Link Popularity is the term used to describe how many websites link to your website. It is an important part of search engine marketing as many search engines factor link popularity into their search algorithms. A good link popularity can help you get high rankings in the search engines.

Many website owners become frustrated with link popularity as it can be a real effort to get links. They focus on just getting a link, not on why someone would want to link to them. Generally people link to websites because they think that that site will benefit others in some way. Therefore the easiest and most cost effective way of getting links is to ensure that you have information or features on your site that are ‘link worthy’.

Of course you can request links and suggest on your website that people link to you. Add a graphic to your site that people can use to link to you, or provide them with specific instructions on how to link to you – i.e. what text to use.
Not all links are equal

Be careful with your link requests, as not all links are created equal, and some links can be darn right detrimental. Yes, that’s right, some links can harm your website. You need to be careful of the company you keep and don’t hang out in bad neighborhoods – as Google knows everything (well practically everything). Yes, I’m talking about link farms. These are websites that solely exist for the purpose of listing websites. Hey I know what your thinking – ‘isn’t that what Yahoo does?”. Well, it does list websites, but it does it with order, classification and categorization and context. Yahoo is like your high school librarian, everything is neatly catalogued and put away. In contrast, Link farms are chaotic free for alls, where links have no relevance to each other. Avoid them! To continue the analogy, if a link farm ran a library they’d just throw the books into a big room.

So, What is YOUR Link Popularity?

If you want to know what your website’s link popularity is, there are two ways of going about it. If you have installed the Google Toolbar, look at the Green slider graphic. This graphic displays your PageRank (PR) which is a level of how ‘important’ your website is on the internet. Google treats links like votes, so getting a good PageRank can be like winning a popularity contest. A PageRank of 4-5 is quite good, 6,7 or 8 are excellent, 9 & 10 are reserved for the likes of Google, MSN and Amazon!

The other way of finding out your link popularity is to enter link:www.yourwebsiteaddress.com into the search box at Google. Google will then display a list of the websites that link to yours. This works on other search engines too.

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