The’ Net has flooded over the last year, and everyone is in a buzz trying to build link popularity. But do we really know how it works, and what link popularity is? If not, you’re going to find out.
Debra O’Neil-Mastaler of Alliance Link (http://www.Alliance-Link.com) is here to give us the ins and outs of link popularity and how to ensure your linking strategies accomplish your goals.
KARON: Hi, Debra! It was a pleasure to meet you. Today, thanks for agreeing to give us some link popularity tips.
DEBRA: Thank you, Karon… you, too! It is my pleasure.
KARON: Here’s the way I see it. While people who work professionally in the search engine optimization field understand the importance of link popularity, many small business owners are just now coming to the”know.”
DEBRA: The brief answer is because search engines, especially Google, use link popularity in their algorithms to determine a Web site’s ranking.
sites are provided a link popularity score based on the quality and number of external links pointing to them. When someone says he wants to increase the link popularity of his site, he’s referring pointing at his website. While this is a significant step and a good strategy, it is just that — a step into the overall search engine optimization process.
KARON: You mentioned link quality. There appears to be some controversy between those who say links do not need to be relevant, they simply need to exist, and people who say that links must be from websites that could somehow be associated with your own website. Tell us the facts, Debra… which one is it?
DEBRA: The truth is, even if I had the answer to link relevancy, I’d be basking in the sun somewhere with Buff Boy on an lengthy first class vacation, counting the zillions I created from my tell-all link popularity e-book rather than working…
KARON: I like the sound of that! Tell us what you see as the truth. : )
DEBRA: The most truthful answer is — I do not know if links need to be relevant. I don’t have any answers or truths to tell, and I do not know anyone that can, except the search engines of course.
KARON: So, what should people do about trading links or adding one-way links off their websites?
DEBRA: Here’s my two cents: If it makes sense for you to link to a website in a complementary industry, then do it. Your visitors will appreciate the helpful content, and the other site may link back to you. Folks return to websites with products they need and resources they can use; if it makes sense to have links to pages that complement your goods, then do it!
While I do not advocate linking to a bunch of non-related websites, I don’t believe there’s a penalty involved for linking to a couple of quality websites outside your specialty. Have websites they like or a cause they want to support. By promoting these sites, community spirit is shown and establishes character.
Add these hyperlinks to a”links we like” section in your resource page. Separating the hyperlinks that are inbound is helpful because it would not dilute your sales message or confuse your visitors.
Link because it makes sense for your website. Be cautious, if you join only to influence search engine rankings. More times than not, this approach leads to a fall in rankings or worse.
KARON: So, put”site-related” links in one section of a page and others in a separate section of the page. Cool. That’s easy enough. Now, allow me to ask you this… what do you think about automated link generators? You know, those programs that should scour the’Net and send emails?
DEBRA: I have never used themso I can’t speak directly to their effectiveness. Since I have been doing this for several years, I have created a technique and gathered solid resources to help me. Every job I manage is time tested hand crafted, and customer approved! Nobody enjoys a email petition.
KARON: What do you recommend we include in emails asking for link exchanges?
DEBRA: Create one that will stick out and be different. That email is the make or break in your quest to boost your link popularity and”get the link.” Write a email, and it goes to the delete file. Write a email that is persuasive, and you get the link! Link popularity has other advantages, too? Along with fostering SE performance, it provides for driving traffic avenues. What other ways do people who pursue link popularity benefit?
DEBRA: One of the great things about linking to websites is the benefit everyone receives in the procedure. It is one of those few low-cost, win-win situations out there. Sites that employ strategic link advertising applications know they stand to gain increased traffic for human visitors and spiders, brand exposure, a keen competitive analysis, and higher search engine rankings. So, Debra… what is the most common mistake people make when trying to develop a link popularity strategy?
DEBRA: I have found it’s a tie between not creating a marketing plan and failing to see the big picture.
Building a good link popularity strategy is NOT just about slapping links on a page or ensuring all your Web pages are hyperlinked. It needs to be part of a long-term search engine marketing plan for your internet business.
Link construction and link optimization programs need to be performed in combination with a well-organized search engine optimization campaign… period. It is not a quick fix, and the changes won’t materialize. But if you employ a link advertising strategy, and invest some sweat equity, you will see the benefits. (Or you can outsource it to a link popularity professional! I appreciate the insights.
DEBRA: You’re most welcome, Karon.
Visit Debra’s website at http://www.Alliance-Link.com for additional information regarding link popularity.