Link Popularity is the number of web pages that link to a specific web site. This is now a critically important factor in driving traffic to that web site. New sites and sites with low link popularity are at a major disadvantage and may find it very hard to attract new visitors via search engines. Increase your links and you should increase traffic.
Just the Facts
Search engines have determined that link popularity is an extremely effective way to eliminate poor quality pages and are a very good way to judge the ranking of a web site.
Search engines adore this method of site ranking as link popularity is very difficult to misuse. They have found that judging a site by who links to it, is one of the best indications of site quality. Think about it, why would a site link to another that they didn’t think was suitable or of good quality.
Links, Links, Links
Some search engines now discourage manually submitting a web site and suggest that they will find the site by following other links throughout the internet.
- Google states “The best way to ensure Google finds your site is for your page to be linked from lots of pages on other sites. Google’s robots jump from page to page on the web, so the more sites that link to you, the more likely it is that we’ll find you quickly.”
- Yahoo states “The Yahoo! Search index is mainly % populated through the free crawl process. Yahoo! Search crawls the internet every 2-4 weeks and automatically finds new content for indexing.”
Favouring the Bold
Once a web site is included in a search engine index, those with higher link popularity will be favoured.
“Page ranking relies on the uniquely democratic nature of the internet by using a vast link structure as an indicator of an individual page’s value. In essence, a link from page A to page B is a vote, by page A, for page B.”
Google suggests that one of the possible reasons your web site is no longer listed:
“The contents of your site or the links pointing to your site have changed significantly and you no longer have a sufficiently high page rank.”
So how many links?
It’s the million dollar question; “how many links do I need?”. The annoying answer is… No one knows!
All web sites should be supported by a minimum number of inbound links. These links will prevent the search engines from thinking that the site is an orphan. They will also improve the chances of the search engine finding the site and indexing it.
Some sites may only need a handful of inbound links (10 or 20). Sites in a highly competitive market may need hundreds or thousands of links.
The best way to determine how many links a web site needs is to run a link popularity report and then compare it to the main competitors’ sites.
If your competition is outranking you and has many more incoming links, you should probably start thinking about increasing your link popularity.
I want to be Popular
Luckily, there are many effective ways of increasing your link popularity.
- Link popularity reports will show you where you currently are, how many links you have and where you could do better.
- They can show you exactly where your competitors are receiving traffic from and where you should be linked from.
- They can provide hundreds of handpicked sites interested in linking to your site.
- Find out which sites your customers are visiting and try to get linked from them.