Link Popularity - Basic Overview

There are many techniques that SEM/SEO experts use to optimize Web sites. One of the more important techniques is "Link Popularity."

Link popularity is referred to as an off-page factor in the search engine world, and is representative of one of the more important elements in influencing a Web site's position in search engine result pages (SERPS). The top questions relating to link popularity are answered for you below.

1. What is link popularity and why is it important?

Link Popularity is a score that search engines give to a Web site based on how many links are pointing to or linking to any particular page in your Web site. The greater your link popularity, the more important, or relative, search engines consider your Web site.

Good link popularity can dramatically increase traffic to your Web site. Since most search engines factor in link popularity into their relevancy algorithms, increasing your link popularity score can help your Web site's position in the search engine results pages (SERPS).

2. Are there different types of links?

There are 4 main classes of links that contribute to your Web site's overall link popularity score:

External - An external link is a link on your Web site that leads to an outside Web site. This type of link is used when you want to provide additional or complimentary information to the user.

Internal - Internal links are links on your Web site that lead to other pages within your Web site. A good internal linking strategy will enable all of your pages to be found easily by both search engine spiders and users alike.

Inbound ? An Inbound link is a link on another Web site that directs the user into your Web site. Inbound links are important because search engines see them as being indicative to quality.

Reciprocal/Link exchange ? Reciprocal linking is when two or more Web sites agree to display each other's Web site link somewhere on their website.

3. Are some links better then than others?

Yes, it is true that not all links are not equal. The effectiveness of the link depends on the following factors:.

Relevance - A relevant link means that the link is on a page or Web site that has the same subject matter as the page it links to. For example, for an attorney, a link from the state bar association page to an attorney's Web site would be a relevant link. A link from a local floral shop would not be relevant.

Quality - A quality link means that the link is from a popular, well- visited Web site. Link text - The text used to describe a link is important. You want to use relevant key phrases. For example, rather then a link that says "contact us," using something like "contact a Minnesota bankruptcy attorney" will be more valuable.

4. What exactly is PageRank and it is important?

PageRank can be summed up as how relevant Google considers a particular Web page. Pagerank is a value from 0-10, with zero being the least significant and ten10 of which very few websites obtain being the most relevant. Very few Web sites are able to obtain the highest ranking of 10.

PageRank is often abbreviated as PR, and Google determines this PR by evaluating how many Web sites link to yours.

A link from a popular and well- visited Web site can be invaluable if it sends you qualified traffic that converts into clients. The true value of a link has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with PageRank."

5. How do I get a Web site's PageRank?

The easiest way to view a Web site's PagerRank is by installing the Google toolbar. Located on the toolbar is a PageRank slider.

6. How many links should my Web site have?

The number of links you should have is dependent upon the competitive nature of your Web site's focus. If you check and see how many links your competition has, that will give you an idea of how many links you need in order to be competitive.

It is important to continually work on developing your wWeb site's linking strategy. A good linking strategy will help with your Web site's positioning in the search engines.

7. How can I find out how many links my Web site has?

Knowing how many Web sites link to yours, website and increasing the number of quality links, is an important part of any Web site's online marketing campaign. To find out how many links your Web site has, type: - into the search engine search box (Example:

Your link popularity total will often fluctuate from search engine to search engine; This is because the figures shown represent the number of inbound-links that are known to that search engine.

The search engines are constantly re- indexing and reorganizing their database's, so which links and how many links a search engine sees pointing to your Web site can vary at any given time.

8. Is it possible to have too many links?

Yes and no. answer - It has to do with the time it takes to accumulate the links in question.

The answer is no, No ? if you acquire the links over the natural progression of a Web site's existence (adding a few links at a time)

The answer is yes, Yes ? if you accumulating accumulate an overabundant amountce of links in a short period of time. This will trigger a search engine's spam filter. This un natural link growth of links can be associated with "link farms" (A link farm is a Web site that exist solely to link to other Web sites.) and can be considered BAD in the eyes of the search engines. Some search engines penalize for this type of activity, and can might even ban your wWeb site from their index.

9. What can I do to increase link popularity?

If you belong to any associations, local chamber of commerce, or rotary club, be sure to update your online profile with them to include your Web site URL.

Other ideas may be to write articles and allow them to be republished with your Web site URL, join online forums and place your Web site address in your signature line, or even start your own online Blog.

Exchange links with Web sites that are complimentary to yours.

10. What types of Web sites should I be exchanging links with?

This is simple; Ask yourself "whether someone who is interested in the information available on your Web site find this other site useful"? If the answer is yes, exchange links; if the answer is no, don't.


Search engine marketing is an organic process and there are no guarantees in positioning. This was written with white hat optimization techniques in mind.

2005 NMS View My Blog:

Nicole St. Martin is a professional search engine optimization consultant currently working in the legal industry.

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