Understanding Link Popularity
I am new to the whole webmaster world. I have created pages but I want to learn the basics of link popularity. The methods of achieving it, why I want it etc....
Thanks for your time.
It goes something like this: The more links you have from other web sites, the more "important" your site looks to search engines and you will rank better. However, because it would be very easy to get thousands of links, nowadays you must work hard to find RELEVANT links to your site.
Incoming links should be from sites that are similar to your site. And the page where your links is placed should preferably have a pagerank (Google toolbar) of 4 or above.
Something else that will affect your link popularity is INTERNAL links within your site. Ideally, if all pages can be reached from all pages you've managed to create an excellent navigation system. But of course this isn't possible if the site is very large.
When you search for links, usually you would start with well known and high quality sites like yahoo, joeant, goguides and dmoz. There are many other directories on the web. You can also write personal emails to sites and ask nicely for a link. But then you must be prepared to maybe give a link back to that site.
Why do you need links? Well, it might sometimes be difficult if not impossible to get indexed in Google without having at least one incoming link. Cheers! :)
I second everything Suzanne has mentioned.
Keep an eye out for local directories from your State, Province, City, Town, Country...etc. Sometimes it takes some digging to find these sites, but it's well worth it.
The best links are the ones you usually don't think about first. You will stumble across a gaggle of websites, suitable for linking, while just surfing around. Keep a folder in your favorites and build up a list of possibilities.
Linking is an ongoing process.
Here's another good thread, started by Paynt, a linking guru.
Linking – What’s the big deal? [webmasterworld.com]
Sometimes with all the talk about link popularity and search engines, the traffic aspects of external links are overlooked. I'd be far happier with getting 5 referrals a day from 200 sites than 1000 a day from a keyword at Google. Traffic from related sites tends to be good quality, stable, and far lower risk if spread across many sites.
Traffic generating links are even harder to get than links in general. Things to look for are links in context on content pages, links on the other site's home or other popular page, graphic links like banners, etc. Things to avoid are links pages with hundreds of links, disorganized link directories, links on pages that are buried (or even unreachable), etc.
The "unreachable" part isn't common, but it happens. I had a site contact me requesting a reciprocal link. I asked them where the link would be located, and they sent me the URL of a nice links page with only a few listings. I couldn't figure out how to navigate to the page, though, and finally spidered their site to see what I was missing visually. The answer was simple: the link page was itself unlinked, and no spider or human visitor would find it. When I pointed this out, the site replied that they had decided not to exchange links.
One other pitfall - keep your toolbar on as you look for links - if the site has PR0, skip them. There's almost certainly something dicey about the site, and you don't want to link to them from your site. Personally, I part with some WebmasterWorld members on low PR links (some don't bother with any site below some cutoff they establish) - if the site is relevant and the link potential looks good, I'll request a link even if the site's PR is low. It can still generate visitor traffic, and there's always the possibility that the site will gain PR in time. Even if they don't, there's more to linkage than just PR.
Thanks to all who took the time to reply. I now am getting the understanding of link popularity. My experience has been mainly with PPC engines and i want to try and cut expenses by getting indexed high on non PPC.
I agree with Roger:
> I'd be far happier with getting 5 referrals a day from 200 sites than 1000 a day from a keyword at Google.
But I just don't get them! Of the 50 odd sites that link to me (all related, in the not for profit hobby area we consider fellow webmasters colleagues, not competitors :) ) maybe five send me traffic every day. Total SE referrals outnumber total link referrals by about 5 to 1.
As Roger says, there are many factors that make some pages good sources of referrals. For me the best results come from important pages with few other external links. One page has about 50 internal links, but the only external link points to my site. I may not get much page rank from them, but if anyone wants more information they only have one place to go to!
One page does have a lot of external links, but has a group of five "best links" at the top, with my site one of them. It also sends me lots of referrals.
But when all is said and done, how many visitors I have in a month depends on how happy I can make Google.
Welcome to the Forum awfulkoffel
The first thing I would do If you want to learn the basics about link popularity is do a search in this forum for “link pop” or “link popularity”- Then read and read some more.
There is a lot of information available here about this subject. Beware tho, a lot of the info you receive (even here) is best taken with a grain of salt. A lot of Webmasters have some very mistaken ideas about Link pop - Like useing the Google tool bar - don't worry about Googles PR - Get good links from good sites that your users will benifit from.
