Link Popularity for a Successful Website: How (Not) to Go About Getting It

A classic way of getting seen and noticed on the web is to make sure your site is linked to as many other sites as possible. The strategy of link-exchange has been so overused and abused that search engines are now wary of it and may penalize sites that are linking to "link farms", or to any other sites with non-relevant content.

This is the way it should be. We all want our web browsing experience to be smooth and pleasant. We don't want to get frustrated by stumbling over irrelevant content while following links between sites. On the other hand, webmasters all want more traffic to their sites, and get frustrated when they don't get it. There are two types of benefits from having many links to your website:

- Get improved ranking by the search engines - if you are popular, you are probably worth a visit

- People (not just search bots) actually follow the links and find your site!

If done properly, link popularity improvement is an extremely important strategy to make your website successful. Broadly speaking, you can achieve this in a number of ways:

1. The classic link exchange (link swap) method; two webmasters agree to swap links

2. You pay to get incoming links from high-ranking websites

3. By writing articles and getting them posted on other websites; including a link to your own site

4. By getting your articles published in E-zines, with links back to your site

5. You participate in online forums, where a link to your site may be included with each post

6. You start a blog/RSS feed, and get it spread to many subscribers!

All these methods involve work, in varying amounts. Method #2. costs you money, the rest may be essentially no-cost. Method #4. will probably not contribute to search engine ranking, but may give you droves of targeted visitors.

The problem with method #1. is that it's tedious. But you can get software that may automate it by helping you find link partners and manage your link collection. I am aware of these software tools:

ARELIS I have tested this tool, and it seems very promising. It goes out and searches for link exchange partners according to different search methods which you specify. For me, looking for incoming links at sites similar to my own gave the best results. The program then quickly returned many relevant sites. Next, it helps you contact webmasters and keeps the link collection neatly organized. It also creates the link pages.

Zeus A bit similar to ARELIS, but I find it much clumsier. The only way it can search for link candidate sites is thru a list of 100+ search phrases. In my hands, this method produced very low-quality results. At the time of writing, I am trying to get a refund from the company that sells Zeus. They seem very reluctant to honour their money-back guarantee. Buyer beware!

Links Manager This program does not go out and search for link partner sites; it only handles swap requests and organizes the link collection. I have not tested it myself.

When building a link swap strategy, note that the search engines are getting increasingly sophisticated in judging the quality of your links. Some things to remember:

- Outbound links ONLY to quality sites with content relevant to your site; never "link farm" type sites

- Make sure the sites that you link to have not been penalized. This would affect you also!

- Incoming links that are placed on the same page as 100:s of other links won't help you; their value gets "diluted"

- The anchor text in the incoming links is very important. It should contain relevant keywords; but all links should not have identical text - this looks artificial in the virtual eyes of the search bots

If you follow these guidelines, I believe link swap can still be an important strategy for building a successful web presence.

Conclusion: Link popularity improvement, if you do it the proper way, is still of enormous importance for a successful website. But if done the wrong way, it may backfire. If you want to try the classic link swap method, I recommend using ARELIS ( www.axandra.com ) to make it less tedious.

Kai Virihaur runs The Hosting Finder ( http://www.thehostingfinder.com ), a web hosting directory featuring articles and RSS feeds on web development, website promotion, and online marketing.

In The News:


25 Common Link Exchange & Search Engine Terms

In today's world of website promotion and traffic building, a... Read More

Guidelines To A Successful Link Exchange Program

Webmasters look for ways to get a higher ranking with... Read More

My Top 12 Web Site Marketing Strategies - Part 1

If you don't create a successful strategy for marketing your... Read More

Viral Marketing Technique Creates a Chain Reaction with One-Time Action!

Suddenly your site's traffic multiplies. You get "Money Waiting" emails... Read More

Linking Strategies That Bring Results

Website link popularity is used to indicate how many other... Read More

Social Bookmarking Traffic Results

The results of the social bookmarking experiment I have been... Read More

10 Ways to Increase Your Website?s Traffic

1. Trade links with other websites. Websites that are related... Read More

The Hidden Traffic Strategy That Skyrockets Your Profits

If you agree that traffic is the true currency of... Read More

How to Cheat Traffic Exchanges

There are many ways to cheat traffic exchanges and generate... Read More

Traffic Generation: The Number One Skill That Will Generate Cash Flow. (Part 3 of 3)

If you're feeling a bit of confusion and frustration about... Read More

20 Easy Ways To Get People To Link To Your Web Site

First off all let's define what is a link exchange?... Read More

Youre Not Linking, TheyNe Cot coming!

Large companies tend to spend huge amount of money on... Read More

Web Site Marketing: Give Away Softwares And Generate Traffic And Sales

If you want to get something from others, the fastest... Read More

Link Exchange Primer

An Introduction to Link ExchangeInitially, when the internet was in... Read More

Planning For Your Websites Future- Get Search Engine Traffic

Five tips to effectively schedule your content.In order to get... Read More

Link Popularity and Your Add URL Page

With all the buzz going on about the importance of... Read More

Get Traffic Soon and Surge Ahead or Youll Get Lost in the Internet Wilderness.

Getting Traffic or more precisely Targeted Traffic to your website... Read More

Traffic Generation Tutorials - Article 1 of 10 Bi Weekly Articles

This article will be continually updated with your feedback and... Read More

Yahoo Drops Google: How To Flood Your Site With Traffic In The Next 48 Hours

It official Yahoo has dropped Google and will be using... Read More

If you need More Targeted Visitors to Your Site this Will get the Free Traffic Flowing

If you don't know by now one the best ways... Read More

Keyword is the king in the Kingdom of Search Engines Optimization world

Digital Economy : What Is e-Marketing : Internet Search Engines... Read More

131 (Legitimate) Link Building Strategies

In search engine optimization, "off page" factors have become more... Read More

Free Tips to Generate Traffic for Webmasters

Starting a new website and developing a traffic base if... Read More

Link To Get Traffic - Not Search Engine Rankings!

There have been a lot of changes on the web... Read More

Finding Keywords to Build Your Web Site Traffic

What are web site keywords and how do I go... Read More