Link Popularity

Sometimes the virtual world can seem just like high school all over again: appearances mean a lot, popularity is paramount, and you want see and be seen with the “right” people. Websites have to contend with this as well, and they can become more “popular” by featuring quality content and attractive layouts and by being associated with other well-known and respected sites. Unlike high school, though, the world is your potential audience, and you have a lot more flexibility in establishing your niche.
Link popularity is just what it sounds like: it is the number of external websites that have linked back to your site. This is important for a few different reasons: one, it indicates that other sites find your articles, blogs, or products useful and of benefit to their readers. No site wants to send their traffic to useless sites; it is not beneficial, and it alienates visitors. A link is like an endorsement of sorts. And two, link popularity is a factor in search rankings. Google’s algorithm takes popularity into account as it generates is SERPs.
How do you increase your popularity? Let’s first start with how not to increase it. Link farming, link wheels, and other bulk link exchanges may be tempting. They offer to build thousands of links for a very low monthly price. But even their nominal fee (usually around $50) is not worth it. These links are, at best, useless. At worst, they will get you penalized.
Instead, focus on manual linking building. Establish relationships with sites that are in the same type of industry or engage the same type of community. Ask for links back to your site, and make sure to offer valuable content to the traffic they send. Work on becoming part of the broader online community with blogs, forums, and social networking. At the back of your mind should always, always be quality. You want to offer quality content: this is how you build links organically.

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