Improving the Link Popularity of your site
Copyright 2005 Sumantra Roy
What is important is not only the number of links to your
site, but also the types of sites which are linking to you.
A link from a site which is related to yours is more
valuable than a link from an unrelated site.
In this article, I explore different methods by which you
can improve the link popularity of your site. I start with
a method that you shouldn't bother using, then go on to the
moderately effective methods, and then end with the most
effective methods you can use to boost the link popularity
of your site.
1) Submitting your site to Free For All (FFA) pages
A common misconception among many Internet marketers is
that while FFA pages may not directly bring in traffic to
your site, it will help to improve the link popularity of
your site, and hence, will indirectly bring in traffic
through the search engines.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Most FFA pages can
contain only a certain number of links at a time. This
means that when you submit your site to a FFA page, your
site will be placed at the top of the page. However, as
more and more people submit their sites to the FFA page,
your site will be pushed down, and finally, when it reaches
the bottom of the page, it will be removed.
Now, since you can bet that plenty of other people are also
submitting their sites to the FFA pages, your site will
remain in these pages for only a short span of time. Hence,
in order to ensure that the search engines see your site if
and when they come to spider the FFA page, you will need to
ensure that you submit your site to these FFA pages on a
regular basis - at least once a week.
Even if you used an automatic submission program to do it,
can you imagine a worse way to spend your time and/or
money? Furthermore, many search engines recognize these
pages which only contains links to other sites as FFA pages
and may completely ignore them. And while I haven't yet
seen any evidence that submitting to the FFA pages will
actually penalize your site, there is every possibility
that this might happen in the future.
Hence, when it comes to FFA pages, my advice is simple:
don't even think about them.
2) Starting an Awards Program
A moderately effective method of improving the link
popularity of your site is to start an awards program. You
can have web sites which are related to yours apply for an
award from your site. The sites which win the award get the
chance to display the logo for your award. This logo is
linked to your site, preferably to a page which contains
more information on the award.
If you publish a newsletter, consider declaring the winners
in your newsletter. You can also perform a review of the
winners' sites in your newsletter. This adds useful content
to your newsletter and also gives more webmasters the
incentive to apply for your award, since you may review
their sites in your newsletter. This also gives them the
incentive to subscribe to your newsletter to see if they
win the award.
Make sure that you give awards to only those sites which
deserve to win. If you give your award to sites which don't
deserve it, your award will have little credibility, which
will, in turn, hurt the credibility of your company.
Furthermore, make sure that the logo you design for the
award looks professional. If it doesn't, not many
webmasters will want to display it in their sites.
3) Giving testimonials
This may sound a bit unusual, but giving testimonials for
products or services which you find useful can be another
moderately effective way of improving the link popularity
of your site. If you really like a product, simply write to
the company and tell them why you liked the product so much
and how it has helped you. Chances are, the company will
write back to you to thank you for your comments and will
ask you for permission to display your comments in their
web site. Tell the company that you have no problems if
they publish your comments, but request them to add a link
to your site along with the testimonial. There is every
possibility that the company will agree since publishing
the URL of your web site gives more credibility to the
Of course, please don't go about giving testimonials to
every company you can locate just because it will improve
your link popularity :-)
5) Starting a Link Contest
A good method of improving the link popularity of your site
is to give away prizes to other webmasters if they link to
you. The prizes that you give out should ideally be
something which other webmasters will find valuable enough
to want to link to you, but which do not cost you too much.
For instance, if you publish a newsletter, and have unsold
ad inventory, you can give away some free advertisements in
your newsletter to the winners. If you sell a software (or
an ebook), you can give away a free copy of your software
or ebook to the winners, since it doesn't cost you anything
to produce an additional copy of digital goods like
software and ebooks.
Link contests work best if you run the contest on a
continuous basis and if you declare new winners frequently.
If you run the contest for a few months, and then stop it,
the webmasters who had linked to you will all remove their
links. However, if you run it on a continuous basis, and
declare new winners every month or so, the webmasters will
have the incentive to keep their links to your site.
6) Writing articles and allowing them to be re-published
This is by far one of the best ways of improving the link
popularity of your site, and one of my favorites. Whenever
I write an article on search engine placement, I first
publish it in my newsletter and then I publish the article
in my site as a separate web page. I also submit it to the
following article submission sites:
Many webmasters and ezine publishers frequent these article
directories in search of articles. Submitting my articles
to these directories gives them the opportunity of
re-publishing my articles. While I have had some success
with each of the above directories, by far the best among
them is the ezinearticles.com directory.
Now, at the end of each article, I mention that people are
free to re-publish the article as long as they include my
resource box (i.e. my bio) at the end of the article. I
always include the URL of my site in the resource box. This
means that whenever someone publishes one of my articles in
his/her web site, I have another site linking to my site.
Also, many ezine publishers archive their ezines in their
web sites. If they have re-published my article in a
particular issue, I again get a link.
Writing articles is also an excellent viral marketing tool.
As some webmasters and ezine publishers publish my
articles, other webmasters and ezine publishers will read
my article. Some of them, in turn, will publish my article,
which will again be read by other webmasters and ezine
publishers, some of whom will publish it... and so on.
Also, since only web sites related to mine would be
interested in publishing my articles, all these links tend
to come from related sites, which, as I mentioned earlier,
are more valuable than links from unrelated sites.
Writing articles, of course, has another very important
benefit - if you write good articles, it makes you known as
an expert in your field. This helps to improve your
credibility, which makes people more comfortable about
buying your products or services.
Some notes about writing articles:
i) I have learnt through experience that some webmasters
will publish other people's articles and will display the
complete resource box but will not link to the URL
mentioned in the resource box. In order to prevent this,
you need to explicitly state that the article can be
published only if the URL mentioned in the resource box is
linked to your site.
ii) Your resource box should not be too long - it should be
no more than 6 lines long, formatted at 65 characters per
line. Otherwise, other webmasters and ezine publishers will
hesitate to publish your article.
About the Author:
Article by Sumantra Roy. Sumantra is one of the most
respected search engine positioning specialists on the
Internet. To have Sumantra's company place your site at the
top of the search engines, go to
http://www.1stSearchRanking.com/t.cgi?3455_e For more
advice on how you can take your web site to the top of the
search engines, subscribe to his FREE newsletter by going