- Get Thousands of Links to Your Site
upon a time, search engine optimization was solely a
function of building the best page via the source code. That
is no longer the case. Off page factors now play a major role
in determining top search engine positions. Specifically,
link popularity can literally make or break a site's search
we go any further, let's define link popularity
popularity is a composite measure of the number and
quality of links that are pointing to your site. The aggregate
total of links is taken into account along with a measure of
the "importance" of each link. Simply put, if another
site thinks your site is important enough to link to then search
engines believe your site to be important as well.
however, is measured by degree. The so-called
degree of importance is based upon the status i.e.,
importance in the eyes of the search engine of the page
(or site) that is linking to you. Sites such as Yahoo.com,
for instance, are of high status and deemed very important.
Therefore, links coming from such important sites are given
an over-weighted value in the link-popularity composite
formulas. If, for instance, an important site like CNN were
to link to your site, that might lend more relevancy than
the sum total of 20 personal home pages that also happen to
be linked to you.
building link popularity is considered to be such a
it were true that the page with the most links, wins,
then building link popularity would simply be a function of
brute force. It isn't. Instead it's a delicate art. And, to
understand how it should be done it's helpful to know what
recent strategies have fallen into disrepute because the
search engines have tagged them as spamming techniques.
you should avoid...
Link Farms which are pages that are designed for the sole
purpose of building an artificial link-popularity infrastructure.
Typically they are pages without content consisting only
of links. The "theme" of link farm pages is usually
ill-defined or artificially assembled and therefore the value
of such links are, at best, minimal and most typically, counterproductive
even damaging. In fact, most engines will penalize sites that
are linked by known link farms. This alone is reason enough
to know exactly who is linking to your site. We recommend that
you do whatever is necessary to avoid being associated with
Free-For-All (FFA) Link Pages where anyone is welcome to place
their link tend to lack a focused "theme" and are
also considered to be counterproductive to building link relevancy.
FFA link pages differ from link farms only in that they are
usually less malevolent in intention. Regardless, the search
engines view them with about the same disdain and we
recommend that you actively seek to avoid having them link
to your site.
Unrelated Site Links where the "theme" of the linking
site is not relevant to the content of your site (but they
link to you anyway) can also be damaging to your site's link
the case of the later, we know of one instance where a
marketing site was tagged as being about wicker furniture
and adult chat because sites with those themes were linking
to the marketing page.
marketing site, for example, would ideally want links from
other sites having a marketing theme. Examples might be
sites that use keyphrases like sales tracking, writing ad copy,
improving your headlines, or increasing your bottom line and
a best case scenario would include a text link to the site
that reads something like...
improve your site's ability to close the sale we recommend,
Marketing Tips where you can learn all about writing ad
copy, improving your headlines, tracking sales and increasing
point is that an important measure of link popularity is
directly related to which sites are linking to you and what
they are saying about your site.
the challenge is to...
assemble a significant infrastructure of incoming links
to your site,
2. collect only links coming from pages that are in the "right"
3. pay particular attention to control, when possible
exactly what those pages "say" about you in, and around,
text link they use to describe your page.
pages that best accomplish these objectives will win the
link popularity contest slam dunk!
Is Your Plan Of Attack:
begin, let us clearly define what your threefold
objective should be...
obtain a greater number of relevant incoming links than
obtain a greater number of "important" incoming links
from "important" pages than your competition.
To control exactly what those links say about your site.
it. That's your goal.
the question is, of course, how does one easily
determine how many links the competition has set as the
standard to beat.
it is difficult, at best and impossible in some cases
unless you use a tool called OptiLink. That is what we use
to analyze the competitions' link infrastructure. It tells us,
to what degree, we must build our own link infrastructure.
But most importantly...
tell us what those links are saying about the sites
we are analyzing!!! Until the programmer built that tool we
had to examine each link manually. The hours involved were
horrendous and in many cases we simply winged it (yes,
guessed). Now we have the process down to a science and it's
begin, follow these steps...
Link Checking Services
provides details regarding a site's
link popularity for Lycos/Fast, AltaVista, and MSN.
provides details regarding a site's link
popularity for Google, HotBot, and AltaVista.
OptiLink to determine who is linking to your
the owners or administrators of those sites. Negotiate a link
to your site as well. Within the bounds of ethics, do what you
have to do to make the arrangement attractive for them to link
to you. If they insist on referring only one type of your product
or service, see if you can offer them a sweeter "deal"
than your competitor. Bear in mind that if you obtain a link
at the expense of your competitor, then you've gained two --
the one you got and the one they lost.
likely that on the important sites, (i.e., Yahoo, CNN, Dmoz.org,
About.com, USAToday, etc.) that you will
either have to submit your site or else get them to do an
article something, anything that gets them to link to
most cases, if your competitor got linked, then you can
too unless your competitor is the actual owner of a site
that is doing the linking. When this is the case you can usually
tell because the IP numbers will be the same or similar.
