like DMOZ and Yahoo can increase your PageRank.

The way to get inbound links is distribute content. There are many article directories on the Internet. Just include a link in your article. With article distribution you can choose the exact anchor text for the link.

3. Reciprocal links. What is reciprocal linking? It is simply trading links with other sites. You add their links to your site and vice versa. In times past website owners have sizeable directories with multiple links that are not relevant to theirs. Now, search engines have become wiser and look for link relevance. A word of advice here, know whom you are trading link with. Don’t just choose any Tom, Dick, Harry or toothless Jane to be your link partners.

People have asked whether they would be penalized by the search engines for reciprocal links. Well, at least for now, they are still acceptable.

4. Varied the Text of your inbound links. It will not appear natural to the search engines for every site that links to you to have the same link description. So vary the text of your inbound links using a few key phrases.

5. Grow your links at a steady rate. Google penalizes new sites with low-traffic that grow their links too quickly, whereas a well-established high traffic site that increases by a few thousand links a month will viewed as normal. The rate at which links are created without being penalized by Google, is directly proportional to the age of the website. For owners of new sites, bear this in mind, if you are thinking about buying inbound links.

6. Have inbound links from different ranking sites.If all your inbound links are Pr6 and Pr7 sites, then you will send a strong indication that you have purchased those links. Your inbound links will not appear natural to the search engines. It is more natural for you to have a large number of Pr1 and Pr2 inbound links with decreasing number of inbound links as you move higher up the PageRank scale.

7. Actively participate in forums or blogs. Don’t just post threads indiscriminately on forums. Search engines view this as spamming. Participate in forums to learn and to contribute to the communities and at the same time gather inbound links. You will also build credibility for yourself and your business if you are a solution to people’s problems.

Blogging is an effective way of gathering inbound links. If you have a personal blog, it is easier to post comments at other sites. But do spam blast your comments with advertisements. Just provide a link to your site with your comments. Your goals are to gather inbound links and to gain a good reputation online. Comment intelligently on the specific subject. A well thought out comment will not only attract the search engines, but also more readers of the blog to your website. They will naturally link to you if they find articles of good quality at your website.

To achieve good rankings at the Search Engine through link popularity requires time and patience. Stick to the sound practices of link building. Impatience could cause you to incur penalties. It was once rumored, but now quite evident that Google uses a ‘sandbox’ to keep questionable sites in the hold until they have aged to a point. Then they are released at the sole discretion of Google. Other search engines also have their own safeguards to keep their SERPs from being cluttered with questionable sites.

The underlying principle is to grow your links ‘organically’ whilst adding content of value to your website. Ethical SEO is not a black art. It is a matter of adhering to the guidelines, terms and conditions stipulated by the search engines.

Gerrick W
Information and software tools you need to effectively market your online business.


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