Search engines like web sites that are popular. I mentioned that last week but thought I’d talk more about it this week.
(For readers who don’t have web sites – here’s a fun site full of Mother’s Day ideas http://www.amazingmoms.com/htm/holiday_mothersday.htm.)
Search engines define popularity by the number of web sites that link to a specific page. To determine your web site’s link popularity you can use the following tool: http://www.marketleap.com/publinkpop
It will tell you how many links Google thinks you have, how many Hotbot thinks you have, and the same with MSN and Yahoo.
If you run the report, you’ll notice that the numbers differ. Generally MSN will give you credit for many more links than the other search engines and Google will give you credit for the fewest links. That is because Google will only give you credit for “quality” links. They don’t define quality – but generally a quality link is a link from a web site where the content is related to your content and where the site is also popular. Google does not like “link farms” that simply list links to hundreds of sites without a rhyme or reason. (We’re all seen these.)
So, how do you get links?
First you just ask. Ask your real world partners if they have a web site and if they will link to you. Find sites that you think are quality sites and ask them to link to you – but give them a good reason. “Hello, I think your visitors might like my monthly specials page, please link to me…” Don’t be afraid to exchange links with sites that you think your visitors would like.
Second, provide content that is link-worthy. Be sure to have information on your web site that other sites might find link-worthy. In fact there are some sites that might be happy to publish an article by you on their site and provide a link to you – which can be a good way to spread your message.
Third, send out a web-based press release via PRWeb (http://www.prweb.com). I did this with a recent client and we went from 4 links to 145 in 10 days. Now these weren’t all quality links and many links will only be available for a short time – but the links had an impact.