Improve the Link Popularity of your site...Part
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
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
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
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
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
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