Again, OptiLink will help you determine when this is the case.
you progress through this stage of link accumulation,
remember that your competition has already invented the
wheel, so-to-speak, so you don't need to re-invent it.
They've actually done the hard part for you by identifying
many of the prime linking candidates.
always start by matching their link infrastructure tit-for-tat
as best you can. Then, as you expand your own, you'll be a mile
ahead because, more than likely, your competition doesn't know
how to apply this strategy as well as you now do.
listed in Yahoo, ODP (dmoz.org), About.com, and any
other specialty directory that is relevant to your product
or service. One example is Business.com if you are marketing
on the alert for relevant ezines and publications that
your competition is already listed in.
careful not to overlook advertising pages where your
competition is listed. While using OptiLink to do your
research, you are likely to find web pages that are paid advertising
which, when indexed, add to a site's link popularity. Again,
OptiLink will help you locate where your competition has advertised
as well where their site has been mentioned in online publications.
Such locations are ripe for you to submit your own articles
the free Google Toolbar. Use the PageRank feature
to determine what sites Google thinks are "important".
make a list of relevant sites and plan to solicit those with
a PageRank rating of 6/10 or better.
the way, when you hover your cursor over the PageRank
icon, a rating will appear the higher the number the
important the page. In the example above, Yahoo's site
scores a 9 out of a possible 10 PageRank points making it a
very important site to get a link from.
PageRank tool can be downloaded free at
the process of researching your competition you will see
which pages are scoring at the top of the results. Remember,
these are not only your competition, they are also
considered "important pages" evidenced by the fact
scoring at the top. What's more, they are pages with a
"theme" consistent with that of your own site.
you should add these so-called "competing pages"
to your list of important pages worthy of soliciting for
Granted, most of them may not want to link to you but it
doesn't hurt to ask. And the ones who do, can lend a
significant boost to your site's PageRank.
are also dozens of lesser and/or topic-specific (and
usually free) engines and directories on the Internet and,
collectively, they can all help increase your site's
are two such resources that will help you get
expect to receive significant traffic from these
lesser engines and directories. The idea is to use them to
increase your site's popularity within a keyword arena where
every little bit helps.
a contact system for soliciting links.
off, we should mention that building a link popularity
infrastructure may be more work than you are willing (or
have time) to do. In such cases we suggest the professional
solution at least to get started. LinkageXpress is who we
recommend you contact. They specialize in getting you the
right links in the least amount of time possible. They are
reliable, efficient, and (if you pay attention) you will see
how the process is done when performed by professionals.
more information on this option, go to
if you're doing your own work you will need to organize
your "target sites" into three categories...
: These include Yahoo, ODP, About.com, and any
other related, perhaps lesser, directories that you've
ferreted out as relevant and potentially helpful to your
should start here by submitting to sites in this
category. Generally speaking, they are the easiest targets
and the ones
that will return the most bang for the buck (i.e., effort
and sometimes money).
follow their submission guidelines, pay their entry
fees (when necessary), and get on with it. Within our own
company, this is the type of project we call GIDacronym
for, get it done.
online publications, and other content oriented
informational sites. The larger and more obvious being sites
like USAToday, and CNN.
while doing your (OptiLink) research you'll
no-doubt find publication sites where your competitors are
listed. Here's where you should submit your own press releases
and informational content with an objective to gain relevant
links back to your site.
an eye out for content rich sites that recommend
resources within your market niche. In many cases you can do
them a favor by bringing your services to their attention.
that are possibly competitive, yet closely related to
you in content, and might link back to you. In some cases these
are direct competitors and in other cases they are complimentary,
but non-competing sites. These "targets" can be more
challenging and, therefore you should calculate your approach
to them carefully being sure to offer them an incentive
of sorts that will make them eager to link to your site.
there were a "magic" link request formula that always
worked in procuring links, we'd certainly publish it here
but there isn't. Suffice it to say that you should strive to
find reasons that motivate others to want to link to you.
That means that you've got to have something worth offering
and it's up to you to figure out what the benefits are as
you present them in a way that states them clearly in the
favor of the person in the position to grant your link
place to start, again, is with the sites that are
linking to your competition. Find out why. Phone them if you
must but strive to learn what motivated those sites to link
to your competitor in the first place. Once you know, you
may be able to match or, better yet, sweeten the offer.
is no substitute for education and such a discovery
process will be that education you'll need to determine the
anatomy of an incoming link in your keyword arena.
of the tools you may find useful is Zeus described as
an... "...easy-to-use, intelligent, internet robot that
builds a link directory and creates reciprocal links for
you." However, before you get too excited, you should be
warned: using Zeus improperly can get you into a heap of
trouble for spamming. Be careful! Use it (if you use it at
all) cautiously. We do not regard Zeus as a panacea but
can be a very useful tool provided you're willing to take
the time necessarily to "train" it to perform according
your needs and then use it in a sensible fashion.
record your efforts. Whether it's a directory
submission, article for publication, online press release,
or just an ordinary link request, record the details of all
of your efforts. This will help you measure your successes
as well as give you the information you'll need to do
appropriate and meaningful follow-up.
recommend that you create either a spreadsheet or
database (like ACT!, Access, FileMaker Pro, etc.) and enter
everything that is pertinent to each attempt to gain a link.