Like I said do the search and read.
|I want to learn the basics of link popularity. |
Get other sites to link to your site.
|The methods of achieving it |
Because Search Engines use link pop in one form or another to help
determine your placement in the SERP.
|Get good links from good sites that your users will benifit from. |
Eh, how can users benefit from INCOMING links? Of course you need to choose quality OUTGOING links that could be of use to your visitors. But that's a completely different story. :)
The hard work trying to get other sites to link to you is extremely time consuming and tedious. And frustrating to say the least. :( So I would never waste my time asking for incoming links from sites with a pagerank of 2 or 3 on the main page and much less than that on their links page. First, I hunt down the high PR sites and IF I have ANY time left at the end of the day I might ask for links from sites with lower PR.
Many, if not most, of us are dependent on Google, and for me at least, pagerank is very important. Why? I would waste so much time for nothing if I didn't have the Google toolbar installed so I could see the value of any site I visit and ask for links from.
It's just a hard fact that Google counts links mostly from sites with higher PR. Well, at least that is what most of us believe anyway... If I knew for a fact, that every single link counts in one way or another in Google, even if it doesn't show on a link:www.mysite.com, then I would of course ask for links from ANY site. But then we get back to the whole idea of link popularity and how it was abused in the beginning. Therefore Google had to come up with some new kind of linkpop measure to be able to ignore irrelevant links. Pagerank is ONE of their tools if I have understood this whole issue. Cheers!
|Eh, how can users benefit from INCOMING links? |
I mis-wrote what I meant to say was “you” instead of “users”. What I should have written was
|get good links that YOU will benefit from |
Using the Google tool bar PR to determine what sites to ask for links is IMO ridiculous. Google’s tool bar PR is not an objective determination of a pages value. Google’s tool bar PR fluctuates from month to month, depending on how Google has decided to tweak the PR algo for that month. So a page that today is a PR3 next month can be a PR5 or vice versa.
Google has admitted that the tool bar PR is an “opinion” and machines can’t have “opinions” so the PR of a page can be decided by an employee of Google and not just the algo, as Google has said in the past, so Google's tool bar PR is not objective.
Google’s tool bar PR has made things this way. No competent Webmaster of a high PR page is going to GIVE AWAY a valuable link, they want something in return, usually money and the higher the PR the more money they want. So asking for a Free link on a high PR site is going to be very frustrating, to say the least...
|...to get other sites to link to you is extremely time consuming and tedious. And frustrating to say the least. |
This is wrong...Google counts all links. However, Google only chooses to show links that are PR3 or higher as back links when you do a “link:” command check.
|It's just a hard fact that Google counts links mostly from sites with higher PR. |
What I would suggest is that you spend a little time studying this site...
Once again thanks to all for your help. I think from what I have learned so far one must take all information and suggestions and research all of them. Obviously there is some belief out there that there is some importance with googles tool bar, as to how much that seems to be the inconsistent answer.
Now, bottom line, is footwork the best way to achieve quality links. ie looking at the top 10 results in relevant search terms and contacting the companies showing up and requesting exchanging links?
Well that’s one way. How competitive the search terms are will directly effect how successful you are using this method. If the search terms are highly competitive, don’t expect to get many links this way.
|...looking at the top 10 results in relevant search terms and contacting the companies showing up and requesting exchanging links? |
I have numerious pages that are in the SERP top ten for highly competitive keywords and I delete a huge number of link requests everyday without ever looking at them, and I know I am not alone in this practice.
well the what is the key
One method I use on occasion, when I find a site that I like or think will be useful to my users, is to put up a link on the site I am working on, before I even ask for a link.
After the link is up, I send the Webmaster a note asking if they would please check out the link I have put up, I ask if the wording and placement are ok or if they want me to change anything. Then I ask for a reciprocal link. I have found that this works well in some situations.
And of course if all else fails - you can buy links...
are there any sites out there with a database of people who offer links for sale
It's certainly possible to acquire links. Some of those are deemed acceptable by the search engines, some are not.
Since you'd buy those links to get your linkpopularity up and get a better ranking in search engines, it's extremely important what the search engines find acceptable or not.
