Link Popularity refers to the number of links coming from other web sites to your web site (also called inbound links). The competition between search engines and webmasters has led the search engines to find new ways to measure the importance of a site. Google has been responsible for introducing link popularity as an important aspect in its algorithms. For instance, if Google reads your site and sees many inbound links from related web sites it interprets each link as a "vote" that your site is good and as a result gives you a boost in your ranking.
If you want to improve search engine rankings with link popularity it is important that the bulk of the inbound links that point to your site are coming from other quality sites; in this case quality is better than quantity because the search engines look at the page ranks of the sites that are linking to you ? the higher, the better.
Do and Don'ts
Avoid Link Farms at all costs. These are sites that exist for the sole purpose of linking to other web sites without any regard to relevancy or quality, and in the world of linking, "more isn't merrier". In fact, Google has started punishing web sites that have link-farm pages so the reward is definitely not worth the risk.
Avoid links from non-related sites. Links from sites that have no relevance to your own site most likely won't bring good results so if you have a health-related you shouldn't be linked to a site selling power tools. The search engines can recognize "who" is linking to you and they tend to ignore irrelevant links. The links that you have pointing to your site must be quality, related links that belong to the same category.
Exchange links with popular sites. When you exchange links with other web sites make sure that the site is one that will be useful to your visitors. The rule of thumb is this: If your link to their site is useful to your visitors, then you can safely assume that a link from their site to yours will be useful to their visitors as well.
1. Start by doing a search of your top keywords in the search engines. Visit the top 100 sites and choose the ones that best relate to yours. Then contact the webmaster with a personal note and tell him/her that you like their site and why. Let them know that you will be putting a link in your site pointing to theirs and suggest a reciprocal link pointing to you explaining how his/her visitors would benefit. It's also good to make suggestions on where on their site your link would be best placed.
2. You can also set up a link script on your web site. This is where visitors can go to automatically enter into an exchange with you by adding their link. Of course, you will need to approve the link and make sure that it is a site you want to be associated with before you accepting.
3. Look at the web sites of your competition. What sites are linking to them? Visit those sites and contact their webmasters.
4. When you exchange links with another site make sure that you use your keywords in the text of your link. Google gives a lot of importance to the link text itself. This will go a long way to helping the search engines determine what your site is about and relevancy.
5. Write and distribute articles and include in the author's resource box at the end of the article the information about you, your business and a link to your web site. When your article is submitted to the many article banks online an inbound link is created.
6. Post in forums that are related to your web site and use a signature file that contains a link to your site. Again, the content of the forum post must be related to your site in some way. Make sure that what you have to say is important to the discussion that is taking place.
7. Getting your site listed in as many directories as possible will also increase your link popularity. There are many directories where you can get your site listed for free but most of them have a fee. Don't forget to look for directories that specialize in your topic or category.
Written by Monica Villarreal. For more information and tips on how to build a popular website that humans and search engines love visit: http://www.websitedesigngenius.com