The proper use of search engines is an extremely critical aspect of online marketing. The search engines are the initial way that prospective customers can locate your site. That's the reason link popularity is so necessary. If your customers can't find you, you'll never see any sales.
You may be asking yourself "What is so popular about links"? Well, the short answer to that question is "A lot". The phrase "Link popularity" alludes to the ranking given to your web site by the search engines. It decides what position your page is given by the search engines when people search for certain keywords contained in your site. You're probably asking "How do I make my link popular?"
Search engines are arbitrary. They give cachet and capital to web sites that have incoming links to their pages originating from complementary, high caliber sites. It's a very simple, but an extremely important blueprint. Google originated the blueprint, and now nearly all the other popular search engines apply it to give value to web pages in their indexes.
The more customarily your keywords are used, the more difficult it will be to attain good link popularity, but without accomplishing this task, it is virtually assured your web site will never rank very high on any of the search engines. Don't get discouraged. There are tried and proven strategies for gaining good link popularity using the most highly searched keywords.
There are some things you should be aware of. Most importantly, you should know that simply putting one of your links on a large number of web sites will not get your web site good link popularity. The fact of the matter is, doing this will have just the opposite effect. This is especially the case when it involves web sites that exist for nothing other than to post outgoing links. These websites are commonly referred to as "link-farms". The more popular search engines will vigorously show bias against your web site if it is identified with a link farm, so stay far, far away from them!
Another important fact that you should be aware of is the quality of the web sites that are linking to your site. You should never encourage a link from a site you wouldn't want your visitors to see. You don't want your web site to look like it's cheap and aimless. Linking with web sites that are of low quality will weaken your web site's link popularity, and it could possibly even destroy it.
The first step to improving your search engine rankings and achieving good link popularity is to get your site listed in one or more of the popular directories. Two of the better directories are Yahoo and the Open Directory Project. If you have a business related web site you'll want to get listed in the Yahoo Directory. The Yahoo Directory charges three hundred dollars per year for a listing. That can be a lot of money for some, but it's a good business investment. If your web site is not a business related site, the listing is free, however, it will take a lot of follow up and time to get listed. The Open Directory will give you a free listing regardless of what kind of web site you have. Unfortunately, "free" has its price. The price is "time". It can take many months and many follow up inquiries before your site actually gets listed.
Your objective should be to get your web site listed at the highest level of the most appropriate category. In order to achieve that goal, you need to think things through. For example, if your site is in the business of shipping auto parts from a small town out in the boondocks, DON'T submit your listing request to "Auto Parts in the Boondocks", that can be a fatal error. Think a little! Submit your web site to "Worldwide Auto Parts". You will not only associate your web site with the big boys, but you'll also get your web site listed in an International Directory.
In my next article, I'll discuss text links and their critical importance in getting a high PageRank and a good listing in the engines. Till then, start working on getting your site listed in the directories.