Keep track of dates, people you've spoken or written to,
contact information, URL, PageRank ratings, results (or lack
thereof), incentives offered, and anything else you feel is
important to the contact.
recording and tracking your link solicitation
campaign is possibly the most important logistical element
of link popularity success. It will ultimately save you time,
you avoid embarrassment when following up, and pay dividends
later on when your memory fails to recall if a "new"
site is one you've already had previous contact with.
a Content Provider : One of the easiest ways to gain
links is to become a content provider. Ideally, you're
already an expert in your field. If not, the volume of
accessible information over the Internet may quickly empower
you to become one. Take advantage of it.
idea is to give others a compelling reason to link to
your site. One way is to provide valuable content they can
link to. Another way is to give them valuable content to post
on their site in exchange for a link back to your site.
would agree that you'll have better success gaining
links if you focus on the content and refrain from "marketing"
within your article. In general, we agree the exception
being the advertorial, a kind of online infomercial that, in
cases, involves an affiliate arrangement and requires a high
level of very professional "copy" in order to be effective.
the other hand, if you are not a writer, don't be afraid
to ask others for permission to use their articles. Generally
they will agree if you credit them, and link to them, in exchange
for republishing their works on your site.
track of the links you acquire and make the most of
them. Free services like TrackEngine.com and Spyonit.com can
be configured to alert you via email any time a search
engine finds a new link to a site belonging to you or your
it's important what keywords are being used in
links pointing to your site. So, pay close attention to your
incoming text links and, to the best of your ability,
control what those links say about your site.
whenever you find a relevant page that is linking to
your site in one engine (say, AltaVista) but isn't listed in
another engine (say, Google), submit that site to the engine
that isn't yet listing it. Doing so will add another link to
site's popularity score.
are times when incoming links to your site are
counterproductive. Example of such are link farms,
free-for-all links, and sites with themes that are unrelated
to yours. In suchcases, your site may be penalized in the relevancy
ratings in other words, these links can work against
you. By the same token, such links may also be hurting the site
that is linking to you. On that note you may be able to contact
the owner of the offending site and explain how to make the
most of an otherwise bad situation. In some cases, both parties
would benefit by simply removing the link. In other cases the
solution might be moving the link to another page within their
site that is more topic related.
may be able to solve the problem, and load the dice in
your favor, by giving them a content rich "article"
on their site. Such an article would be optimized by title
and keyword text links that point back to your site. Then,
instead of pointing their main page (or their links page)
directly at your site, they would point to the content page
on their site which, in turn, is theme optimized and points
to your site.
way, a site about wicker furniture can have a
"marketing information" link that points to an article
(within the wicker furniture site) that becomes a theme optimized
topic page with keyword relevant text links that point to your
important aspect to bear in mind is this: Reputation is
what incoming links say the page is about and as far as the
search engine is concerned, it becomes what your page is
about, true or not. Topic is what the page is really about
the actual content of a page. You should see to it that the
Reputation matches the Topic.
concerned about who YOU link to. Avoid "off topic"
and if you choose to use reciprocal links as an enticement
to obtain incoming links, set up a "links" page in
avoid diluting the impact of your own page's topic.
use mass email to solicit reciprocal links. Personalize each
email by mentioning something specific that you liked about
their site. If appropriate, ask a question or two about one
of their products. Use references that make it clear your request
is a personal one and not an automated, mass-generated, e-mail
reciprocal link request-bot.
aware that sites whose reciprocal links pages are buried
several levels deep within their site are much less relevant
than sites whose link pages are only one level deep. That
is better than,
the case of the latter, it's hardly worth procuring a
it is a good idea to set up multiple sites each
supporting the theme of the other, it is a mistake to place
them within the same IP address block or to link them
together all in the same way. That's because search engines
analyze traffic patterns to help them produce relevancy
filters and boosters. If your objective is to build your own
mini-net without tripping the filters, then you should avoid
copying your previous sites. Instead, by building each site
from scratch you'll fabricate a very effective cluster that
can significantly boost your rankings.
art of building link popularity is so closely associated
with the process of building traffic that by simply building
traffic your site's link popularity will grow as a byproduct
applying fundamentally sound traffic building strategies to
your online marketing campaign.
above article is an excerpt from Planet
Ocean's - Winning the Search Engine War - Planet Ocean publishes
one of the best online publications for the search engine industry,
offering news, resources and updates on all the major search
engines and directories. This is a superb monthly resource --
a "must have."