The Search Engine Google, uses its PagerRank (PR) as a measure of the link popularly of a Website. If you have the Google tool bar installed on your browser, you can easily see the PR of any site you visit on the Web. You can download it here. http://toolbar.google.com . The PR of a site ranges from 0 to 10. The higher the number, the better. A grey PR bar means the site has not been indexed, been dropped or has been banned.
WHY LINK POPULARITY
Search Engine builders, continuously research ways to make their search engine result pages (SERPs) relevant to users. Different methods have been employed to determine most relevant pages.
Methods such as keywords in title, keywords in metatags, keywords in filename, keywords in headings, keywords in links, keywords in content of pages etc.
Webmasters have found ways to manipulate these, thereby improving their ranking in the Serps. The latest method is link popularity.
Obtaining quality links from good Websites is not easy. A good Website would only link to you if convinced there are some benefits for his site or his site visitors. However, Webmasters have again found a way of beating this latest hurdle. They do this through reciprocal linking. I see search engines rejecting reciprocal linking in future because this is an artificial way of boosting link popularity. The only sure way for the search engine to ascertain link popularity will have to be one way incoming links.
DOs AND DON’Ts OF SITE LINKING
1. Don’t do reciprocal linking with sites that spam. Your outgoing links to unethical sites could get you into trouble with the search engine.
2. Don’t link to FFA link farms. You might be penalized by the search engines.
3. Keep a close watch on your link partners always. Link to relevant and complimentary sites. The higher the PR of the site, the better.
4. Obtain one-way incoming links when possible. It’s the best. Use anchor text in links.
5. Most important of all, create good original and unique content and one way incoming links will come naturally.
Reciprocal linking is simply exchanging links with other webmasters in order to boost link popularity. It involves sending e-mails to webmasters of sites with relevant and complementary content
HOW TO DO RECIPROCAL LINKING.
Write a nice and polite e-mail to the Webmaster you wish to exchange links with. However, take note of the following points.
1. Visit the sites you want to exchange links with. So that you can have an idea of what the site is about.
2. Before visiting the sites, download the Google and Alexa tool bars. The Google tool bar gives you the PR of the sites. The Alexa tool bar gives you an approximation of the site’s traffic and sites that are linking to it. Alexa tool bar download here. www.alexa.com
3. Mention one or two things about the site in your e-mail. Explain how beneficial link exchange will be for both sites and site visitors. You can put a link to the site before sending your e-mail. Tell the Webmaster where to locate the link. Provide the keywords or keyword phrase with which you want to be linked.
4. Make it known on your site that you are willing to exchange links. you can use a “link to us” or “reciprocal linking” link. You can also use a web form so that potential link partners can fill in their details.
POINTS TO NOTE.
Most site do not have their contact email on their sites because of spammers or email harvester software. You can contact webmasters through their “contact us” form or use www.whois.com to obtain information on how to contact the webmaster. You can run your link popularity campaign through third parties such as www.linkexchange.com . Their prices seem a little bit on the high side. You could also use software such as Zeus and Arelis.
These software automate most of the manual tasks that go into building link popularity. However, care must be taken when using them. One could be labeled a spammer when used wrongly.
ONE WAY INCOMING LINKING
One way incoming links, are the best type of links to have for your site. They increase your PR and link popularity. They indicate to the search engines that your site is an authority on the keyword or keyword phrase used to link to you. However, it is the most difficult to acquire. You can build your one way incoming links using the following strategies.
1. Build good quality websites or web pages with original, unique content. With great content, other webmasters will naturally refer visitors through links to your site.
2. Provide a free, useful service or tool on your site. For example, a link popularity check tool. This will bring repeat visitors and other webmasters will refer visitors to your site.
3. Give away something for free at your site. It could be a quality e-book, a useful software, software trial download, or a gift in exchange for links. You may give out the gifts after ascertaining that they have linked to your site. Some webmasters might bring down the links after collecting the gift. But many sites will still retain your links. Though you might not get many high PR sites linking to you, Lots of low PR sites will enhance your link popularity.
4. You can organize an award so that winners will link to you before claiming their prices. Be sure to make your policy on this clear enough.
5. Pay to be listed in niche directories. Provide good topical articles on your site with links to your home page. Give permission to other webmasters to use at their sites .
TO CAP IT
As you go through the web, running your e-business everyday, you will discover that the most successful sites are those that give something away for free. Sites that are authority in their segment of their market are those that provide useful content, or free tools, or free service, or software. Building such sites takes a lot of patience and perseverance. But in the end the reward is immense.
Salihu Ibrahim is the author of many internet marketing articles. For example, “Google adwords made easy” and “How to improve conversion rate” and owner of free autoresponder site http://www.autoresponders4all.com.