Link popularity has become increasingly important among the search engines. Because link popularity goes hand in hand with search engine optimization, it is important for any company with a web presence to build a link development strategy. Many online marketing specialists believe that link popularity is simply obtaining as many links as possible. However, the quality of the link holds more “weight” than the quantity of links. You will get better results in the search engines if you have link popularity from sites that have considerable traffic. To develop popularity for your web site, you should submit your site to the most visited directories. Yahoo (of course), LookSmart, About.com, and Open Directory are examples of major directories. Also, to further develop link popularity, you should consider sites/directories that are very industry specific, such as healthatoz.com for a health-related site.Even more important, it can help your search engine ranking if your site is reviewed by a directory that is associated with a search engine. To be accepted into a major directory, we recommend that your site have content that can show credibility in your field. A tips page, links page, or a “how-to” page can showcase your credibility on your product or service.For example, we can almost always tell when a new client site is added to Yahoo by looking at an Google ranking. Oftentimes, we will obtain a top 30 ranking for a client, then suddenly the site will move to a #1 position. Sure enough, when we go into Yahoo, we will see that the client site has been added. That’s one of the reasons that we think a listing in Yahoo is essential.Obtaining links from other web sites is not enough to obtain long-term results on both the search engines and directories. People have to actually click on those links to your web site and browse your web site. AND they need to return to your web site when they see the quality content, products, and/or services that you offer, i.e. the usability of your web site. That is the definition of “popularity” according to the major search engines and directories. Other terms for it are “click” popularity or “click-through” popularity. Therefore, both link popularity and click-through popularity are essential for obtaining optimal search engine placement. Remember, a search engine position is not permanent since the search engine companies change their algorithms all of the time. Being listed in directories and other sites can significantly drive traffic and sales, particularly if your site is listed in specialized directories (health, financial, and travel, for example). To check your link popularity in some search engines: For AltaVista, in the search query field, type in: link:domainname.comFor Inktomi’s services, in the search query field, type in: linkdomain:domainname.comFor FAST Search, in the search query field, type in your domain name: link.all:www.domainname.comFor Google, in the search query field, type in your domain name: link:www.domainname.comLink development serves multiple purposes. It can drive traffic and sales to your web site, and it can also help your search engine rankings.Andy Macdonald owns and runs his own uk website design business called Swift Media UK, which incorporates custom logo design
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