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Thursday, August 02, 2007

The popularity of your website can be directly correlated to the number of sites linking to you. In fact, search engines like Google have been built on the concept of link popularity. To win on the Internet, your website not only needs to be seen as popular, but also garner top search engine results for your identified search terms. In-bound links to your website tell the search engines what they will find when visiting your site.

So now that we've established the importance of inbound links, you should be asking yourself, "How do I get them?" and "Which links are valuable?". Focus on acquiring in-bound links that are from sites offering related content to your own website and that have an established Google PR. Sites from unrelated sites without a Google Page Rank do not provide any benefit.

Inbound links can be acquired in a number of ways. Here are the 7 most popular link strategies you can start using today:

1. Directory Submission. The web has hundreds, if not thousands of link directories. Search for the most popular directories and submit your site. Beware, some directories charge for submitting your link but offer very little value in return. If you are going to pay for a link submission, make sure the site has a high Google PR and garners a lot of traffic.

2. Reciprocal Linking. Exchange links with other popular sites to increase the number of inbound links you receive. There is a good deal of debate in Internet circles today about the validity of reciprocal linking strategies. As long as the link you are receiving is of equal or greater quality to the link your giving, than the concept of reciprocal linking is still valid.

3. Article Submission. Create quality content and distribute it across the web. There are many article directories that offer content to webmasters and allow for mass distribution. The benefit of article submission is that when you submit your article you include and "About the Author" section. This area of your article is posted each time your article appears on a distributed website automatically building links back to your site. The more valuable the article, the more distribution you receive.

4. Social Posting Tools. We all know the power of social networks. Use tools like SocialPoster and others whereby you register and submit your site or article to social networks. The benefit of posting to these sites is that others may recognize and acknowledge your submission, resulting in higher placement. With higher placement comes more links and more link popularity.

5. Gadgets. Develop something worth linking to. Many websites offer free tools that are valuable because they solve a problem. A great example of this is a widget that allows you to find out the Google PR of any site. There are dozens or hundreds of websites that offer this type of tool and users provide links to those sites. Again, find something of value and let others know about it.

6. Press Releases. Have some news to share? A new product? A website launch or perhaps the results of your latest online survey. Visit sites like PRweb and find a distribution option for you. Press releases are pushed out to hundreds if not thousands of site that might run your release. Of course, make sure that you imbed a link back to your website.

7. Blogging. If you have your own blog or post comments on someone else's blog, don't be afraid to mention something of value relating to your site. Perhaps you can point to a Gadget your offer, free services, or an ebook you're offering. Blogging is a powerful tool and easy to implement. If you don't have a blog, start one. You can have your own blog in just a few minutes with today's online providers like Blogger or WordPress.

No matter what strategy you use to improve your link popularity, one thing's for sure. Developing in-bound links to your website is a critical step in achieving website popularity. As your popularity grows, so does your search engine result placement and traffic.


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