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Increase Link Popularity and Google PageRank™ With Strategic Use of Text Links

In the early days of the web, search engines looked primarily at what are known as "on page" factors when ranking web pages. On page factors include the titles, keyword tags and description tags, headers and the regular copy on web pages. These "on page" factors are still essential to attaining top search engine rankings, but links are playing an increasingly important role.

Link popularity isn't the only thing

It's not just the number of links, but the quality and format of the links that is important. It's like an election where each site that links to yours casts a vote for your site. More popular sites like YAHOO! that have lots of links pointing to them cast a stronger vote for your site. The way other sites link to yours is also important. Text links with keywords in them are the best types of links to get.

The number of links to your site is important

The more good links you have pointing to your site the better off you will be. A good link comes from a site that has similar content to yours.

The quality of those links is more important

There are thousands of sites out there that offer to submit your site to thousands of search engines, directories, FFA (free for all links) pages, and whatever else they can think of. Such services typically cost anywhere from $19.95 to $149.00. Don't even think about wasting money on these services. It is simply not possible to automate the process of building links to your site and these programs may actually harm your site. You want sites with high quality content and high Google PageRank™ if possible.

The format of incoming links is critical

The best incoming links are plain text links with keywords in them. If you want a page of your site to target the term "Switzerland ski vacations", then if possible, text links pointing to that page (from within your site and from other sites) should contain the phrase "Switzerland ski vacations". "Switzerland ski vacations" should also appear in the title tag of that page, the description tag, the keyword tag, the header, and several times in the body copy of the page.

Not all links are good

In the quest for top search engine rankings many site promoters push the limits and attempt to artificially increase the number of links to a site. Some search engines, most notably Google take steps to combat these tactics to manipulate their search results.

An artificial link popularity boost can lead to trouble

One popular technique to increase link popularity is to register tens, hundreds, even thousands of additional domains, put a little bit of content on each and load them up with text links pointing to the main site. This can prove to be a successful strategy, however, the possibility also exists that Google will purge the entire network from its database and you will lose all search engine referrals from Google and its syndication partners.

Invisible links can cause problems

A second immensely popular technique used to be adding invisible links to all your pages. This is easily achieved by placing 1x1 pixel images on your web pages that have links embedded in them. If the images are the same color as the background they are invisible to all except the search engines.

Follow these simple steps when increasing link popularity

  • Encourage other sites to link to yours
  • Encourage them to use text links with keywords
  • Post a note on your site that encourages people to link to your site
  • Exchange links with sites related to yours
  • Obtain all the directory placements you can
  • Make liberal use of text links within your own site

Now that you know the importance of increasing your link popularity and and optimizing important page elements you can begin to incorporate them into your site as you start the online copywriting process.

If your site is already in good shape and you need to need to get listed in the major web directories, then learn how to submit to ODP, YAHOO!, LookSmart/MSN/Zeal, and smaller regional and topical directories.

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