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A SPECIAL REPORT

Improve the Link Popularity of your site
(Part 2)


        
 Improve the Link Popularity of your site...Part 2
                 By Sumantra Roy

Part 2 continued ...........

6) Posting to Message Boards and Discussion Lists

Another moderately effective method of increasing the link popularity of your site is to post to online message boards. At the end of every message that you post, you can sign off by mentioning your name and the URL of your web site. If the message board allows it, you can even include a short promotional blurb about your site at the end of your posts. However, make sure that the individual messages that are posted to that message board are archived in static HTML pages (i.e. the URLs for the individual messages should not contain a "?"). Otherwise, the search engines will consider these pages to be dynamic pages and may not spider these pages and hence, will not be able to find your link.

Email based discussion lists which are archived on the web in static HTML pages can also be used to boost the link popularity of your site in a similar manner. In this case, the signature file that you use with your email program should contain the URL for your web site.

7) Starting a Link Contest

A good method of improving the link popularity of your site is to give away prizes to other webmasters if they link to you. The prizes that you give out should ideally be something which other webmasters will find valuable enough to want to link to you, but which do not cost you too much. For instance, if you publish a newsletter, and have unsold ad inventory, you can give away some free advertisements in your newsletter to the winners. If you sell a software (or an ebook), you can give away a free copy of your software or ebook to the winners, since it doesn't cost you anything to produce an additional copy of digital goods like software and ebooks.

Link contests work best if you run the contest on a continuous basis and if you declare new winners frequently. If you run the contest for a few months, and then stop it, the webmasters who had linked to you will all remove their links. However, if you run it on a continuous basis, and declare new winners every month or so, the webmasters will have the incentive to keep their links to your site.

Also, make sure that you require all participants to have a link to your site either in their home page, or in an internal page of their site which is linked to their home page. Also ensure that the page which contains the link is no more than two levels deep from their home page (i.e. it should not take more than two clicks to go from the home page to the page containing the link). If they don't do this, the search engine spiders may not index the page which contains the link to your site, and hence, may not find your link.

8) Writing articles and allowing them to be re-published

This is by far one of the best ways of improving the link popularity of your site, and one of my favorites. Whenever I write an article on search engine placement, I first publish it in my newsletter and then I publish the article in my site as a separate web page. I also submit it to the following article submission sites:

http://www.ezinearticles.com/add_url.html

http://www.ideamarketers.com

http://www.marketing-seek.com/articles/submit.shtml

http://certificate.net/wwio/ideas.shtml

http://www.web-source.net/articlesub.htm

Many webmasters and ezine publishers frequent these article directories in search of articles. Submitting my articles to these directories gives them the opportunity of re-publishing my articles. While I have had some success with each of the above directories, by far the best among them is the ezinearticles.com directory.

Now, at the end of each article, I mention that people are free to re-publish the article as long as they include my resource box (i.e. my bio) at the end of the article. I always include the URL of my site in the resource box. This means that whenever someone publishes one of my articles in his/her web site, I have another site linking to my site. Also, many ezine publishers archive their ezines in their web sites. If they have re-published my article in a particular issue, I again get a link.

Writing articles is also an excellent viral marketing tool. As some webmasters and ezine publishers publish my articles, other webmasters and ezine publishers will read my article. Some of them, in turn, will publish my article, which will again be read by other webmasters and ezine publishers, some of whom will publish it... and so on.
 

Also, since only web sites related to mine would be interested in publishing my articles, all these links tend to come from related sites, which, as I mentioned earlier, are more valuable than links from unrelated sites.

Writing articles, of course, has another very important benefit - if you write good articles, it makes you known as an expert in your field. This helps to improve your credibility, which makes people more comfortable about buying your products or services.

Some notes about writing articles:

i) I have learnt through experience that some webmasters will publish other people's articles and will display the complete resource box but will not link to the URL mentioned in the resource box. In order to prevent this, you need to explicitly state that the article can be published only if the URL mentioned in the resource box is linked to your site.

ii) Your resource box should not be too long - it should be no more than 6 lines long, formatted at 65 characters per line. Otherwise, other webmasters and ezine publishers will hesitate to publish your article.

9) Starting your own affiliate program

This is another excellent way by which you can improve the link popularity of your site. When you have your own affiliate program, you give other webmasters the incentive to link to you. In this case too, since most of these web sites will be related to the industry in which you are operating, these links will be more valuable than links from unrelated sites.

Now, when you start your affiliate program, you need to decide whether you want to run the program yourself, or whether you want to outsource it from a third party. While outsourcing your affiliate program has a number of benefits, doing so will not help you improve the link popularity of your site, because affiliates are going to link to the third party's site. In order to improve the link popularity of your site, you need to ensure that the affiliate links are pointing to your domain.

The affiliate program software that I highly recommend and have used for the affiliate program of our search engine positioning services is Kowabunga Technologies' My Affiliate Program. Although this software is hosted in a domain owned by Kowabunga Technologies, they give you the option of having the affiliate links pointing to your own domain.

10) Submitting to the directories

This is by far the most important step as far as improving the link popularity of your site is concerned. As I mentioned before, what is important is not only the number of links to your site, but also the quality of the links to your site. No links are as important as links from some of the major directories like Yahoo!, the Open Directory etc. However, Yahoo! currently requires a payment of $299 per year in order to list any commercial site. Paying them $299 per year just to improve your link popularity is probably not cost effective. But, the Open Directory is free, and you should definitely get your site listed in the Open Directory.

Also, you should submit your site to as many of the smaller directories as possible. You can get a list of such directories here.
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 Back to Part 1

Article by Sumantra Roy. Sumantra is one of the most respected and recognized search engine positioning specialists on the Internet. For more articles on search engine placement, subscribe to his 1st Search Ranking Newsletter by sending a blank email to mailto:1stSearchRanking.999.99@optinpro.com or by going to http://www.1stSearchRanking.net

 

 

 

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