Link Popularity and Top Search engine rankings
What is Link Popularity ?
Link popularity is defined as the number of web sites
or web pages pointing to a site. It is a measuring
factor used by many search engines in determining
the relevancy and popularity of a web page. Google
uses link popularity as the single most important
factor for a site to achieve top search engine rankings.
Content is the next most important factor Google uses
to rank a web site.
Role of Link popularity in search engine optimization
In the past, search engines ranked a web page based
on the meta content the page offers considering the
keywords, key phrases, titles and description tags.
The principal factor in rating a web page, were the
keywords and key phrases. As time passed, many web
sites cleverly utilized this factor by spamming a
page with unnecessary and irrelevant keywords and
phrases. The search engines faced difficulty in analyzing
these spammed and irrelevant pages resulting in improper
ranking of these pages. Search engine specialists
and research developers after months of thorough study
and analysis discovered that a page could be best
ranked on the basis of its popularity. The popularity
of the website was determined by the number of other
websites which had links pointing to the home website.
They also considered the popularity of the websites
that pointed to the home website. This strategy proved
to be effective and paved way to the concept of link
popularity. This technique is very safe as it is quite
difficult for a website to get into the eyes of many
similar websites leading to top search engine rankings.
There are no easy means for website owners or spam
experts to easily manipulate the pointers to their
site in any way and increase their site popularity.
Google was the first search engine to implement link
popularity as a part of its search engine ranking
strategy. Later, almost all the search engines followed
suit thus establishing a very strong base for link
popularity as a primary decision factor in search
engine optimization strategy and achieving top search
How to achieve Link popularity?
We have just seen that Link popularity holds the
key in determining and ranking a web page. It is also
evident that search engines accord top search engine
rankings by looking at the number of sites pointing
to it. However it is not simple to achieve link popularity
for a site.
Any website links to our site if and only if useful
and meaningful content is present thus evoking interest
in the visitors mind to introduce a pointer to our
website. So, primarily good content is the first and
foremost aspect a site should provide in order to
increase link popularity. Content always forms a fundamental
feature in search engine optimization.
The second aspect is usage of reciprocal links or
link exchange programs wherein two website owners
include a link pointing to the others. In this way,
both the sites are assured of a link from the other
side. One can also submit to Free for All Pages (FFA),
which automatically ensure links to your site. FFA
pages place the site URL in a common page consisting
the URLs of many other sites. It is really a painstaking
exercise to really submit and monitor FFA pages. Sometimes
you would have to submit on a weekly or daily basis
and if you are really fortunate enough, all these
links stayed tuned to your site for a period of time.
Banner Exchanges is another means by which one can
achieve pointers to their site. But all these methods
are considered as spamming techniques by search engines.
Link popularity is not just a measure the number
of links to a site but more than that. The following
factors are useful in measuring link popularity.
Number of Links - The more the number
of links pointing to our site (Inbound links), the
higher the Link popularity is.
Relevance - Link popularity is based
on the relevance of the inbound link. The incoming
link should share the same subject of that of the
current site as search engines detain irrelevant links.
Link text - The text in the links also
can affect the ranking of your site. Search engine
spiders see if any text in the links pointing to our
site is relevant to the context. So if websites use
keywords or phrases that coincide with that of our
website, there are greater chances of a site achieving
top search engine rankings.
Search engines merely do not consider the quantitative
aspect of link popularity but also the quality of
inbound links. In other words, it is of no use if
hundreds of irrelevant links point to your site. Few
quality links, which are relevant to the subject and
theme, will go a long way in ensuring top search engine
Search for similar sites, which share the same content
that of yours. Study the site and send an email requesting
to link back to your site, clearly explaining the
purpose of the link and the site. It is a good idea
to send the link text that you want to have in the
other website including the html code. Recommend including
the keywords and phrases in the link text. Also explain
where to position the link in their site, whether
in the home page or secondary page etc.
Each search engine has a different approach towards
implementing link popularity of a site. For instance,
one search engine may show that a site has 200 links
pointing to it, but another may display only 50 links
are pointing to it. A site will get a boost in ranking
if the sites linking to it are already indexed by
search engines and directories. So, ensure and crosscheck
whether the site, which is linking to your site, is
submitted to the search engines. All sites linking
to your site should be indexed by that particular
search engine. Incorporating outbound links to relevant
sites may also add to link popularity. Ensure that
no dead or broken links exist in your site.
Finally, here is a brief do's and don'ts about how
to achieve good link popularity.