How to improve your link popularity with internal,
incoming & outgoing links
Last Update: Friday, October 31, 2003.
In this article I show you how to improve your link popularity with internal,
incoming & outgoing links, which will in turn improve your search
Link popularity, which refers to the number of links pointing to and
from related sites, is considered by many search engine experts as the
most important element of a site's relevance in search engines.
If you're not sure what your site's link popularity rating is, then use
popularity check tool to check your link popularity rating in the
top search engines.
There are three types of links that will increase the link popularity
of your site; internal, incoming and outgoing links.
1. Internal Links
Internal link popularity refers to the number of links to and from pages
within a site.
Make sure you cross link your important related pages back and forth.
By doing so, you are telling search engine spiders that those are the
most important pages of your site.
Cross linking your pages also helps the search engine spiders find and
index your most important pages quicker, especially if some pages are
buried deep within your site.
2. Incoming Links
Incoming link popularity refers to links pointing to a site from other
related sites. In addition, there are two types of incoming links:
a. Links From Sites You Control
You can control your site's theme by setting up several small related
sites. Then cross link them all together, including links back to the
Select keywords that describe the theme of the main site and use those
same keywords to link to the main site from the other sites.
The reason for doing this is because some of the major search engines,
such as Google, place a great importance on the text used within links.
b. Links From Sites You Do Not Control
There are three ways of finding sites to link to yours.
i. Find Sites That Link To Your Competition
Did you know that search engines can tell you which sites link to your
competition? To find out, visit your favorite search engine and enter,
"link:" followed by the competitors domain name (with
and without "www").
For example, "link:theirdomain.com" and "link:www.theirdomain.com."
(Quotation marks not required)
To check the link popularity of your own sites, simply replace "theirdomain.com"
with your own domain names.
ii. Find Link Partners In Web Directories
Do not forget that all the sites listed in the same category as yours
in the major web site directories, such as Yahoo!, LookSmart and the
Open Directory Project, are ideal link candidates too.
Once you have compiled a list of related sites, add a link to them
in your site. Then send an email to each site owner informing them that
you have linked to their site and politely ask them for a link back
to your site. Don't forget to tell them about the benefits of exchanging
links in this manner.
iii. Find Sites That Accept Site Submissions
Another way of finding sites to link to yours is to find sites that
accept site submissions. To find such sites, visit a search engine,
such as Google, and search for:
"add url" "your
Replace "your keywords" with those related to your site.
Include the quotation marks to ensure the search engine only return
pages with the exact search phrases you enter.
Also try replacing, "add url" with one of the following sets
of search phrases:
add site, add link, add a url,
add a site, add a link, submit url, submit site, submit link, submit
a url, submit a site, submit a link.
In addition, you can also find site submission pages by searching for
the actual page. So, try replacing the "add url" search phrase
with one of the following page names:
addlink.html, addaurl.html, addasite.html, addalink.html, submiturl.html,
submitsite.html, submitlink.html, submitaurl.html, submitasite.html,
add-link.html, add-a-url.html, add-a-site.html, add-a-link.html, submit-url.html,
submit-site.html, submit-link.html, submit-a-url.html, submit-a-site.html,
add_link.html, add_a_url.html, add_a_site.html, add_a_link.html, submit_url.html,
submit_site.html, submit_link.html, submit_a_url.html, submit_a_site.html,
You could also try replacing the ".html" extension with
others, such as ".htm," ".shtml," ".cfm,"
3. Outgoing Links
Outgoing links refers to links pointing to other related sites from your
Search engine spiders will crawl your site's outgoing links and determine
that the content of the sites you link to are related to the content of
your own site.
Search engines like sites that link to related content, especially "authoritative
hubs" that other sites "suggest" (i.e. link to) as a reference
for information on a particular topic.
It is important to name your internal and outgoing links carefully. Since
keywords are important in determining the relevancy of a page, it is essential
that they are used throughout a page.
The page title, headers and links should always include the keywords
describing the page.
Therefore, I suggest that you always name a page using the keywords relevant
to the page. In turn, the visible link text used on other pages to link
to the page should use the same keyword phrase as the page name.
For example, if the title of a page is "Link Popularity."
Then the page name should be "link-popularity.html,"
Make sure you include a hypen or underscore between each word. This will
ensure that search engines index each word as a separate keyword. There's
no difference to using a hypen or underscore.
Do not pack all the words together. For example, "linkpopularity.html."
You should also make sure that all links to that page use the link text,
You notice how everything fits together?
Studies have shown that the quality of the links is just as important
as the number of links to your site.
The types of sites you should concentrate on getting links from include
major search engines (Google), popular web portals (MSN), web directories
(Yahoo! and the Open Directory Project), high trafficked sites (eBay and
Amazon), news sites (CNN), weblogs, and sites related to your site's topic.
Search engines consider links from major search engines and web portals
as big votes of confidence for your site.
Incoming Links Mistaken As Link Popularity Boosters
There are two types of incoming links that some people mistake as links
that will boost their link popularity;
- Pay per click advertising links, such as Overture and Google AdWords
- Affiliate program provider links, such as Commission Junction.
Such links never link directly to your site, so they will not help your
link popularity rating. These types of links actually point to their own
site, which then redirects the visitor to the correct site. They are used
for tracking purposes.
However, if you host the affiliate program software on your own server
and the affiliate tracking links point to your web site, then those links
will count towards your site's link popularity.
Link Exchanges And Farms
A word of warning! Never ever use links from link exchange sites and
Link farms are networks of heavily cross linked pages on one or more
web sites, with the sole intention of improving the link popularity of
those pages and sites.
Many of the top search engines consider such links as spam, so stay clear
of these types of links.
Do not underestimate the influence link popularity plays in the ranking
of your web pages. It is actually possible to achieve top rankings almost
entirely on link popularity alone. So, spend time improving your site's
If you want to save time and effort, I recommend using a link finder
and management tool, such as Arelis.
Good luck with improving your link popularity!
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