Therefore I'd be very cautious with buying´links. There are ways to do this that put your site in great danger.
There are some very high quality niche and/or local directories out there that are reputable and screen and edit sites for submission, and some do charge a fee for inclusion, or for a premium listing. That's not technically "buying" a link, it's covering expenses, editing and inclusion. ODP is free and editors are spare time volunteers, but not all are like that. Any link pop or PR just happens to be incidental and comes along with it if it's a high quality, reputable directory.
There have been cases, to this day, but those are short lived at best and not recommended. Plus, it's way outside the realm of what's productive right here for our purposes, so it's better to stay clear altogether and keep with what's legitimate, tried and true for the long term.
I completly agree with this statement.
|...I'd be very cautious with buying´links. There are ways to do this that put your site in great danger. |
But then if you don't want to buy a link - you can always buy advertising space on a high PR page. wink, wink, nudge, nudge...;)
<snip>I wanted to point out the hypocrisy that is going on about buying links - it's ok to buy a link in yahoo and some of the other "respectable directories" and it's ok to buy a an "advertising link" but it is not OK to buy a link for the PR value it may bring to your site.
I can't be the only one that sees the hypocrisy in this?
[edited by: NFFC at 9:32 am (utc) on Jan. 19, 2003]
[edit reason] TOS #24 [/edit]
Great Post Susanne.
Here is a new question,
I will use an example to explain it.
EX. I sell socks, I own 40 domains, would it help me more in regards to link popularity if
a) i cross linked all 40 domains even though they were all different subject matter
b) cross linked all 40 domains and they all talked about these socks I was selling
Which if any way would be better than the other.
Link types. When my page is spidered, does the spider pick up on the html hyperlink, or the words on the page.
Example, if I have a link to my main sock page and on screen it says "dogs" but the html link is actually http:*//www.socks.com which is more relevant to the spider.
I guess what I am askin is, if i have 39 links to sock related pages, would it not be be considered unethical to write the word sock down 39 times and link each word to a different sock page. Or would it be better to use irrelevant words like "dogs" and still link to my sock sites, and how would this if at all affect the spidering of my page
[edited by: WebGuerrilla at 8:44 pm (utc) on Jan. 19, 2003]
[edit reason] delinked url [/edit]
by the way the url socks.com I was just using as an example and forgot it would be a hyperlink on screen. Sorry
I am not sure whether you meant having ONE major sock URL and then 39 others that point to the first one. Or if you actually meant that you were going to design 40 sites about socks and interlink them.
Why not create ONE super huge, super good website stuffed with excellent info about socks? Instead of taking the obvious risk having 40(!) sites interlinked? You'll be able to sleep much better this way. ;)
Having a big bunch of sites, all linking to each other and all having very similar content is a NO-NO. It really isn't worth taking the risk, doing all that work, just to find yourself punished by search engines. Even though you spread URLs over multiple IPs you might still get caught by a clever spider.
Concentrate all you efforts at making ONE site that covers everything there is to know about socks, with each page having its distinct subject. This alone could bring your site to the top. :) Maybe others in the business will see your site as an authority on socks and you might get traffic and links you never dreamed of.
Plus, you might rank high without having many incoming links and high PR. I've seen it with my own eyes and I'm talking about a travel site! The key is: content, content and more content. Of course you still have to do the usual link hunting work, espcially if you are in a very competitive business. Cheers!
Just a couple of questions from a beginner....
rogerd wrote "if the site has PR0, skip them"
With this in mind, how are newly uploaded sites ever supposed to get off the ground?
A new 'as yet un-promoted site' may well start out at zero (because no one will link to it until it is at least online, and in a position that they can check it out before deciding). And until it gets links, it will stay at zero. But at the same time it won't get inbound links if people follow the advice of "if the site has PR0, skip them".
In plain words 'no one will link if your a PR0 site, and you'll always BE PR0 because no one will link to a PR0 site'. A catch-22 situation surely?
Also, I understand that inbound links need to be from RELEVANT sites to improve ranking, but.....
1 - Does a site with a ranking BELOW your own still help your position?
2 - Does a site with no no or limited relevance have ANY positive effect (even if it's less)?
Thanks in advance, for any thoughts on these.