Link popularity has assumed tremendous importance for getting good ranks in Google now a days. In fact, what started as a friendly reciprocal link exchange program among various webmasters has now become a sub-industry within the SEO industry itself, with thousands of link farms popping up every day, claiming to provide 100s of “quality industry-related links/trade leads” for huge sum of money! Yes, if you are interested in getting top ranks in Google, then you must pay effort in building up links for your site. But, first the basics.
How many sites link to your site? In other words, state the link popularity health of your site. Have you ever been asked this question? And, did not know what to say?
Go to Google. Type in link: www.cnn.com in the search box. The number that Google throws up, namely, 115,000 (on the blue-colored bar present on top of the page) at the time of writing this article, is the total number of sites that are currently linking to www.cnn.com, and which have been indexed by Google. In other words, this number can be greater than 115,000, or more than 115,000 sites may have currently linked to www.cnn.com, but it won’t show up with the (link: www.cnn.com), because those sites are not in the Google’s Database.
Methodology for building link popularity through Reciprocal Link Exchange Programs
1. Create a html page, preferably named as “Resources/Links/Partners” and place a link of this page from Index Page of your site. This page should never be more than 1 click away from the index page of your site else webmasters won’t be interested in participating in the reciprocal link exchange program.
2. Target both “industry-related” and “non-industry-related” websites as your link exchange partners. For example, if you are providing SEO services, then try getting links from “industry-related websites (i.e. websites dealing with SEO, maybe your business rivals). This is important, because if 10 of your rival (here SEO) sites give link to your site, then Google will surely pay importance to your site, because getting links from rival companies are difficult. Your site MUST be of some high caliber else the other 10 sites won’t have linked! Also, try procuring general links as well.
3. Always exchange links with websites which have high PageRank (PR) (at least 4, the more the better!) (both Index Page as well as Resources/LinksPage of the Link Partner’s site should have PRs of >=4)
4. Have a link code ready for participating in link exchange program. Here is a sample link code for a SEO company. Search Engine Optimization, Ranking, Placement Services – Offers Search Engine Optimization, Ranking, Placement Services to get top ranks in various Search Engines.Always prefer a text link (as given above) in comparison to a banner link, where your chance of Google spiders, i.e. Googlebot finding the potential keywords is limited only to the “alt tag” of the banner. Also, Google pays importance to the text of the incoming link/anchor text (i.e. the incoming link text must contain high potential, relevant keywords), so develop a link text with title (“search engine optimization ranking placement services”) which will help you in Google Ranking.
5. Refrain from java script link code because Google spiders find it difficult to index.
6. There are various ways of approaching and procuring potential link partners. Firstly, how to get industry related websites to link to yours? Suppose, “search engine optimization”, “search engine promotion” and “search engine ranking” are 3 of your core keywords. Go to Google. Type in each of the three keywords, and find the top 10 sites for each keyword. Now, you have 10 * 3 = 30 websites. Visit the links page (if applicable, since some sites refrain from participating in link exchange programs) of each of the 30 sites, and note down all the sites that are linking to these sites. For example, if each of these 30 sites have 10 sites linking to it, you have 10 * 30 = 300 potential websites to exchange links with. (Please note that our experience shows that conversion rate of successful link exchange is 1 in 4-5, i.e. if you approach 4-5 websites, 1 site will ultimately provide you with reciprocal link, so in order to get high incoming links, you must research extensively and find more potential link partners. Also, as mentioned above, always try to exchange links with websites having PR >=4).
7. If you request a link to a top-level page or the homepage of your site, this will have a positive effect on this page. If the PageRank™ of this page increases, then the page below it will increase (if the internal linking structure is correct), but it will still be one PageRank™ number below the page above it that was linked to.
8. Manually submit the page to Google where your link partner has placed the link of your site. For example, if your link partner’s website is www.abc.com and he has placed your website in his resources page, namely, www.abc.com/resources.html, then go to http://www.google.com/addurl.html and submit www.abc.com/resources.html. It is very essential for getting good ranks in Google that you submit the page where your site has been placed by your link partners.
Importance of Messageboards, General Forums and Guestbooks
Of late, you will find that some websites belonging to the “most-highly-competitive” industries (e.g. casino gambling industry, domain registration and web hosting industry) that have achieved top ranks through links from messageboards, general public forums and guestbooks. These techniques are sometimes highly profitable for Google Ranking and hence, it is wise to do some research in Google and find some popular messageboards/forums/guestbooks which are already in Google’s Index. Here also the target should always be to get messageboards/forums/guestbooks which have a minimum PR of 4. After finding the potential messageboards/forums/guestbooks, submit your site’s information, containing a description and URL in those messageboards/forums/guestbooks.
For example, let’s say www.messageboard.com is a popular messageboard
After you have submitted your site’s information in www.messageboard.com, it will generate a URL, say, www.messageboard.com/msgboard/1.html where your site has been placed. Here also, you need to submit this newly-generated URL (i.e. www.messageboard.com/msgboard/1.html) which contains information and links to your site to Google (http://www.google.com/addurl.html) for achieving good ranks in Google.
Note : Try targeting messageboards of educational (.edu)/governmental (.gov) institutions since they usually have high PRs and receive huge amount of traffic every day.
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