Building Link Popularity Effectively And For Free

Never before have incoming links to a website been so important. Ever since Google came out with its PageRank ™ algorithm, other search engines have been following suit by factoring in link popularity in their algorithms (altavista, inktomi).

Never before have incoming links to a website been so important. Ever since Google came out with its PageRank ™ algorithm, other search engines have been following suit by factoring in link popularity in their algorithms (altavista, inktomi). Search engine savvy webmasters have been looking at effective ways to build up link popularity. For Google however it wasn’t (and still isn’t) just the number of incoming links that is important, it is also the quality of links. Google copyrighted its technology and it is called PageRank(tm). All that you need to know is that PageRank is an indicator of the ‘value’ (in Google’s eyes) of a specific website based upon inbound links, and the value (PageRank) of the site that links to you. {mospagebreak title=So How Do We Know What PageRank A Site Has’&toc=1} The answer is we need to download the Google toolbar to find out. This is a painless proces, simply go to toolbar.google.com, choose your preferred language and download the toolbar. Once installed you will see an extra row at the top of the browser with a search box and various other buttons and icons. The PageRank bar is clearly marked and depending on the PageRank of a website, you will see a bar filled from left to right with green. If you let your mouse hover over the bar, you will find out in numbers the PageRank of a specific web page. What has this got to do with link popularity’ Well you want as many links as possible from websites that have a lot of green in that bar!

The best links are those coming from websites with at least a PageRank of 4 (out of 10). The best links are also of the same or similar theme to the site you wish to rank well with and the link text contains one or more of your keywords. {mospagebreak title=5 Point Plan&toc=1} Below is a 5 point plan for building effective and free link popularity…

1. Do a Google search for a similarly related but not necessarily exactly the same theme as that of your own website. Check the results for those that have a directory listing (Gray link on normal results). eg. for the ABAKUS Internet Marketing website a good category might be…

http://directory.google.com/Top/Computers/Internet/Web_Design_and_Development/Authoring/Webmaster_Resources/

Click the “Category:” link to land at the appropriate Google directory category listing.

2. One of the great things about the Google directory is that it lists websites in Google PageRank order. This makes the process of finding great sites to link to you that much easier.

3. Open excel or notepad and create a list of all the websites that have a Pagerank of 4 or more. No numeric value is given on mouse over, however, you can tell from the graphical bar the PageRank value (center = PR5). Create a list of all PR 4+ websites, you should also add a column for the webmasters / contact email address.

4. Create an “Other Resources” or “Related Sites” web page somewhere on your website where you list the links you have in your excel table. Of course commercial websites should not list their competitors, but websites that compliment their own site. In the case of ABAKUS for example that would be web design and web hosting websites amongst others.

Once you have created a resources page, link up to it from your home page and place it online. What you now have should be a webpage entitled “Other Resources”, or “Related Sites” with all the PR4+ websites you researched in 1-3.

5. You are now ready to request the link! Keep your email short and personal. Something like the following should work well…
{mospagebreak title=Link Request Email&toc=1} “Dear [Webmaster / Name],

I was surfing the net and came across your website [url]. I noticed it was a quality site and decided to include a link in my [related sites / Other resources] list on my similarly related website [url von link list].

I believe our websites compliment each other well and would appreciate it if you could link back to me. The way search engines value link popularity will mean we will both also hopefully benefit from higher rankings.

I look forward to your reply.

[your name]”

The above works quite well. DO visit the site and make sure you try your hardest to get a full name to keep the email personalized. Dear Webmaster simply does not have the same effect as Dear David Johnson…

You must already have a visible link to their web site before you ask for a link yourself! This is important, a webmaster may well now feel obliged to make the effort for you. If after 1 week there is no reply or no link back to your website, send out another email asking if they received your last email mentioning that it is only fair they reciprocate the link otherwise the link space will have to go for a website that is willing to give a link back, and that the link will be removed within 3 days otherwise. Many of the webmasters you contact may not even realise they have such good PageRank and that their site has great potential to rank well because of it. Be sure to emphasise that their ranking will get a boost as well due to the link from your own website.

You should be able, in the vast majority of themes, to be able to find good link candidates and send out emails to at least 20-30 webmasters/contacts. If even only 50% of them agree to link back to you, then you are going to get a great boost in Google PageRank and in link popularity overall.

Of course, your first objective is to get links from the major directories. Especially the ODP (www.dmoz.org). Also look for smaller theme specific directories which you can submit to “keyword +directory” (or ‘links’ or ‘category’ or ‘resources’ or ‘submit url’ ).

If your site does have very good content, you will get linked to naturally. The very best way to get linkpoularity / PageRank is to build sites that webmasters find of value and which they voluntarily link to.

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