How popular is your site?
Popularity makes or breaks celebrities and it will make or break your web site rankings. But how do you become popular?
Well right now popular in the eyes of the major search engines (Google, Yahoo, MSN) means links.
Each search engine views links differently and weights their influence on your ranking based on their own criteria. The only people who know these exact criteria are the search engines themselves. However by careful observation and experimentation over time we can see patterns that well ranked sites nearly always have.
Let's take a look at the fussiest of all and the one nearly every webmaster wants to rank well on - Google.
Google started the obsession with links. This was because a site that had a large number of links would nearly always rank well. You may not have heard of the term ‘link bombing’. Link bombing is simply gathering a large number of links to point at a site, using selected keywords in the link and the site then ranks well. A famous example of this was when you went to Google and types in miserable failure a biography of George Bush ranks number one (as at 27/11/05) this is still the case. This shows the power of links as the term miserable failure does not appear anywhere in the words on the page.
Now Google is continually getting smarter at spotting practices like this that are basically unnatural linking. Things that may be considered unnatural linking include:
- links to one site from every page of another site
- all the links pointing to a site using the same keywords in the link text
- links to a site all coming from a limited range of sites
- all links to a site going only to the home page
- all links to your site a reciprocal
Now how to avoid this is critical to your success. Links to your site, using your keywords in the link text are still the key to ranking well today. Here are 3 quick ideas. These ideas will be greatly expanded on in future articles.
1. Look at your high ranking competitors link structure. Who links to them and what do the links say. Can you get links from these sites as well?
2. Write and distribute articles. Articles give you one-way links and these are considered more important than links traded between sites.
3. Get links to a range of pages within your site and vary what the text of the link says.
If you focus on quality linking strategies you will boost your rankings over time in Google and the other search engines will typically show similar results.
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